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Cats in the wild feed on small prey such as rodents, birds, or even lizards. As they are small animals, they must hunt and eat several times throughout the day. At home, although we can also offer them rationed food in small portions, it is very common that we feed them with feed on demand, that is, leaving them free access to it 24 hours a day. Even so, it is not strange that we find cats that eat without chewing, eagerly, and the result is vomiting.
Next, in AnimalWised we explain why does your cat eat without chewing and how can you feed it to avoid binge eating.You may also be interested in: My cat eats little - Causes and what to do Index
- Why does my cat gobble?
- How to teach a cat to chew?
- When to go to the vet if my cat does not chew the feed?
Why does my cat gobble?
As we move forward, in many homes cats always have feed in their feeder. In others, on the other hand, the food is distributed in several servings. In both cases we can find cats that eagerly throw themselves at food and swallow it without chewing. In this custom, some factors such as the presence of other cats at home or a state of stress, however, there are different causes:
Changes in your routine
It must always be borne in mind that cats are animals of habit, very sensitive to any change in their routine. This includes major modifications, such as a move or the arrival of a new member of the household. All this produces stress, anxiety and nervousness in the animal.
They can also be stressed by small modifications, such as moving their feeder around, or even by events that are completely imperceptible to us, for example, the smell of a new air freshener.
Do not separate the spaces
Also, cats they need to maintain delimited spaces. Thus, they require a space to rest, another to play, a third to eat and at least another for the sandbox. These different areas have to be well separated. The food cannot be near the litter tray, of course, but many cats do not like that it is too close to the drinker. Therefore, although there are factors that can influence the cat's way of eating that is difficult for us to control, such as stress, taking care of the arrangement of the home and routines, they are points on which we can act..
When a cat eats eagerly and too fast even though there has not been, or at least we do not perceive, any change in the home, we must investigate further. You may be subjected to a stressful situation that makes it eat without chewing to do it as quickly as possible. If we do not look at it, we may not notice that it gobbles, but we sure do detect a detail, and that is the cat vomits the feed without chewing shortly after filling his plate. That is, the food will vomit as it has been eaten a few minutes after it has been swallowed. He will not appear to show any other signs of illness. This way of eating is more common in cats under stress, although some in that situation will directly reject the food. These cats, in addition to not chewing, can spend a good part of the day in hiding, interact little with us and with the environment, react aggressively, mark with urine, do not play, do not groom themselves or do less, etc..
Coexistence between cats
It is also relatively common to detect this rush feeding in households with several cats. It may go unnoticed, but it is possible that some are preventing the rest from free access to food. This makes the affected cat have to take advantage of specific moments to eat. That is why he is forced to do it as quickly as possible, swallowing without chewing to finish sooner..
How to teach a cat to chew?
Therefore, to encourage our cat to chew, the first thing to do is to know what is motivating its behavior towards food. It is likely that our first idea is to offer you less amount of feed spread over several times a day, but it is not always the best option. For example, in the case of problems between several cats, rationing can be a stress factor in itself. Therefore, the recommendation is to leave the food always accessible, but with measures to avoid bingeing. For example, using a food of a larger size to make it difficult for the cat to swallow it. We can also use interactive feeders, especially useful in these cases.
Antivoracity feeder for cats
The so-called antivoracity or interactive feeders are those designed to make it difficult for the cat to access food. This way, not only can they not swallow their ration at once, but they must spend time getting their food. Therefore, they can also be considered as excellent elements of environmental enrichment. They are intended to provide stimulation and entertainment to cats to avoid problems that cause frustration and stress..
There are several models of these feeders. The simplest consist of a platform with a multi-hole silicone lid. The dry food is introduced through them and the cat must access it by putting its paws in order to remove the balls practically one at a time. In this way, it is impossible for him to gobble up the food. Other models are more sophisticated and are arranged vertically, with several ramps through which the cat must drop the feed to consume it on a lower tray. There are also feeders of this type that have a tray on which you can put wet food. In Catit you will find different models of antivoracity feeders for cats that will help you prevent your cat from eating without chewing.
Remember that it is recommended to offer the cat, as a minimum, a mixed diet, that is, one that includes dry feed and wet food, to guarantee correct hydration. In this sense, also available at Catit, there are antivoracity feeders for cats designed to be used with dry and wet food at the same time. For example, they have a trough with smaller holes to distribute dry feed and larger ones for wet food. Likewise, they have a feeder with a hole in the center to introduce the dry feed and get the cat to remove it with its paw and an outer circle to place the wet food. In any case, since cats are unfriendly to change, they always we will put the new feeder together with the old one while gradually getting used to the novelty. Never force it, as that would be a stressor, therefore counterproductive.
On the other hand, this type of feeders can usually be used at various levels of difficulty to adapt them to the needs of each cat. They are a good alternative for get a slow feed while the cat is having fun. They also avoid us having to be the ones who give them the balls one by one..
Finally, keep in mind that if the cat swallows due to stress, other factors in its routine must also be modified. An expert veterinarian in feline behavior or ethologist can give us the necessary guidelines according to our case.
When to go to the vet if my cat does not chew the feed?
Sometimes, a cat eating voraciously can be related to some diseases. Likewise, if they frequently vomit both food and white foam or any other substance, they are overweight, thin, diarrhea or any other symptoms or we realize that they are swallowing but really because our cat finds it difficult to chew, we must go to the vet. Mouth problems, digestive disorders, or endocrine diseases they can be behind eating without chewing and vomiting. Professional diagnosis and treatment is essential.