How to prevent cat from eating too fast?

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How to prevent cat from eating too fast?

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  • How to stop my cat from eating so fast
  • How to keep the cat from eating the whole food

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    05-22-2011, 02:09 PM
How to prevent cat from eating too fast?

I have a cat just over a year old. Below picture is of her as a kitten. (Isn't she cute?)
She's so cute but we have a problem. She eats so fast and then ends up vomiting it all up! I originally gave her 1/4 a cup day and night but she started to get skinny. I then switched her up to 1/2 a cup night and day. Unfortunately, it seems when she eats that much per day, she throws it up as well. I now do about 1/4 a cup again night and day, but she eats it so fast it doesn't sit well with her, and then she goes out to throw it up. Which I'm sure you can imagine is yucky and I do not appreciate the morning present :P
So what do I do? How can I get her to eat slower without her gaining a whole bunch of weight? Should I leave food in there constantly or will that allow her to get fat?
Thank you!
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    05-22-2011, 03:37 PM
I can't say for certain about your cat since it seems that every one of them is different, but I have 4 that have constant access to feed and none of them are really fat. I have 1 that most people would consider fat just by looking at him but he's actually just a very solid, big cat instead of being fat.

You might give free access a try and just see how her weight holds up. If she starts gaining too much, one other thing to consider might be to spread her feed around the house so that she can't eat all of it in one bolt. Put a few pieces on a plate in the kitchen, some more in the dining room, some more in the living room, some more in the bathroom, etc. That way, she isn't choking herself on too much at once.

She is a very cute little girl .

ETA: One other thing I thought of, maybe it's the brand of cat food that isn't agreeing with her. Next time you have her at the vet, you might ask their suggestions for a cat with a sensitive stomach.
    05-22-2011, 04:38 PM
I personally wouldn't recommend free access to food. We see too many overweight cats at work because of that. Can you do multiple small meals throughout the day? For instance give her 1/8 cup of food four times daily? She also may have some hairball issues. You could try a hairball formula cat food, but not sure if it is available in kitten. You could also try Laxatone or another malt based gel used as hairball treatment/prevention. If you still can't get her to stop vomiting, I would recommend a vet visit. Sometimes these little babies have physical issues that cause vomiting. Good luck! She's adorable!
    05-22-2011, 05:08 PM
She's adorable! You could put rocks in her food dish so she has to eat around them and can't gobble it down super quickly, obviously they should be big enough that she won't eat them though. We did that with my dog who would almost choke she ate so quickly and it really helped.
    05-22-2011, 07:46 PM
Wow! Thanks for all the advice! Because I am at school, it is difficult to feed to often through the day. I considered it, but it just wouldn't work with my schedule. :(
She is not that young anymore, about a year old now.
Another issue is the dog. She's a lab. Labs love food. I worry that the dog would get the food before she did.
I do think I will look into getting a different brand of food. The rock idea may work as well. She was just at the vet a couple months ago and the vet said she looked good and healthy. I will keep you all updated on how she's doing! Thank you for your help!
    05-22-2011, 08:37 PM
Another option is timed feeders but they can be expensive. You could also use toys that hide food or hide food where the dog can't get to it.
    05-22-2011, 10:52 PM
You could try a SlimCat food dispenser ball - you put food inside, adjust the holes so they just barely let the food fit out (be sure to read the instructions, the Amazon reviews sound like lots of people didn't figure out how to do this), then let your cat push it around the floor & pick up & eat the food bits as they fall out. I got one at my vet's (but rarely use it because I normally feed canned food) but they're cheaper, of course, on Amazon. Obviously you could really only do this in a room with a hard floor - dry cat food is kind of greasy. It was fine on my hardwood.

But the dog does complicate things. Can you put up a baby gate that the cat can get through (over or under) and the dog can't, and put the cat's food in the room the dog is closed off from? I do this when family visits with their dogs.

    05-22-2011, 11:08 PM
Green Broke
My dogs would jump a baby gate in a heartbeat. I put my cats food up high. Its on the top of our bookcase. The cat can get to the top by jumping off a near by chair.
Its the only place my Mals can't reach it.
    05-22-2011, 11:30 PM
Yeah, obviously depends on the dog. Aside from jumping, some larger dogs will just push right through them. Both dogs I've dealt with were large and one was quite food-motivated, but they were not young. I have seen (in a catalog or sale flyer somewhere) an extra-tall gate that looked like it would keep all but the most athletic dogs from jumping. A door with a cat door in it is also a possibility. I do know people who feed on counters or tables but that would rule out using the SlimCat, though it would work with a timed feeder.

Feeding canned food would cut down on the food-getting-wet-and-expanding-in-stomach issue which leads to immediate regurgitation, and many people now feel it's healthier for cats, which are desert animals who in nature get much of their fluid intake from their dinner (prey). (There was an interesting NY Times science article a year or 2 ago about cats not really having evolved from the wild cat they were before they decided to move in with us.)
    05-23-2011, 09:07 AM
Feeding canned food would cut down on the food-getting-wet-and-expanding-in-stomach issue which leads to immediate regurgitation, and many people now feel it's healthier for cats, which are desert animals who in nature get much of their fluid intake from their dinner (prey). (There was an interesting NY Times science article a year or 2 ago about cats not really having evolved from the wild cat they were before they decided to move in with us.)[/QUOTE]

Good point. =) Just make sure its a high quality food. We usually recommend Royal Canin, Science Diet, Pro Plan, or Iams.
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