Some cats love eating so much that they practically inhale their food in the blink of an eye, only to throw it back up shortly later. Slowing your kitty down during dinner means he keeps more of the food in his belly and less on your living room carpet.
In most cases, a hearty appetite in your pet is a good thing -- it shows he's healthy. But the rapid gobbling of food is commonly followed by the familiar hacking of an upcoming vomit, resulting in the reappearance of the semi-whole kitty kibble. This typically occurs due to the air your kitty swallowed as he ate, and the sharp dry edges of the kibble irritating his throat. He's essentially eating so fast he's making himself sick.
To slow your kitty down as he eats, you need to prevent him from sticking his face into his dish and gulping down great mouthfuls of food. Slow-feed bowls help prevent this gorging habit, thanks to the way they're shaped. Although their individual designs vary, the basic concept of these dishes is to prevent your cat's scoop-and-swallow method of eating. These bowls have raised bottoms or sides that encourage your kitty to slow down and eat more deliberately by picking around the raised sections to get to the food.
Spreading It Out
You don't necessarily need a specially designed food bowl to slow your hungry kitty down. Switching his deep food bowl out for a shallower dish may work just as well. A shallow dish offers less food at any given time and means he can't just gulp it down by the mouthful. Using a larger diameter dish, or even something like a dinner plate or cookie sheet, spreads the food out around a larger area to make him work harder for the same amount.
Working for It
If you really want to slow down your cat, certified cat behavior consultant Marilyn Krieger recommends placing your piggy kitty's food in puzzle toys. These require your cat to slide compartments or roll treat balls in just the right way to reveal the food inside. This not only slows down dinnertime, but also challenges him mentally. Your cat not only works for his food, but gets some physical and mental exercise at the same time.
Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.