TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Cat scarfing food and then vomitting
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Cat scarfing food and then vomitting

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

I was wondering if you could help me...

Let's start out with the details. Per vet instructions, my kitties get 1c total of EVO Innova Adult dry cat food a day. This has been their diet for about a year and a half.

Our 5yo boy, Hobbes, has gotten into the habit of when fed, scarfing food like he's starved, overeating when doing so, and then vomiting it back up (due to overeating).

Our first attempt at handling this was to cut in half the amount we fed the two of them daily, and then feeding them twice a day instead of once (thinking that it was just too long between feedings, and that it would help him just have the amount gradually instead of all-at-once). He would still overeat and vomit.

We then tried giving him a little bit of food to start out with, letting him eat it (so that he had some food in his belly and would be calmer about the subject of being fed), and then giving them the rest, which worked at first, but he then went back to his old ways, would then overeat with the next amount given, and vomit.

Now, we're giving him small amounts of food over the entire day, about every 2hrs, totaling the 1c amount. Now it's become such an ordeal to feed them...and we're wondering how to break this cycle and perhaps just solve the original problem. Feeding them this way IS keeping him from engorging himself and vomiting as a result...but it's just so difficult...especially if we're going to be gone during the day for any reason. Then we come home to a starved cat, who then will engorge himself anyway, and vomit. We've considered buying an automatic feeder, but that just isn't in the budget right now at all.

Does anyone have any ideas? I know that it's not that he's got an allergy to the food, as he's been just fine with it for about two years now. Nothing has changed with behaviour, potty habits, weight, or anything else (by weight, I mean that he's not losing weight while eating huge quantities, thereby indicating a worm/pest problem). It's just that he's now asking for food all day long because he's getting it in small quantities throughout the day (he's normally the snacky kind of kitty...doesn't eat one big amount per day but normally has little snacks of the total throughout the day).

We just moved here to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada from Southern California (so, from a very warm climate, to a very cool/cold one) in mid-May, so is it that he needs more food everyday due to the change in climate? We were living in a very small house, so we needed to give them very little food daily, to try to keep their weight down (vet's orders). Even with that, they gained...and we now live in plenty of space, so he's getting more exercise. Could the two combined (change in climate and exercise) be making it so he's hungrier? Would giving him more food keep him from losing the weight he needs to lose? (They're both, I would estimate, about 2lbs overweight.) This started once we moved here...so I'm wondering if that's the problem (that he needs more food per day).

This has GOT to get solved...help??
post #2 of 19
It does indeed sound like he may be hungrier due to the increased exorcise but not food intake.

Has he ever been abused or denied food? I find that most cats (or dogs) who scarf their food do it in fear that they will never ever ever be able to eat again except for right now!

I suggest trying a different type of food. Perhaps wet cat food, the paste type that can be mashed down so that it forces him to take longer to eat it.

Try doing something that makes him work for his food. I was just looking at ideas on how to get your cat to slow down eating, and someone said to use a larger bowl and to put golf balls on top of his cat food so that he has to work around the balls to get to his food, thus effectively making him eat slower.

Also, do your cat's eat at the same time in the same room? It could be competitive eating, in that he is trying to eat as fast as he can so the other cat will not steal his nummy food.
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Those are all really smart ideas...thank you!!

I'm going to try the golf ball idea...it sounds like a real winner!! Mostly because the food he throws up is totally unchewed...looks as if he just swallows it whole (which may be part of the problem). I would try wet food, but in all their five years, and even with trying stubbornly for long periods of time, they'd literally rather starve than eat wet food. I've even tried mixing it with dry food to switch them gradually, and they just refuse to eat it. They won't even eat canned tuna or salmon (or even drink the juices). They're very unusual that way...but hence the reason why the vet said to give them this food.

About the abusive past...thankfully, has never happened with these guys. We've had our babies all but one month of their lives (long story...rescues from someone not taking proper care of them), so I know for a fact that it's never happened with them.

As far as competitive eating...I'm not sure. He and his sister have a very close bond, and I've seen him in the past step aside and let her eat first. But maybe with needing more food, comes competitiveness?

I'm going to try the golf ball idea and see how that affects things. Thank you so much!!

I think I'll also run by my husband the possibility of increasing their food intake amount (gradually, don't worry). I don't want them not getting enough, and he's sure acting like it!
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman View Post
Mostly because the food he throws up is totally unchewed...looks as if he just swallows it whole (which may be part of the problem).
Its actually quite normal for cats not to chew their food, they do not have teeth for grindng like we do, their teeth are designed to rip apart meat (sounds so horrible I know!)


Something I've found that really helped my kitties slow down with the eating was raising their dishes off the ground, like doggie bowls, so that they can't just hunker down and eat! this is what i mean

http://www.4-legged.com/images/P/Din...ised-bowls.jpg

I know an automatic feeder may be out of the question, maybe you could figure out a way to just put the bowls on phone books or something.

Best of luck, hope everything works out okay!
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hmm...I think we'll try that, too. Thank you!

