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Tip of the Day
As a continuation of our National Cat Health Month tips, we have a bit more (more like a lot more) to say on food and weight management for those kitties in your life. We've already discussed selecting a proper diet for weight management, as well as initiating activity and playtime to aid in any needed weight loss. Today, to add on to that, we're going to give a couple of tips that could potentially help keep certain feline food fiends healthy and fit.
The following tips will most relate to those cats who scarf down their food. Eating fast can, to put it simply, lead a cat to immediately desiring more food, even after just eating, and can thereby lead to weight gain if they indeed attain that second or even third serving. Another negative side effect of rapid eating is that a cat can also regurgitate or vomit food that they gobbled up too quickly, and excess vomiting is of course less than ideal. To help reduce these issues related to rapid eating, there are a couple of tricks you could try.
To begin, you could of course try one of those famous treat-dispensing toys. Making your cat work for their food in this way can help them to eat slower, as they will not be able to scarf down a serving so quickly. It will also prompt activity on their part, which will keep their little body moving and burning extra calories even while eating.
Another trick to help slow down those quick eaters is to simply use a plate rather than a bowl. Food served on a plate is not as easily scarfed, since they will not have the sides of a bowl to help keep the food in place and easily inhaled into their mouth. Another similar method would simply involve feeding your cat their food directly on the floor, from which they will again have to be careful and diligent about picking up and eating the morsels. In this same line of thought, you could try putting something such as a ping pong ball or golf ball in your cat's bowl or plate with their food. The kitty will then have to eat around the ball, and that will thereby help slow their eating. There are also bowls on the market that serve this same purpose, such as bowls that have partitions around which a cat has to more carefully eat their food.
The above are all just some simple tricks that could potentially help slow a cat's eating. Helping a food-focused cat eat in a slower, more controlled way can help them realize that they are full after eating, so that they can perhaps refrain from immediately begging for more food after inhaling their meal. Of course, that being said, do be aware and mindful of your cat's response to these methods. If they are unable to figure out how to reach their meal in a food dispenser, or if they seem unable or unwilling to eat from a certain bowl or plate, then reassess the methods you could use to slow their eating, or discuss other options with a veterinarian.