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Cat eats too fast and vomits. What do?

DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
My cat eats his meals as though he's a vacuum cleaner, and eats them fast enough to vomit several times a week.

I used to spread his food out on a chair, but my dog would jump on the chair and eat it.

Now, his dish is on the kitchen table. It seems he only eats too fast when the dogs are around, watching him eat.

I don't want to get another kid/dog gate thing.

Is there something else I can do?

I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.

Posts

  • SixSix Fat Apollo Registered User regular
    He's eating too fast because he's afraid the dog will take his food. Let him eat without the dog around.

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  • DidgeridooDidgeridoo Registered User regular
    Is he eating dry food? One option is to switch him to wet. Cats sometimes eat too much (especially if they're afraid something is going to take the food away from them), and the problem with dry food is that it will expand in their stomachs after eating. If they've eaten too much, this will cause the to vomit. That's less of an issue with wet food.

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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Yes, it's dry food.

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Yea it is most definitely a rushing to eat thing. My one cat does it also since he is a private eater

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  • JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular

    I used to spread his food out on a chair, but my dog would jump on the chair and eat it.

    Now, his dish is on the kitchen table. It seems he only eats too fast when the dogs are around, watching him eat.

    The bolded parts are pretty much all you need to read.

    The cat is afraid of your dogs inhaling his dinner for the umpteenth time, so he feels his only resort is to inhale the food and run off to puke it up later. His thought process is more than likely "it's dinner time" > "the dogs are around" > "dogs have stolen my dinner in the past" > "inhale food just to make sure I get a bite to eat before the dog muscles me out of my dinner" > "get sick and vomit it up later but at least I got food".


    You might have a number of options here:


    1) Feed your cat in another room that the dogs have zero access to so they can't steal the food.

    2) Feed your dogs more, make sure they're getting enough to eat- if they're stealing the cat's food, either they need bigger portions or they're overweight, which requires a diet and exercise.

    3) Put the dogs somewhere where they won't see the cat getting fed, or put the cat somewhere to where it can't see the dogs while it eats so that sense of urgency can be dealt with.

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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    The dogs get plenty to eat, but they're dogs. The vet says they're both at a healthy weight. They're always trying to eat stuff.

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
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  • Local H JayLocal H Jay Registered User regular
    Yeah, sometimes dogs just want all the food. We had to feed one dog separately back in the day because he would try to steal the other's food, and started fights that way.

    As for the cat, you can do a few things:

    1) buy a muffin tin with small holes, and put a little in each one. This way they have to move around to eat each bit.

    2)put a golf ball or something similar in there, they'll have to eat around it

    3) buy an auto-feeder that slowly doles out the food

    4) you can try feeding the cat less, but more frequently.

    5)they also make toys where the cat has to move a ball around to get the food to fall out. This works pretty well in my experience.

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  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Feed the cat in a bathroom. Close the door, give him water and food and let him have some peace without the dogs.
    He'll meow and scratch when he's done.

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  • Spectral SwallowSpectral Swallow Registered User regular
    We had the same issue with our cat. Eventually we got one of those autofeeders and just stuck it on the cabinet (where the dog couldn't get access). Now the cat has to get on the cabinet for it's food, but it knows there will always be food there so no more hurling.

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    On putting a ball in the bowl: They also make special bowls with odd shapes for the same purpose, and you can use some cookware like novelty cake pans or shallow muffin trays to the same effect. They work great with drama queen cats that are in no danger of losing food but act like seeing the bottom of the bowl means they're wasting away, I use the muffin tray myself.

    In this case, though, physically slowing the cat down will give the dog more opportunity to steal what's left. The opportunity has to be addressed first. If the cat's still freaking out because they don't actually know the dog can't bother them now, then you can try methods like that.

    Hevach on
  • SanderJKSanderJK Crocodylus Pontifex Sinterklasicus Madrid, 3000 ADRegistered User regular
    Hevach wrote: »
    On putting a ball in the bowl: They also make special bowls with odd shapes for the same purpose, and you can use some cookware like novelty cake pans or shallow muffin trays to the same effect. They work great with drama queen cats that are in no danger of losing food but act like seeing the bottom of the bowl means they're wasting away, I use the muffin tray myself.

    In this case, though, physically slowing the cat down will give the dog more opportunity to steal what's left. The opportunity has to be addressed first. If the cat's still freaking out because they don't actually know the dog can't bother them now, then you can try methods like that.

