How to Keep a Cat From Eating Too Fast

Updated on July 12, 2018
Regi Brittain profile image

A stand-up comedian and freelance writer, Regi Brittain loves life and wants to help you enjoy it!

Source

There Are Multiple Ways to Feed a Cat

Growing up, my family sometimes had cats. Riveting story, right? Since college, I've almost always had at least one cat. As I write this, my spouse and I have two darling 12-year-old littermates. They are gentle and low maintenance, but they will eat too fast if we'll let them. Doing so can lead to a cat vomiting up the food they just consumed, which wastes money and leaves the cat hungry if the incident goes unnoticed for a while.

Thus, we have experimented with multiple methods that help kitties pace themselves at mealtime. Based upon my current fitness state, maybe I should try some of these techniques on myself. (This is your chance to imagine a grown human picking through a food puzzle built for a cat or a puppy!)

As with many things in life, there are several ways to help cats develop healthy eating habits. We'll explore them here, and you can try those that make sense for you and your feline pal(s). Please note that most of these methods can only be employed using dry cat food.

Introduce a Cat Feeder With a Timer on It

I must admit that I have not personally had great results with automatic cat feeders. It probably had to do with choosing budget priced cat feeders. Still, you are different from me, and your cats are different from my cats—and I am the mayor of Obviousville!

Here's what to do. Shop at a pet store that honors returns on all animal accessories. Where I live, we have a small, local chain called Pet Food Warehouse, and they will take back, for example, cat bowls with timers on them that your very-food-motivated cat figures out how to pry open. (I'm not saying that happened to me, but it didn't not happen. That's for sure!)

By ensuring that your pet supply purveyor prefers to make a customer, not just a sale, by honoring returns on automatic cat dishes, you give yourself leeway to test these babies on your feline(s) with full confidence! (That's a very good thing!)

Take the Fast-Eating Cat Poll!

How Fast Does Your Cat Eat?

See results

Try a Cat Food Puzzle

If I got anything glaringly wrong in the above poll's options, please consider that I know painfully little about comic book physics.

Something I can speak on with excessively warranted confidence is cat feeding puzzles. We use them at my home. We dig them. I've even sometimes considered serving myself meals in one to help with my waistline. (I made that up just now, but it probably wouldn't hurt!)

These products come in varied designs, and they are all intended to engage cats' primal instincts during mealtime, which slows down their eating pace. At our house, we use this cat food puzzle as part of our cat feeding formula.

Source

Use Cat Feeder Balls

Kitties crave engagement of their senses, well, except when they're sleeping, which seems like always. At my house, we use that craving to force one of our cats to eat slower.

We use a cat feeder ball, which is a hollow, plastic ball that opens to allow you to pour your cat's dry food into it, so it can be dispensed out of the holes. After you put the measured amount for your cat's meal into the ball, you replace the cap and allow your feline to bat the ball to gain pieces of yummy food, which comes out of the holes in the ball.

The model we use has adjustable holes, which allows us to control the rate at which food drops out of the ball. We set it so just one or two pieces come out at a time, and our larger, food-oriented kitty has yet to send us a complaint email.

Spread Food Throughout Your Home

Like food puzzles and feeder balls, this method forces your cat to burn energy and mentally engage during feeding sessions. Place a few, small cat dishes about your home. Try to hide them under beds and in corners. If you have a cat that likes to leap and climb, pick a safe, high place to leave a little plate for your inquisitive, daring pet.

Scatter Dry Cat Food on Your Floor

As my departed, country grandmother might say, "This one sure sounds messy. Don't it?" But think about it: If a cat has to walk and sniff from one morsel to the next, they will naturally take longer to eat their meal than if it rests right before them in a bowl.

If you choose this method, be careful not to let any food bounce or skid under low-sitting furniture. Your cat might not find it, which would contribute to Granny's existential mess!

Get Crafty If You Have Multiple Cats

Owning multiple felines can lead to multiple cat-feeding strategies, which can lead to multiple-purr-sonality disorder. (I know! I hate me, too!)

We do it at my house. Our smaller cat does well with a food puzzle, but his bigger litter mate still eats too fast with puzzles, so we use a feeder ball for him. He mildly voices his displeasure, but he also eats more slowly and does not regurgitate his meal.

Always Give Your Cat Access to Plenty of Fresh Water

This is an important note. Being a smart biped, you probably know that you've got to consume water as well as food. The same goes for cats. If you don't water your cat, you end up with a powdered furball. How do I know? Science! (Not really.)

What's a good cat-watering strategy? You can leave and regularly refresh water bowls throughout your home, or you can acquire a cat bubbler, a.k.a. a cat water fountain. These items engage cats' senses with sounds and action, and those facts can make your cat more likely to knock back some aqua—which helps them stay hydrated and helps them digest dry cat food.

Source

Find What Works for You and Your Cat

As with all pets, and cats especially, finding the right feeding method may require multiple attempts. Please promise Uncle Regi (that's me, sort of) that you will remember that you love your cat. After all, there's at least a 4% chance that it loves you back!

Thank you for reading my nonsense, and if you have made it this far, I hope you will share it on your socials! Oh! And my cats say hello! Well, actually, they say, "Meow!"

Scheduled Feeding Times Will Help Any Cat.

— Mewbraham Lincoln

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, pethelpful.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://pethelpful.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)