catHas this ever happened to you? You put down food for your cat, who then gobbles it up and vomits almost immediately. If your vet has given your kitty a clean bill of health, then eating too fast is probably to blame. Here are a few things you can try to get kitty to slow down and enjoy their food.

Use a “slow bowl” or puzzle feeder

Slow bowls are essentially feeding dishes that place an intentional obstacle in your cat’s way. The result is a meal that is consumed and digested much more slowly. Puzzle feeders are similar, but in addition to getting your cat to slow down while eating, they’re also great for curing boredom and appeasing your kitty’s natural instincts to hunt and forage for their meals.

Mash the food against the plate

This trick works especially well for wet food on a small, shallow plate. Using the back of the spoon, press the wet food against the plate until it’s in a thin layer. This will cause your kitty to have to lick and work harder to get a bite, rather than chowing down and digesting pieces in giant gulps. You can also experiment with the shape of the plate. Think outside the “bowl” and try a mini muffin tin or an ice cube tray!

Put down food in stages

Some cats are simply overwhelmed by how much food that they see in front of them. Therefore, they feel the need to scarf it down as quickly as possible. Others tend to bury their extra food. To prevent both situations, you can try putting down a tablespoon of food at a time, or maybe half a can of wet food at a time. Wait until your kitty finishes the portion before them before putting down more.

You can even use this technique as way to get your tubby tabby a little exercise. Have your cat follow you throughout the house, and occasionally place little morsels of food during your promenade.

Do you have a special technique to get your kitty to slow down at diner time? We’d love to hear about it! Leave us a comment below, or connect with us on Facebook.

Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.

photo by Steve Abraham on flickr