How to slow my cat down when eating?

lizzieloo

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Allegra turned a year in November - she is naturally thin, not a foodie in any way. Cadbury turns a year this month, huge glutton, started getting tubby at 6 months. Until recently they free fed good quality kitten food (3 bowls around apt) and got wet food twice a day when I had foster kittens. All given wet food separately to avoid food competition. At 6 months she started speed eating and would always vomit wet food (regardless of brands) immediately and be disappointed when I wouldn't let her eat the vomit. Also occasionally vomits dry food - I can see her gulping the food down and know it's from that. Pre-6 months she ate a normal speed and never vomited ever.

I wanted to meal feed so to start I would give them food 2x a day (within a week had to up it to 3x cause Allegra is a little eater) and let them free feed for 30 ish minutes. Cadbury would still eat fast and occasionally vomit. So i got her a large puzzle feeder and brought out my catit that has 5 little tubes to scoop out of. She clearly struggled with this task so I left food in the two items for 2 full days so she could figure it out. She couldn't. Like at all. It was pathetic, she would rush over when she saw Allegra scoop food out and would try to steal it...causing allegra to growl. That concerned me so I went to bowls and dealt with some vomiting.

Nope can't do that. Yuck. So I read spreading it out can help and I put it on a paper plate. That helped slow Cadbury down but it slowed Allegra down and I worry she's not eating enough? And I don't want to have to monitor it so much - I want to eventually get them at a place where they eat there food within 15 minutes, not 45 as I often forget it and go to work. Also, as this week has progressed she is learning how to eat quicker on the plate! Smarter than I thought... I tried putting Allegra in another room with a normal bowl and give Cadbury the plate but Allegra gets so sad when separate and cried to come out and then went to the plate to eat lol

I bought Cadbury a wider flat cat bowl so it will spread it a bit better - she's slower than a bowl but faster than a plate. hmmm

I'm also switching their food over the last 2 week...we are up to 40% new food but it's consistently giving Allegra diarrhea so I'm going to go back to kitten food and try a new brand once stools are normal. Eventually I will measure their food portions but thought I should wait until they are firmly on their new food, is that necessary? It seemed logical to me...

Any other suggestions? (I'll check tomorrow after work)
 

maggie101

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I couldn't follow everything but I do not freed my 3 cats in my apt. They are on a timed schedule 7am,3pm,9pm,5 am only canned. My cat Peaches eats fast but as she got older she had to eat small meals 4x a day. They eat from food timers for wet food at 5am. Maggie stays with me in my bedroom. Peaches and Coco have their own spot. Being without food for so long my cats are starving then eat too fast
 

suzeanna

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Spreading out their food intake over more meals might help since they won't be as starving and less likely to eat so quickly at each meal, and there will also be less food in their stomach to potentially cause them to throw up if they inhale too much air while gulping it down.
 
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lizzieloo

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Cadbury's vomiting has nothing to do with starving. Until apx a month ago she had access to food 24/7 so never let herself starve. And when given almost any amount of wet food (now or then) she eats so fast she throws it up. I can give her 1/3 of a teaspoon and that's it. If I meal fed her wet food she would need to be fed every 30min or so? Not feasable of course. She also would throw up dry food when she was free feeding.

I work full time so the most I can do for meals is 3x a day. Once as soon as I get up, once when I get home and once just before I go to bed.
 

silent meowlook

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Hi. Switch them to canned food and feed twice a day. Don’t let them go over 18 hours without eating. Cat info.org is a great site for info.
 
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lizzieloo

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Hi. Switch them to canned food and feed twice a day. Don’t let them go over 18 hours without eating. Cat info.org is a great site for info.
I can't. As mentioned, Cadbury can only eat 1/3 of a teaspoon or will vomit it all up. And for most of the time that Cadbury would vomit she had access to food 24/7 and therefore wasn't going anywhere near 18 hours without eating
 
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