    The ball in the bowl (Or for my grandfathers big dog, a large smooth rock because balls existed only to be destroyed) was an excellent way to make him work enough for the food and slow him down.

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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    I tried giving him several small scoops. It worked well for two meals.

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Yeah, he puked after this morning's two course meal.

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu ___________PIGEON _________San Diego, CA Registered User regular
    Was the dog around?

    Enc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    Also have you had him taken to the vet to make sure it isn't something serious?

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  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Yeah, we took him to the vet when he started doing this. He's healthy.

    The dogs weren't around.

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited April 2016
    have you tried changing the type of food at all?

    changing brand, changing to wet food

    So It Goes on
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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    edited April 2016
    Puzzle feeders are designed precisely to get cats to eat slower. The bonus being that the dog can't get his paws into that feeder to steal anything. Note: It will take some training, the cat won't want to use it at first. I'm training my cats by putting part of their food in the regular bowls, and part in the puzzle feeder, along with a few of their favorite treats in the puzzle feeder, and it seems to be working.

    Cambiata on
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    Yeah, he puked after this morning's two course meal.

    ...So he vomited after eating smaller portions at a slower pace?


    That might mean that the problem isn't related to how fast he's eating. Is it possible to get a second opinion from another vet? It seems like a healthy cat shouldn't be tossing their lunch all of the time.

    With Love and Courage
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Oh no
    He inhaled his breakfast again
    He just inhaled a smaller quantity

    And then vomited a smaller quantity

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
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  • MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    SCIENCE!

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  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    My buddy built a few carpeted shelves for his cat to climb up, positioned near their cat tree, and he has the feeder up there. The dogs can't reach it, ever, so it'll help your cat calm down about it. The dogs being out of the room might not help if your cat still feel likes there's a threat.

    As for puzzle feeders, I actually have a little gatotraid bottle that I cut a hole out of for him to knock around:
    http://revsshaffer.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/img_3268.jpg

    Our cat gets wet food for his actual meals, and then has this to knock around. We have a very small hole in ours (we use blue wilderness kibble, which is uniform in shape) and it only lets out one kernel at a time, basically he has to work a lot for a snack. With dogs around, I'm afraid they'd just take it and chew on it, so maybe not the best option.

    honestly, if it's anxiety induced moving his bowl is probably your best bet.

    Cambiata
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    this isn't going to magically fix itself overnight. he needs to understnd that he doesn't need to rush before he stops binging

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  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    Have you tried getting him something like this?

    Nq6VFr5.jpg

    I use it to keep my cats entertained. Once the bowl is in a place the dog can't reach it, if your cat is physically unable to wolf down the food, that might fix the problem.

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    That's another example of a puzzle feeder. I tried something similar to your gatorade bottle, Iruka, but the cats just don't get it as far as dispensing food, which is why I got the bowl with the "maze" in it, they figured that one out much better.

    Placing the food bowl up high is a good idea too, though, since the dogs are causing anxiety about food.

  • IrukaIruka Registered User, Moderator mod
    My cat is very large, and very food oriented. he'll beg for it all day, but would over eat if we just put down a free feeder. Because of his tenacious nature, he's figured out how to make it work. I actually had to stuff it with paper to slow him down still, the jerk.

    I'm afraid that with dogs around though, especially large ones, they would just topple over a feeder like that. one of the reason that we didn't get one of those is Spectre would just knock the shit over. They make ones with little rubber spokes, and we didn't want to teach him that bowl tipping is cool.

    If shelving isnt an option, you might consider the rubbermade with a hole in it that people sometimes use for litterboxes but stick his food down in there.

  • IncenjucarIncenjucar QA Tester -> Game Producer Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    My current landlord adds water to the dry food to slow down the cats eating it and to force them to get some water (they both have different hydration issues). They aren't happy about it, but it works. If they wait too long they get pre-expanded food, so that helps too.

  • Inquisitor77Inquisitor77 2 x Penny Arcade Fight Club Champion A fixed point in space and timeRegistered User regular
    If stuff like muffin/ice cube trays doesn't work, and you don't have the time to feed him multiple (6+) small meals throughout the day, then I would recommend just getting an automatic pet feeder that does it for you, and placing it somewhere that the dogs can't even see or watch (such as high on a shelf in a room they can't normally access).

    Also, this might be out-of-left-field, but you could also put the feeder in a giant box while you're at it. Cats love boxes because it makes them feel protected, and this might be a case where it will help alleviate some of the stress your cat associates with eating and having to protect his food from your dog.

