How can I stop my cat from eating too fast and throwing up?
My cat loves his canned food that he gets every morning, and he gets right into it the moment I put the dish down. Normally, this is no problem - he eats, I get ready for my day, everything is wonderful.
Except for the days when he wolfs it down incredibly quickly - usually he paces himself, but some days he just gulps it down, and I can't find a reason for it, it is independent of flavour or anything. If he eats it too fast, then he throws up, and I end up feeling bad because then I know he is missing out on needed moisture and nutrients and the like, not to mention the mess.
Is there any way I can keep this from happening?
Split his daily portions. Cats are designed to have smaller, frequent meals.
Try giving him a quarter of the food amount you normally serve when you get up. Give him the next quarter before you leave (if you leave for work); otherwise, split the meals up into three or four portions spaced throughout the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner.
The RSPCA recommends the following:
Adult cats tend to prefer to eat several smaller meals throughout the day/night. They should ideally be offered food at least 3-4 times per day (eating smaller frequent meals has been associated with greater urinary tract health).
I agree with breaking the food up into smaller meals, but feeding your cat as soon as you wake up in the morning, in my experience, tends to lead to a cycle of the cat waking you up earlier each morning because it knows when it wakes you up it will get fed. I'd be careful to make sure that first meal isn't positive reinforcement for waking you up early. :)
@Wooble very true!! I thought the OP said she fed the cat as soon as she got up.. hm, I might have to review my answer.. I'll wait for her feedback
Well, it's a separate issue from the eating too quickly; probably not worth editing the answer over. If the OP's cat already eats first thing in the morning without it leading to being a nuisance when OP is trying to sleep, all the better.
@Wooble yes it's a good question!! You should ask it http://meta.pets.stackexchange.com/questions/128/what-are-the-classic-benchmark-questions-for-our-site :)