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  • Tips to Slow Down Your Cat’s Eating Process

    Many cats can become very excited when it’s feeding time, causing them to eat very quickly. As a cat owner, it’s important to monitor your pet’s eating habits and tendencies – particularly if you’re noticing any changes in their behavior, their physical health, or their mood. There are many negative effects that can result from your cat eating too fast, and it’s critical to take steps to help your pet slow down their eating process.

    Cat Eating Slowly

    In this article, we’ll discuss why it’s important to monitor your cat’s eating habits, as well as provide some quick, basic guidelines on what you can try at home to help your cat slow down when it’s feeding time. Additionally, some of these solutions might even help curb their excitement around feeding such that they’re better able to digest food.

    Negative Effects of Eating Too Quickly

    Keeping your pet healthy and avoiding medical issues is largely related to feeding, including eating habits and quality of food. It’s important to consult with your veterinarian on what is best for your individual pet. Here are some of the negative effects that can result from your cat eating too quickly:

    Problems digesting

    Just like humans, cats need time to process and digest their food, and their bodies aren’t able to digest as quickly as they are eating sometimes.

    Becoming overweight or obese

    Eating too quickly can make pets unable to detect when their hunger has been satiated, prompting them to stop eating. This can lead to overeating, becoming overweight, and then adopting more health issues.

    Choking or vomiting hazards

    Seeing your cat practically inhale their food is unsettling for many reasons; however, it is certainly possible that they could choke. Furthermore, as pockets of air get trapped in their stomach due to eating to quickly, this can cause them to vomit and not retain their meal.

    Increases in food expenses

    Of course, going through food more quickly leads to increases in food expenses – and cat food isn’t very cheap these days!

    What You Can Do as a Cat Owner

    As a concerned pet owner, it’s your priority to ensure that you’ve put measures in place to help your cat slow down during feeding time. Here are some quick suggestions for you to try:

    Use a different feeding container

    There are several different types of containers or feeding methods that can help your cat slow down their eating habits:

    Spread out food on large sheet – using a sheet pan or a baking sheet, you can spread out small piles of dry kibble to help your cat focus on only one small area at a time.

    Purchase special feeding bowls – many stores sell food dishes designated to address this issue specifically; they are usually affordable, and some even help your cat express some mental energy in the process of trying to get to their food:

    • Timed, automatic feeders
    • Puzzle or toy methods
    • Bowls or dishes with obstructions built into the center

    If feeding wet food, smash it into the bottom of the dish

    This causes your cat to have to spend time licking and lapping at the bottom of the dish to ingest their food.

    Reduce portion sizes and increase frequency

    You might consider feeding your pet several small meals throughout the day instead of larger meals once or twice a day.

    Use more than one feeding area

    This is especially helpful if you have multiple cats in your home – it causes cats to have to find food throughout the house, usually only when they’re hungry.

    Happy Cat Eating Food

    Follow up on veterinary appointments

    Bringing your cat to regular veterinary appointments can help you stay on top of their health in general; however, it can also provide the opportunity for you to monitor your cat’s weight, growth and development, and ask questions along the way to address other issues related to feeding.

    Here at Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency, we continue to serve the communities of Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and other areas nearby Ventura County, with great pride – we love our clients and their pets, and we make it our mission to extend support and pet education to concerned pet parents. If you have remaining questions about your cat’s health or feeding, please call one of our helpful feline specialists today.

    posted on March 28, 2019 at 9:54 am by Doctor Ron