    And I know you didn't ask about this, but longer term you might want to consider training your dog so that he doesn't eat stuff just because it's in reach. At some point he might eat something he shouldn't, so it's a good idea in general. He should not feel like it's OK to just take the food, and you shouldn't have to physically restrain him from doing so. Ideally, he should be avoiding the food and looking at you for permission to eat it in the first place.

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  • Magic PinkMagic Pink Tur-Boner-Fed Registered User regular
    mts wrote: »
    this isn't going to magically fix itself overnight. he needs to understnd that he doesn't need to rush before he stops binging

    This. You need to give him time to realize it's ok. This can take a long LONG time.

    Also, put a thing in the bowl, I just used a cat toy ball with my cat and it worked wonders.

    JaysonFourtapeslinger
  • DouglasDangerDouglasDanger PennsylvaniaRegistered User regular
    Things were mostly fine for three years, we used to spread his food across a chair, but the dogs caught on. The dogs are little, the same size as the cat.

    I play games on ps3 and ps4. My PSN is DouglasDanger.
  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    Things were mostly fine for three years, we used to spread his food across a chair, but the dogs caught on. The dogs are little, the same size as the cat.

    welcome to pet psychology where things break in the span of minutes that can take years to fix

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  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    Incenjucar wrote: »
    My current landlord adds water to the dry food to slow down the cats eating it and to force them to get some water (they both have different hydration issues). They aren't happy about it, but it works. If they wait too long they get pre-expanded food, so that helps too.

    One thing about this - dry pet food has a significant bacterial load. If you add water to the food, it needs to be promptly eaten or thrown away.

    I'm seconding everyone who says that the cat needs to eat somewhere where he can't see or hear the dogs and the dogs can't bother him. You need to be very consistent about this, because once a "safe" place is violated (for example, if you put the cat into a closed room to eat, but a dog scratches on the door while he's in there), all progress will be lost AND, in this example, the cat will have learned that a closed door is no guarantee of safety.

    Don't Shoot the Dog is a book I recommend to absolutely anyone who's dealing with problematic behavior in animals (or people, for that matter). Although it claims to be a book on training - and it is - it's actually much more than that: a clear, entertaining look into why we act the way we do, and how compassionate trainers can use that information to make life as pleasant as possible for everyone involved. It includes a thorough explanation of the theory involved, as well as a ton of practical examples drawn from the author's experience in training cats, dogs, horses, dolphins, human clients, nephews, roommates, and herself.

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  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    so ive been dealing with this problem for years too, with the hook that my cat both

    A) Refuses to eat wet food of any kind

    B) Has a weight problem (not bad, only 12 pounds) so I have to ration her meals, so she eats ravenously when the food is dispensed

    what do???

  • So It GoesSo It Goes We keep moving...Registered User, Moderator mod
    Jasconius wrote: »
    so ive been dealing with this problem for years too, with the hook that my cat both

    A) Refuses to eat wet food of any kind

    B) Has a weight problem (not bad, only 12 pounds) so I have to ration her meals, so she eats ravenously when the food is dispensed

    what do???

    Have you tried puzzle feeders?

    Cambiata
  • Bliss 101Bliss 101 Registered User regular
    I've heard it can help to place his food in some kind of an elevated eating area where the cat can lord over his surroundings out of the dogs' reach. Unfortunately cats are creatures of habit, so unlearning this behavior might take a long time, so some kind of a puzzle feeder might also be in order. I'd still recommend keeping the feeder out of the dogs' reach, because the cat might get pretty stressed trying to operate a puzzle feeder while fearing that the dogs might suddenly steal it all from him.

    That said, I think questions like these are very difficult to answer without seeing pictures of the cat (and dogs) in question.

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    I'm still training my cats on the puzzle feeders, and I actually had to try several designs before I found one they would actually eat from. That was this one: http://www.amazon.com/AïKiou-Stimulo-Interactive-Feeder-Green/dp/B00D91CQMW?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00

    It has slowed down their eating a lot, so I definitely recommend it for anyone trying to slow kitty's eating speed.

  • GhotiGhoti Registered User regular
    Though I do not own a cat myself, my good friends adopted one with roughly the same problem. His history was he felt the need to eat whatever he could as quickly as possible. They tried smaller portions and wet food with little effect. What ended up working over time lining the food dish with one layer of kibble (whatever that turns out to be portion wise). That way, it slows down the intake a little bit. This was over the course of a couple of weeks, but the cat eventually stopped horking up his meal and would actually eat larger portions at a better pace. Your mileage may vary.

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