You're right, he does hunker down to eat (kinda like loafs down, almost laying down). So, I can see how raising the dishes would help!

post #6 of 19
You could also try an autofeeder to keep up the numerous feedings without cramping your style. If you find the golf ball trick works, just put them in the dish of the autofeeder.
post #7 of 19
I like that golf ball idea (Ginger tends to scarf and vomit as well) but I can just picture sittting here and being bonked on the back of the head by a flung golf ball, and a cat wickedly laughing at me for having the nerve to do such a thing to her food!
post #8 of 19
I have a foster who was scarfing and vomiting - but it is the WET food that he scarfs. He was a stray so no idea how long he was out on his own. Another trick is to NOT feed on a flat plate or saucer. Use a dish or bowl with sides so he cannot use his lower jaw like a steamshovel and just plow the food into his mouth. That and I have been tricking up his dry with a litle juicy wet - gravy style and that seems to do the trick. it's been several days and so far - fingers crossed - no puke.
post #9 of 19
Thread Starter 
Ok, we put golf balls in (Em had some that she'd collected because we used to live by a golf course). There's just enough room around them to get one piece of food, but he'll have to move them around to get more (which is what you meant, right?). We were laughing...he approached the food all slinked out..."what the heck is in my FOOD?!" Too cute.

Oh, and I was right that he's not being a competitive eater...we just put food in the dish, and he laid down and waited until Sunny'd had her fill before approaching the dish.

We've also decided to increase their daily amount to 1 1/2 c to start out with and see if that helps with his acting starved.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by maherwoman View Post
Ok, we put golf balls in (Em had some that she'd collected because we used to live by a golf course). There's just enough room around them to get one piece of food, but he'll have to move them around to get more (which is what you meant, right?). We were laughing...he approached the food all slinked out..."what the heck is in my FOOD?!" Too cute.

Oh, and I was right that he's not being a competitive eater...we just put food in the dish, and he laid down and waited until Sunny'd had her fill before approaching the dish.

We've also decided to increase their daily amount to 1 1/2 c to start out with and see if that helps with his acting starved.
I would take those out and go buy unused golf balls, never know what bacteria might be living in there!
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Oh, no worries...we cleaned them up. Believe me, no bacteria living there now! LOL!
post #12 of 19
Here is the bowl for that problem.... It would also be good to place it a little higher, in platform or something -
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...1&pcatid=20531
post #13 of 19
The fact that he'd have to move them around to eat his food is exactly what I meant. It will hopefully help him slow down because he's got a puzzle to do now.

Also, the reason your cat is throwing up undigested food is because as he is hunkered down and scarfing, the food (instead of making it to his stomach) balls up in his throat. Throwing up shortly after because the mass is now too big to make it all the way down.

Which is why, elevating his dish like sillyitiliangrl said is another great way to help. It may not solve the problem, but having to stretch out to eat his food helps to straighten out his body and level it downwards so there is a better chance that the food will make it to his stomach. Hey, gravity works right?

If your cat ever throws up digested food, this is a sign that something is probably very wrong.
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by carolinalima View Post
Here is the bowl for that problem.... It would also be good to place it a little higher, in platform or something -
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...1&pcatid=20531
Interesting bowl...I'll propose the idea to my husband and see what he thinks. Given that it's only about $10, we could probably afford it. Just depends on shipping.

Thank you!
post #15 of 19
I'm glad mine is not the only one that does this. Early on I was told this kitten could not be free feed or he would be very over weight and sickly. So he gets his big natural balance can cut into quarters four times a day. Even quarters he would eat to fast and vomit it up over the carpet. So now I take that quarter and put some on a spoon about 2mins apart and put it on his dish about 6-8 times. I feel like I am torturing him but it works so far and given I am told he is 18oz overweight now at 14 months, he could have it alot worse in life.
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to update you guys on how our boy is doing...

The golf balls worked like a charm!! He's eating gradually through the day again, and we've upped the amount he's fed, and once again only have to fill the bowl once a day!! WOOHOO!! I'm so happy that worked so well!

Oh, and we also put the bowl up on a stepstool that my daughter used to use (she's tall enough to not need it anymore)...so both combined handled things! It's so cute hearing them move the golf balls around, and turn around to see that they've pushed some food out of the bowl onto the floor. Hey, I don't mind...they eat it, and they're having to do more to eat, and can no longer hunker down to eat, or just wolf big mouthfuls down anymore...so Mama's SO HAPPY!!

Thanks so much, guys!!!
post #17 of 19
Great that worked for you!!!!
post #18 of 19
Yay!!! I'm happy to hear that they (and you!) are doing alright now!
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks, guys!

I get so worked up when there's something wrong with my babies. And there's something about Hobbes, specifically, that I get so upset when he's not well. He had an issue in the past with cystitis, and I was convinced I would lose him...I've never seen him so upset and weak and scared. He let me hold him and kiss him all I wanted, wrap him up in a blanket in my arms...he was that scared and weak. This boy HATES when I kiss him, and tolerates me holding him now and then just to reconnect. He seems to know it's important to me to hold him now and then...and I think he remembers how comforting it was when he was sick.

He's such a wonderful kitty...I really lucked out on these two sweethearts!

I'm so glad this resolved...thank you SO MUCH!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cat Behavior
TheCatSite.com › Forums › Our Feline Companions › Cat Behavior › Cat scarfing food and then vomitting