How to Stop a Greedy Cat From Scarfing Down Food
One of the most annoying things about cats has to be cat puke! Here’s how a common household item can help your cat slow down when it comes to eating.
This is Jessica (blending into the rug). Jessica is a lovable, adorable little girl. Well, I say lovable. She’s pretty grumpy, has a tendency to sulk and has to have hugs because she’s insecure. In fact she has a lot of issues. But most of the time she’s lovable. All cats have their problems and most of them I can deal with.
However, there’s one problem that Jessica had that was totally getting on my nerves. Jessica’s biggest failing is that she is extremely greedy. She wolfs down her food so quick, she barely chews it. A couple of minutes after each meal, she throws it up again. Great, so then I have to spend my time cleaning it up… and it’s not nice, I can tell you!
Related: How Much Should I Feed My Cat?
I’ve tried several ideas over the last few years to try and put a stop to this. I work from home, so I’ve got the time to take a break from writing about puking cats, or whatever, to tend to the every need of my three cats. It was no big deal to give them lots of small meals a day. My thinking was, less food equals less chance of throwing up. But no. It didn’t work, she was still sick.
I started looking for a way to slow down her eating. There seemed to be plenty of special bowls for dogs, ones that made it more complicated to get the food out, so they eat slower – but I couldn’t find anything similar that would be suitable for cats.
Related: NoBowl Feeding System Lets Your Cat Play With His Food
Then I happened upon an amazing solution.
You may think that I’m about to sell you some miracle potion at an extortionate price. Nope! This solution is actually incredibly cheap, and you don’t even need to come to me to buy it! In fact, you may even have it already in your home.
It’s a muffin tray!
Any cupcake, bun or muffin tray will do the trick. The more compartments, the better. I use one with 12 spaces. I divide Jessica’s meals up into 12 little portions. She feels like she’s getting a massive plate full of meals all at once, so she’s happy. But more importantly, it takes her ages to finish it as she has to work her way round each little bit of it.
This has worked like a dream. She’s hardly ever sick any more, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If you’ve got a troublesome greedy cat, give it a try, and let me know (in the comment section below) how it works out for you and your kitty.
Does Your Cat Eat Food Too Quickly?
Your cat might be like Jessica, often throwing up food after eating it. Or, this might be a problem that you deal with on occasion if your cat doesn’t always eat a lot of food too quickly. Either way, any pet parent would not want to deal with this problem. Here are some of the other ways that you might be able to get your kitty to eat less frantically:
Sometimes, the solution is surprisingly simple. It might, for example, just be a matter of timing out your cat’s mealtimes so she can get smaller portions from morning to night. By eating smaller amounts, she might not feel the need to regurgitate after a meal. And by having multiple meals, she can stay full and satisfied without getting too hungry in between meals—that, too, may help her eat more slowly.
If you have thought about free feeding your cat because you think that allowing her to eat whatever she wants whenever she wants might help stop her from throwing up after a meal, this isn’t really the best idea. Sure, it can be convenient, but most cats will likely eat far too much if the food is always available to them. And when they eat too much and gain too much weight, they might become prone to a variety of health problems. You definitely don’t want that!
Instead, you might opt for an automatic feeder. This can be convenient for you and also help your cat eat more slowly because it will provide your pet with a small amount of food several times throughout the day. It’s all about portion control.
You can also consider incorporating the use of puzzle toys and other pet products that are designed to make your kitty slow down and figure out how to get to the food. You might use this to add a little variety to your pet’s eating routine too.
If the muffin tray solution described above doesn’t work for you and your cat, rest assured that there are other steps you can take to get your kitty to slow down while she is eating, including the use of other baking materials. As an example, you can try putting her food on a baking tray so it’s spread out and she isn’t able to take a big bite at once. Then, when she starts eating her food more slowly, you might notice that the puking occurs less frequently.
Consider Talking to Your Vet If You’re Concerned
One final note: if you are at all concerned about your cat’s eating habits or you are worried about her throwing up too often, it really is best to talk to your veterinarian about it. Have a discussion about what your cat is eating, and whether or not the food is really right for her. You might need to change her food to help her keep it down. And if you’re worried about the regurgitation being a health concern, your vet can examine your feline friend to get you the answers you seek.
More by Emily Hutchinson