What are the dangers of my cat eating too quickly?

“My pet eats too fast” is a common complaints told to veterinarians. Eating fast can lead to a multitude of problems, including choking, gagging or vomiting. It can also lead to aggressive behavior, because it can result in a little greediness.

A big reason, though, is that when you eat too fast, the stomach doesn’t have time to catch up with the brain so it thinks it’s still hungry—and everyone continues to eat. That can lead to obesity—and that results in health problems for your pet, even shortening her life by over two years.

When your cat or kitten gobbles her food, she can swallow too much air and the digestive tract cannot process that amount of material that fast—so she vomits. There are several ways to make a cat slow down at the dinner bowl, such as placing a clean rock or rubber ball in it, or mashing the food up in tiny pieces.

Reasons she may be eating fast:

• Stress: Sometimes, when there are other pets in the house—either another cat or a dog– the cat will feel pressure to finish her meal before the other animals take it from her. In this instance, the solution is easy: Feed all pets in separate areas, and never, ever feed multiple animals from the same bowl.
• Hunger: She just may not be getting enough food so is constantly hungry. If you suspect that’s the case, try increasing her portions a little. Or, divide the portion and feed her several small meals a day and add an extra treat or two to take an edge off her hunger.
• Nutritional deficiency: Her body may be crying out for certain nutrients in which she’s deficient. Try switching to a higher quality brand of commercial cat food.
• Parasites: They can be eating up the nutrients and, hence, leave her hungry.

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