Eating too quickly can become a common habit for cats. When your cat eats too quickly, they are more likely to regurgitate their food after eating. It could also lead to obesity which would result in arthritis and diabetes. It is important to help your cats to slow down its food consumption. If your cat vomited after having their meal, stop feeding immediately and wait for at least 2 hours before offering your cat some water to allow their gastrointestinal tract to rest.
When your cat eats too quickly, they can eat too much to the point when the food absorbs water and swells in their stomach, it sends a signal to the brain that they have overeat and will need to get rid of any excess food. This results in regurgitation. This is, however, different to vomiting. If you notice that your cat’s behaviour is out of the norm, and is puking regularly, you should get it checked out to rule out any underlying health conditions.
Similar to how humans eat at a faster pace when they are feeling hungry, our feline friends could be experiencing hunger. There could also be other behavioural reasons such as feeling bored or lonely, or worried that their food will be stolen, which causes them to ingest their food as quickly as possible. Read on to understand why your cat eats really fast.
The presence of other cats may cause your cat to feel threatened, thus developing territorial eating habits such as food competition. This is more common in households with multiple pets. A cat might be hoarding the food, causing other feline friends to gobble down their food whenever they have the chance to.
A cat that is feeling bored or lonely may eat quickly because it’s the only stimulation it has. A cat that is depressed may be eating at a rapid pace to comfort itself. This habit develops over time. New cats that join the family could potentially pick up on this habit and lead to a compulsive need to eat as much as possible.
Underlying Medical Conditions
Medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes mellitus could cause your cat to develop a great desire for food. If your cat has recently started to gobble down its food and did not have this habit previously, consult with your vet.
Tapeworms and commonly found in cats. They attach themselves to the intestinal walls in the cat’s body and steal all the nutrients. Your cat may be eating more than usual to make up for the nutrients lost.
Food addiction is more common in felines that consume wet food. The food taste, smell and texture could be the reason why they enjoy the food excessively. Changing your cat’s food or mixing it with dry food could help slow down your cat’s eating.
Cats that eat too quickly experience discomfort, such as regurgitating, choking and stomach upset. In the long run, they could have difficulty with weight gain. Here are some of the things we can do to encourage our cats to slow down their eating pace.
Introduce A Slow Feeder Bowl
A slow feeder bowl requires your cat to forage for their food and slows them down using a variety of different shapes which makes it harder for your cat to reach their food. You could also create your own slow feeder bowl by placing something inert (Eg. A ball) inside your pet’s regular bowl so your cat has to work around it to get to her food. Remember that it must not be too big for them to nudge it out of the way easily!
Using Interactive Toys
Interactive toys are designed to give your cat a physical and mental workout, and this would stimulate them to work for their food. Your feline would have to nudge and push around to reveal the food that is hidden inside. This way, they would only be able to eat when they get to the food!
Spread Out The Meal
Rather than using a bowl, try using a plate with a wide base. All you have to do is to spread out the food across the plate. This will slow down your cat’s eating pace because they have to make gradual movements every time they want another mouthful, meaning they won’t be able to gobble all of their food in one go.
Dish Out Smaller Meals
Serve up smaller meals throughout the day rather than bigger meals more regularly. As their meals are paced out and in smaller quantities, they are less likely to gobble down large amounts in one go. While this prevents the cat from regurgitating and gorging, this does not stop the cat from eating quickly, as it will merely swallow down these small meals at its usual pace.
Hide Cats Food
Cats are excellent hunters by nature, so why not use that instinct to our advantage? Instead of placing all of their food into the bowl, consider hiding small amounts of food around the house. This forces your cat to seek out the food rather than gorging in a fixed place. It also provides a breather in between meals, and reduces regurgitation.
This is a time-consuming process, forcing your cat to slow down. However, this is necessary to prevent your cat from accidental choking, and prevent any potential health risks. Embark on this journey for your cat and it will be worthwhile for their wellbeing.
Accidents happen. If your cat eats too fast and chokes, you should use your hands to gently push on its belly using quick, upward thrusts. Repeat this process about 5 times. If your thrusts don’t dislodge the choked food, hold your cat up by its back hips, bend its head downward, and gently sweep its mouth.
If you are unsure, seek professional help. Your veterinarian will provide you with advice that suits your dog best. Any views or opinions communicated on this page belongs to the author, and does not represent the views or opinions of any other organizations. This article is meant for us to share our own views and opinions in general. Kindly consult a professional if would like to seek for professional advice.
Adopted from sources
– 4 Ways To Slow Down Cats Who Eat Too Fast. By Linda Rodgers, Bechewy.
– Cat eating too fast? How to help if your cat overeats too quickly. By Chloe Petrylak, PetsRadar.
– How To Stop Your Cat From Eating Too Fast. By Richard Parker, Seniorcatwellness.
– Images of cats from Pixabay.