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My kitty's eating disorder

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My cat, Gizmo, has what the vet has called "A little touch of bulemia." She overeats and immediately regurgitates her food back up -- more often than not. She is only 6 pounds, so I'm not sure if she just doesn't know how much she can eat and just gets excited (she doesn't even chew -- the pieces come back up whole), or if she does it for attention. I wonder this, because she seems to only do it when I'm home, and lately, it's been at night, where I have to get out of bed to clean it up. And, even more recently, she's started to do it on the bed. She used to just throw up directly next to her food bowl, onto the hardwood floor, and now, she's spitting the nasty orange stuff onto my comforter. After washing it three times in the last week, I'm fed up. All of my stuff (carpets, blankets...) is getting ruined, not to mention all of the food she is literally wasting! Has anyone had a similar situation? The vet said it is quite common for cats to overeat, and said that I need to make it more difficult for her to eat her food so that she has to go slower. I tried putting less food in her bowl, but that only made it worse, because she felt it was her personal mission to clean out her bowl every time there was food in it so that I'd have to re-fill it again, and during this mission, she would have some more pukey-time. I've also tried to distract her when I notice her wolfing down her food, which seems to work, but is not an option when I'm asleep in bed. Does anyone have any home remedies for getting their cat to eat slower? A vet once told me to try and make a device out of a toilet paper roll so she could only get one piece at a time and really work at it, but I can't remember how she said to make it work... Thanks so much!
post #2 of 11
Ahh, the dreaded scarf and barf. My cat used to do that and putting less food in the bowl helped for him. I really don't have any advice but I hope you find something that works.
post #3 of 11
What kind of food is it?? I only ask because I've seen this in another cat before. Although not only would she scarf it all down and usually puke, but it also gave her very... lets just say.. not-so-solid bowel movements. I want to say she was about 9 or 10 weeks old when this happened.

Anyway, back to the food thing, she was fairly young and at the time, she was the only cat I was looking after, so I was feeding her canned food a few times a day (in the suggested amounts). But yeah, she would scarf it down like it was last meal.

So, I switched to one of real chewy and moist solid foods.. i can't remember which one, but its one of the solid foods that comes in the bag like normal, except its VERY soft. That didn't help either because she still horfed it all down.

I finally went and bought just regular, plain ol' hard generic cat food, and it was so hard she couldn't eat it as fast. After going through one of the 30lb. bags of that stuff, I put her back on the chewy kind and she kept up with the slower paced eating.. Although if your cat is ralphing up whole bits of food, then switching to a harder food might not do the trick. Really isn't much difference if you aren't chewing it i guess... heh.
post #4 of 11
My mom's cat Maunzi does that. Mom has had to resort to feeding her up to ten times a day, tiny bits at a time. Now that Mom's working outside the home again, my little sister has taken over feeding. She still throws up sometimes, but it's not nearly as bad as before.
post #5 of 11
I have had a few fosters that have done this, some have responded well to having their meals split into two portions, with a 10 min break in between, others have responded better to having their food raised
post #6 of 11
Depending on what you're feeding her (just one type of food?) she may be allergic to something either in that one type, or to something in that brand's formulation of all their foods. I would at least consider the possibility, though it does seem behavioural.
post #7 of 11
You could try elevating the dish and/or putting something inside the dish so Gizmo has to work to eat around the object. It would work like this
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the feedback! As far as food, I feed her Purina Indoor Formula, and she still manages to swallow it all whole. My vet suspected a food allergy, too, so we played around with her diet a bit and tried organic food and some sort of hypo-allergenic food from the vet, but it didn't make much of a difference, so we concluded that it's territorial. I will definitely try one of those special bowls, because that seems like the most logical solution -- thanks catcaregiver!
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
haha, sorry, I said "territorial" (which may be some of it, what with her roommate), but I meant "behavioral". Thanks again!
post #10 of 11
The posted suggestions work very well as I have a little glutton myself

I split his meals into 2, and put a foam golf ball in his dry food dish to eat around

instead of barfing up a meal every other day we are down to once every couple weeks when I still accidentally put too much down at once!! lol

Never found the elevation really helped....
post #11 of 11
You mentioned "orange stuff" she is throwing up, is it runny, foam like? Or is it simply the food right back out, looks the same? If there is any liquid, especially foam, it could be acidic irritation and very well be difficult for her to digest hard food. The fact that she doesn't keep food down, doesn't help her ever feeling full, so she gorges. I have always been a firm believer in Purina, 30 years of healthy kitties, but maybe she needs a soft food, canned, something like Nutro Max. You definitely can't leave full bowls of food for her. It does sound like a eating relation to attention, some cats obsess eating or begging for food to get attention from their feeders, Maia is guilty of this, so she has regulated, small feedings through out the day, or she would probably be 20 lbs.!
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