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Cat Health | PetsWeekly

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We have eight cats and one foster, so you know there’s bound to be a few who eat faster than others.

This can create loads of problems, including obesity and behavior problems, not to mention the occasional scuffle. In addition, there’s the dreaded “scarf and barf” condition that plagues so many of our pets. 

That’s why it’s important to stop problems before they start and that means incorporating a few unique solutions. Here’s what we use, and we hope you’ll find a few options you can use as well. Here are our top five ways to slow your cat's eating. 

NoBowl Feeding System

The No Bowl Feeding System has been ideal for our foster who spends more time by herself than the others. This cat is a total chow hound and wolfs her food, then cries and misbehaves until she gets more. That's resulted in weight gain, and a long frustrating struggle between us all. The No Bowl allows her to hunt for her meals. Simply place the food in each of the five feeders and hide throughout the house. When she decides she’s hungry, she hunts. It’s resolved the “food hound” problem and it’s virtually eliminated the boredom that’s caused behavior issues. 

The Wooly Snuffle Mat

The Wooly Snuffle Feeding Mat is another great find. This “snuffle mat” is ideal for slowing down our other cats who tend to eat their food too quickly. It also allows our slower eaters time to enjoy a leisurely meal without being harassed. The Wooly is a simple mat that’s made from upcycled textile products by a progressive women-owned company. We love how simple and effective this solution is for us! 

Automated Feeders

Thanks to technology, we can now schedule feedings for each individual cat by utilizing their existing microchip to open feeders when they’re ready to eat. The Surefeed  Surefeed Pet Feeder helps us do this.

For those who don’t have microchips (one), the feeders includes collars with specialized RFID chips in the tags. If you have problems with 1-3 cats eating too fast, this may be the solution for you. Learn more here. 

Feeding Puzzles

Cats are highly intelligent as you well know, yet we place them in a house, deny them access to their instinctual behavior, and expect them to be happy. That's why offering puzzle feeders are a great way to stimulate activity.

The Aikiou Stimulo is one of our favorites (especially when it comes to Keeping Pets Entertained on Snow and Rain Days). These help encourage regular hunting behavior in cats, without suffering through fatalities.

Best of all, you can make them at home from left over paper-towel or toilet paper cardboard holders. Just flip the edges closed and seal, then cut out little squares in the side. It's super simple and best of all, recyclable! 


Eliminate Whisker Stress

Whisker stress is far more common than you may think. This occurs when the cat's whiskers touch the side of a deep bowl and results in a stressed out cat during feeding time. Cats naturally want to be able to watch for predators while eating or drinking, since that's when they are at their most vulnerable in the wild. The solution is as simple as changing out the cat bowls - and Dr. Catsby's have made it very easy to do this! Learn more about Cats and Whisker Stress (yes it's a real thing).

I think we sometimes forget how intelligent animals are - not all the time, mind you, but occasionally we forget that animals are thinking, sentient beings that require a lot of stimulation to be happy, balanced pets.  

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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