Cat’s wild roots come out when feeding time rolls around. This is when their instincts show through and can result in incredibly fast eating to avoid losing their food to another animal.
Even if this isn’t a real danger in their comfortable indoor cat life, it can be a complex behavior to train out of your cat. Luckily, that’s what slow feeder cat bowls are for. If your cat finishes their bowl within seconds of it being poured, it may be time to invest in a new feeder.
You may not view their speedy eating habit as a problem now, but as cats age, this can lead to excessive vomiting, difficulty digesting and absorbing nutrients, and obesity. So whether those are problems you’re facing now or you’re looking to prevent them in the future, finding a suitable slow feeder can maintain your cat’s health.
Top Picks For The Best Slow Feeder Cat Bowl
There are several different kinds of slow feeder cat bowls on the market. Depending on what your cat needs, you’ll want to invest in a different bowl structure. Keep in mind that what works well for one cat may not work for another based on their eating preferences.
Therefore, before making your purchase, always consider the root of your cat’s problem. Is it overeating, or are they eating too quickly? This is an essential distinction in finding the right bowl type.
Best Overall (Recommended)
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Best For Wet Food
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What Is A Slow Feeder Cat Bowl?
A slow feeder cat bowl is a specialty bowl that either provides obstacles or smaller food portions to slow down your cat’s eating habits. Cats can overeat and quickly become sick or overweight. A slow feeder gives you a way to slow their meal down without restricting them.
A common type of slow feeder bowl is one with curves, fin structures, or dots inside that force the cat to eat around them. These disperse the food differently in the bowl so that cats can’t take large bites of food.
Types Of Slow Feeder Cat Bowls
There are a few different types of cat feeders based on the needs of your cat. Identifying the ideal bowl to accommodate your cat’s eating style will effectively slow them down when it comes to mealtime.
Slow feeders that require a bit of problem-solving are great for slowing your cat down and exercising their mind. Many puzzle feeders with tube-like structures force your cat to use their paws to fish their food out of the different holes.
Not only does this require more critical thinking, but it dramatically reduces the amount of food they can retrieve at a time.
This will significantly reduce any vomiting your cat experiences after eating too quickly.
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Timed feeders are great for cats that may not be up to the challenge of a puzzle feeder. With this, you can get an automatic feeder to fill multiple slots to provide several meals throughout the day in a smaller portion.
This allows you to choose how much food you give, and the feeder will have up to five slots you can rotate through.
You can also get a timed feeder that automatically dispenses food in your desired quantity. By stopping your cat from ingesting large amounts of food at a time you can cut down on any potential vomiting.
These often have fin-like structures coming out of the base of the bowl so that the food is in a maze rather than one big pile. It’s very effective at stopping your cat from taking large bites of food.
The barriers force the cat to eat around obstacles and work their way into the crevices of the bowl, where they can get a few pieces of food at a time.
Should You Buy A Slow Feeder Cat Bowl? What Are The Benefits?
Slow feeder cat bowls are an excellent option for cats with the issue of eating too quickly and getting sick.
If your cat is throbbing up their food from eating too fast they won’t be able to get any nutrients from their food and can suffer from malnutrition if this is an ongoing issue.
Slow feeder bowls can prevent any gastrointestinal issues that come with eating too quickly. Many cats can develop more sensitive stomachs from such fast intake of food or suffer from malnutrition. These can lead to long-term problems that require veterinary care if you cannot get your cat to slow down.
By making your cat eat slower, they’ll better be able to recognize when they’re full. If they’re eating very fast, they cannot identify when their body tells them it’s finished with the food, which can quickly lead to obesity.
With puzzle feeders, you’ll force your cat to use their problem-solving skills to understand how they can get their food out. This is a great tool, especially for cats that are intelligent and quick to get bored. Providing another way for them to problem-solve will lead to a less mischievous cat.
Be cautious of giving puzzles to a cat that isn’t motivated or as intelligent. This can cause a lack of motivation and quickly turn into your cat undereating or getting into human food because it’s easier. While shopping for slow feeders, be aware of the type your cat is most likely to engage with.
Because of the specialty nature of slow feeders, they can also be expensive. This can be a significant deterrent for cat owners since a standard bowl is a fraction of the price of a slow feeder.
There are several factors to consider before deciding which slow feeder is suitable for your cat. You’ll have more success in picking out your slow feeder by considering the following categories.
Your Cat’s Eating Habits
If you want your cat to slow down as a preventative measure, you’ll likely opt for a different type of feeder than you would for an obese cat. The same can be said for cats who overeat and get sick. The eating habits of your cat are the most crucial consideration.
If they eat too fast, getting a puzzle or barrier bowl might be your best option. If your cat overeats when presented with food, getting a timed feeder where you can set the perfect amount of food for them is probably ideal.
Since there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to slow feeders, take your time to observe your cat’s habits before jumping into any purchase.
Type Of Feeder
In addition to restricting the amount of food, the type of bowl you choose will also have a significant influence on the amount consumed. Consider not only your cat’s habits but also which bowl you’ll best be able to maintain.
Depending on your daily habits and how often somebody is home with the cat, you’ll differ in your food delivery method.
Number Of Cats
Regulating food intake with multiple cats can be challenging. You’ll need to manage feeding time differently. You must identify if one cat is more dominant and eating the other cat’s food as this may lead to weight gain and malnutrition, respectively.
The type of bowls they need will depend on whether you are able to separate your cats during feeding time.
If you have a consistent bowl type, they’ll have to eat from the slow feeder. If one bowl is more straightforward than another, all of the cats will start eating from that one bowl.
