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Dry Food- Does Size Of Pieces Matter For Digestion?

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by destinyz12, Sep 11, 2018.

  1. destinyz12

    destinyz12 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    One of my cats has a tendency to swallow most of his dry food pieces whole without chewing, even after switching to bigger sized pieces in hopes that it will force him to chew it, but still nope. In this situation, Is it easier for a cat to digest the smaller sized pieces or does it not really matter and continuing with the bigger size is just as fine? Both brands are about equivalent on the health level (grain-free, low carb, no bad fillers, ect) He will eat wet food but isn't too crazy about it so eliminating dry isn't a choice either.
     
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  2. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom TCS Member Top Cat

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    Hi! ...just a thought, is there any change if you mix up the sizes?
    At any rate, I'm not a vet or nutritionist but don't give up on the wet, and maybe when you've feed all the larger kibble, unless my idea works :) go back to the smaller pieces.
     
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  3. susanm9006

    susanm9006 TCS Member Top Cat

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    One of mine ate without chewing and then she would puke the whole meal back up. I finally went to a large size kibble Science diet product and her puking frequency diminished dramatically.
     
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  4. susanm9006

    susanm9006 TCS Member Top Cat

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    One other thing to consider and that is his teeth. Have they been examined and cleaned recently? Sometimes just like a person if their teeth hurt they don’t want to chew or bite down on hard foods.
     

  5. destinyz12

    destinyz12 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    He will occasionally chew the bigger pieces but not much, and his teeth seem fine-he turns 2 in November, but he has a tendency to eat fast which is probably where the swallowing whole comes into play. One could possibly say he has food insecurities since I have a second cat who is basically the "boss" of the 2 of them , except she eats like a bird! He eats twice as much as she does
     
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  6. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    Mine don't chew, and seem to do better on the smaller kibbles.
     
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  7. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom TCS Member Top Cat

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    maggiedemi purraised this.

  8. Columbine

    Columbine TCS Member Staff Member Advisor

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    It's pretty common for cats to swallow kibble pieces whole. So long as you aren't in a 'scarf and barf' situation like @susanm9006, and so long as there are no dental issues, it's no big deal :) After all, even cats with no teeth can eat smaller kibbles with no issues!
    Does Dry Food Actually Clean Your Cat's Teeth?

    The only kibbles that HAVE to be chewed are the prescription dental foods like Hills t/d or Royal Canin Dental. They have really big kibble pieces to force the cat to chew them ;)

    In your situation, though, I think I'd be inclined to feed the smaller sized kibble, just to be extra safe. If your cat is bolting his food, you could try using a puzzle feeder to slow him down. Its unlikely to make him chew his food, but it will encourage him to eat at a slower rate.
     
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  9. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

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    Try the X shaped kibble. I hate how they keep making kibble smaller and smaller, one day it's gonna disappear. But I seem to hear more crunching with the X shape.
     
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  10. susanm9006

    susanm9006 TCS Member Top Cat

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    I didn’t think to mention a slow bowl. My current cat uses this in the evening to make her final meal of the day last a little longer. Because of the depth of the ridges, the only way the cat can eat from it is to scoop out each piece individually. Leaves crumbs in the floor but my cat at least seems entertained by the process. 67122671-7160-4224-81E1-AFA1A5F48168.jpeg
     
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  11. destinyz12

    destinyz12 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Thanks everyone! @maggiedemi - what brand is the X shaped kibble?
     
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  12. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

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    The one I use is not grain-free. Nobody here would probably feed it. I'll see if I can find an X shaped grain-free one for you and let you know. :)
     

  13. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    There's been some publicity about grain-free that said it is missing some critical ingredients that cause heart disease in dogs. So I'm wondering if it's not good for cats, too. What is the X-shape you are feeding now?
     

  14. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

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    Well I usually don't admit this, but as long as nobody's going to laugh at me, it's Cat Chow Complete in the blue bag. My cats do so well on it that I've switched back to it. They just don't do well on the fancy stuff. :)
     
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  15. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    Don't feel bad. Cat foods like that aren't as bad as many people say. I had a cat a long time ago that lived to a very old age on nothing but Meow Mix.

    I might try Cat Chow.
     
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  16. destinyz12

    destinyz12 Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    @DreamerRose I just did a little research on that grain free causing heart disease topic, and it appears to be talking about a specific type of heart disease in dogs, most common in large purebred breeds. And according to this article, it suggests it could actually be from taurine deficiency rather than grain-free:

    A broken heart: Risk of heart disease in boutique or grain-free diets and exotic ingredients

    So far there doesn't seem to be any info on whether it would affect cats, but cat foods have taurine in them while a lot of dog foods don't.
     
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  17. DreamerRose

    DreamerRose TCS Member Top Cat

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    Yes, it was the taurine deficiency that caused the heart disease. My post wasn't worded very well and it could sound like it was the grain-free that caused the disease. Good to know it's in cat food.
     
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  18. maggiedemi

    maggiedemi TCS Member Top Cat

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    I might be convinced to switch to a "healthier" dry food, who knows. If I can find something that they will eat and that Demi doesn't puke up. It would be easier if they sold samples, there is so much waste trying things.
     

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