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My Little Butterball Petunia is a Vacuum, HELP!

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can get my precious little girl to stop eating so fast? She will be good and wait until both her and Barkley have their food in the bowls but as soon as he has one mouthful in she is almost completely finished with hers. My mom calls her a Hoover Vacuum because she seems to "suck it up" real fast.

On some occasions she will vomit the food (undigested) right back up and Ive spoken to the vet about this. He suggested that I feed her less which I tried but this did not stop the vomiting and at times she would proceed to bully Barkley and then eat the rest of his food. So much so that now he is becoming afraid to eat, thinking she might attack him and take his food. He never fights back and just simply bows his head and walks away.

I really need some help here! Petunia is already a little overweight which was the primary reason the vet suggested cutting back on the portion I give her but Im afraid Barkley is not getting his proper nutrition because she continues to take his food. She gets plenty of exercise between toys and chasing Barkley around the house.
post #2 of 11
Raise the dish a bit so it's on a telephone directory or something of similar height, this can help the food stay down. Also put a large marble or rock in the food dish, something that's too big for them to get in their mouths, but so they have to pick around it to get the food. If you use a rock from outside boil it in water first for 10 minutes to sterilise it!

If she eats dry you may want to see if there's a good quality one with larger biscuits as this will also help slow her down if she has to break them up before swallowing
post #3 of 11
I had the same problem with my two. Alice doesn't eat so fast that she gets sick though, I think it's more that Patches likes to take his time and eats a lot slower. I know I shouldn't be encouraging getting on counters but Patches will jump up on the counters and Alice won't. She used to but I think maybe she just got too lazy. I started giving Patches his food on the counter. Alice will finish, sit there and look at him then at me and she gives up and leaves. Patches can take his time and finish his food.
post #4 of 11
I would separate them in 2 different rooms for awhile and make sure she doesn't have access to Barkley till he's finished eating.

Then give her a small amount at a time, wait 5 mins, feed her another small amount.

Are you talking about canned food that she eats so fast?
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I would separate them in 2 different rooms for awhile and make sure she doesn't have access to Barkley till he's finished eating.

Then give her a small amount at a time, wait 5 mins, feed her another small amount.

Are you talking about canned food that she eats so fast?
This is dry food that Im talking about. When they eat wet food on occasion she just makes a mess by pushing most of it out of her bowl and eating it off the floor. I dont know what to do with my two sometimes
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epona View Post
Raise the dish a bit so it's on a telephone directory or something of similar height, this can help the food stay down. Also put a large marble or rock in the food dish, something that's too big for them to get in their mouths, but so they have to pick around it to get the food. If you use a rock from outside boil it in water first for 10 minutes to sterilise it!

If she eats dry you may want to see if there's a good quality one with larger biscuits as this will also help slow her down if she has to break them up before swallowing
Ive never heard of raising the dish to help with digesting the food. I will have to try that. Right now I currently have them both eating Purina Indoor Cat Food Formula and the bits are rather small where she can get a lot more in her mouth at one time as opposed to some of the other brands. I cant think of another brand that might work better. Any suggestions there?
post #7 of 11
My vet suggested that for dry food, to get kitty to slow down, you might try spreading it out over a large flat dish or tray so they have to work a bit harder to eat it (similar idea to putting the marble in with it). We were thinking we might have to do this with Eliza, but between getting 5 teeth pulled and adjusting to two young kitties in the house, her eating has slowedd and she's lost weight.
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Here's an update. I tried the larger/longer dish but this girl is too intelligent for me, she went to one end of the dish, pushed it all to one side and then woofed it down like her usual vacuum self

I tried placing her food dish in another room away from Barkley as was also suggested and that worked for the most part, although I think Barkley was sad that his eating buddy was not present. He kept going around the corner to see about her whereabouts But she did seem to eat slower once I moved her to another room. Now Im wondering if she engages in an eating contest with him just to see who can eat faster
post #9 of 11
I have the same problem with all but one of my cats, and truth be told, I have not done anything about it yet and I feel very guilty.

I did go to an animal welfare conference where this issue came up. Here was the outcome:

I have been told to put the dry food in something like an empty yogurt container and punch holes in it and let the kitties roll it around and get the food out in little bits. I've been told it keeps them amused and active and they can't chow their food so bad that way either.

I was also told to try hiding it in various places in little bits for them to find.

Also it was suggested to me to try one of those machines where the cat is rewarded with a small amount of crunchies after pushing a lever.

Of the three, the first one sounds like a great way for food-obsessed or bored (or both) cats to pass the time and not eat so much they hurl it LOL.
post #10 of 11
I was watching "its me or the dog" on animal planet and I would assume this would work for cats too:

The dog ate super fast, and then vommitted it up because he ate so fast, so he was never really getting the right amount of nutrients. What the trainer did was feed a little bit at a time by holding a bowl of his food, and placing very small portions in the bowl he ate out of. When he ate the small amount she would put more in his bowl. This forced him to eat slower and digest his food better.


I would think it would work if you always feed your cat at the same time, so they are waiting for dinner, but I've never had a dog so I don't know for sure how they eat lol.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for the advice and suggestions. So far the separate eating quarters have slowed her up, this was why I was thinking she was engaging in an eating contest with Barkley. Now that they are in different rooms she seems to be taking a little longer to enjoy her meal. I might also try what you suggested Brittany.
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