If your cat is eating food too fast, it can be tricky to get them to slow down; however, learning how to slow your cat’s eating is important, as it can help avoid future health problems. The speed of your cat’s eating could also be indicative of their overall health and stress levels – so it’s vital to take note of your cat’s food consumption.
Reasons your cat might be eating fast
Your cat might be consuming their food too quickly for various reasons. If you have more than one cat, they may be competing to eat their food as fast as possible. Your cat may also really enjoy their food and want to wolf it down, or they might be feeling stressed or bored, leading to faster food consumption. Another potential cause could be nutritional deficiencies, or even a parasite or illness.
Ruling out possible causes
Parasites, such as intestinal worms, could cause your cat to eat quicker – or more – in order to get their required nutrients. You should be ensuring your cat is regularly wormed and, if you suspect your cat has worms, take them to the vet. If you suspect your cat is eating too fast because they’re competing with other household pets, try putting their feeding bowl into a different room where they can be on their own. This may encourage them to eat at their own pace. If you suspect your cat is gobbling due to boredom, try making time to play with them. Mental and physical stimulation may calm your cat down and prevent them from getting bored.
Ways to slow down your cat’s eating
It’s important to slow your cat’s eating down to ensure that they get the proper nourishment – otherwise they may end up frequently being sick. Trying methods like switching food, trying a new food bowl and changing the location of the food bowl can be effective.
Try a new food
Your cat needs a balanced diet so they can get proper nutrients; otherwise, they may be hungry – causing them to eat faster than they should. If you’re not sure your cat’s current food is providing all the nutrients they need, try switching them to a new food. This should be done gradually in order to prevent stomach upsets.
- For the first few days, introduce ¼ of the new food to your cat’s diet
- On days three and four, feed them half of each food
- After around a week, give them ¾ new food mixed with ¼ original food
- After around eight to ten days, switch your cat over to the new food.
Try a new bowl
Changing your cat’s food bowl might help slow down their eating. A slow feed cat bowl is designed with built-in grooves to make it harder for your cat to wolf down their food. You can also get a lick mat and spread wet food in among the grooves; often the act of licking can calm an anxious cat down and get them to take their time when eating. Automatic feeders enable you to feed your cat the proper amount, as they only dispense a certain amount of food at a time. This also stops your cat from eating due to boredom, as you can set the time the food is dispensed.
If your cat is stressed they might be consuming their food as fast as possible so they can retreat somewhere they feel safe. Try putting their feeding bowl in a quiet area of the house, away from other animals, people and anything noisy. Also make sure that any food or water bowls are located well away from litter box areas.
What to do if other methods don’t work
If you’re still concerned about your cat’s excessively fast eating, a trip to the vet may be in order. Your vet will be able to check your cat’s overall health and determine if there’s an underlying condition. Getting to the bottom of your cat’s fast eating might be challenging – but it’s important to make sure they get proper nourishment. To find out more ways to take care of your cat and help them live their best life, visit our petcare blog.
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