This makes a massive difference in slow feeder bowls as they can often be more challenging to clean than standard smooth bowls. Since they have more crevices and tight spaces, your life will be much easier if you get a smooth or machine washable material.
If you’re unable to get the bowl clean for whatever reason, this may deter your cat from eating. Any build-up of old food or mold can negatively impact your cat’s health and lead to more serious digestive issues.
Type Of Food You Use
Slow feeders operate best with firm kibble. If you have kibble that falls apart easily, small bits will likely get stuck in the cracks of the bowl. If you mainly feed your cat wet food, this will also be more challenging to clean and eat out of a slow feeder.
Evaluate how easily your food holds up in the feeder. After the first few uses, make sure there isn’t too much food leftover in the cracks, as this may mean your cat is unable to reach the food.
For overweight cats, it may be a good time to switch to a weight management diet. This, paired with a slow feeder, will more effectively manage weight gain. If you think you may need to make a switch in the kind of food you’re giving, be sure to consult your veterinarian first.
The price of slow feeder bowls can vary depending on type and material. If you get a ceramic bowl, you’re likely to spend much more than if you buy a plastic bowl. Keep in mind that while you can always find a bowl in your budget, it’s likely to break faster if you buy a cheap bowl.
As the saying goes, buy cheap buy twice.
Tips On Getting Your Cat To Eat Slower
Some cats can still eat incredibly fast with a slow feeder bowl. If this sounds like your cat, there are still plenty of ways to get them to slow down.
Reduce Food Quantity
Your cat will be forced to eat less in one sitting if you put less food in their bowl at a time. This isn’t to say you should reduce the quantity of food they’re eating in a day, but instead, you should split one bowl’s worth of food into three.
If you pour a third of their bowls worth into the slow feeder and allow them to eat it all, then a few minutes later pour another third, and so on, they’ll eat much slower.
This is a great way to force them to take breaks and slow down during their meal. Of course, this is only a good solution for those who have the time to take about ten minutes to feed their cat in sections.
Add Additional Obstacles
Sometimes slow feeders aren’t tricky enough for clever felines. If your cat can still get around the curves of its bowl efficiently, try adding more obstacles to the bowl.
Be very careful not to add anything small that they could potentially eat or choke on! You can also buy two or three different types of slow feeders with varying puzzle patterns and rotate through them.
This way, your cat won’t get used to the pattern of obstacles and learn how to maneuver around them as fast. The more you can keep your cat guessing, the slower they’ll be forced to eat.
Spread Food Out
Creating a scavenger hunt game for food can force your cat to slow down and get some exercise during their hunt. If splitting up the food isn’t slowing them down enough, try splitting it and placing it in different areas of your home.
For example, your cat will then have one bowl’s worth of food in three or four spots around the house. This way, they’ll have to walk and search for the rest of the food, giving them time to digest the first ration.
This can also be a great way to enrich your cat and force them to be more active.
Best Slow Feeder Cat Bowl Product Reviews
Pioneer Pet SmartCat Feeder
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This slow cat feeder bowl uses a slightly different method to slow down your cat’s eating. As opposed to moving food around the top, your cat will need to find the right place to reach food from the sides of the bowl. You’ll find that your cat will love this bowl after it takes a day or two to adjust, as feeding sessions will become more enjoyable and reminiscent of natural hunting.
At the same time, the bowl provides stimulation while slowing down eating as only a few pieces of the kibble can be reached at the same time.
Through the funnel at the top, it is still easy to pour food into the bowl regardless of the enclosed design. The enclosed shape does make it a little more difficult to clean by hand. It’s dishwasher safe so when the time comes it’s still easy and convenient to clean.
As a ceramic bowl, it is also heavy, weighing 2.2lbs. Keeping any mess contained, it is near impossible for cats to tip over or move around the room. Ceramics are also scratch-resistant, durable, and they come in three distinct colors.
Cilkus Slow Feeder Bowl for Cats
Cats don’t gulp their food down because of the clever design of the bowl. It has a fun fishpond design that cats love. This bowl helps their digestion while also providing fun feeding time for them and stimulating their mind.
Unlike ceramic, it’s made from melamine, which is a more durable material. The advantage of melamine over ceramic is that it can’t easily be broken.
The surfaces of materials such as this are almost impossible to scratch. This avoids any claw marks from happening which is commonplace for bacteria to grow.
Hence, this bowl is healthier than plastic bowls that cats eat from. In addition, the material is non-toxic, dishwasher safe, odorless, and food-grade approved.
Lorde Slow Feeder Cat Bowls, Ceramic Fun Slow Feed
This bowl is great because it weighs 1.8 pounds. With a heavy and untippable design, this bowl is ideal for cats that are playful and often spill kibble on the floor after holding their bowl down.
The fishpond maze in this ceramic cat bowl will keep cats entertained. To eat the biscuits, they use their paws to dig around the dish. It encourages healthy eating habits, prevents indigestion, and keeps them entertained.
Ceramic bowls are one of the best materials to make cat food bowls with. It’s durable and scratch-resistant as well as being non-toxic and safe for cats.
Lickimat Casper & Felix, Fish-Shaped Cat Slow Feeders
Wet food feeders, if you want to slow down your cat’s eating habits, here’s a solution! The Fish-Shaped Cat Slow Feeder from Likimat is a great, budget-friendly option.
This textured fish-shaped mat is easy to use. Wet cat food can simply be put on top of the mat and squashed with a spoon until it fills all the grooves.
Using this method, your cat will consume its food by licking the mat rather than gulping it down immediately.
Additionally, because Lickimat promotes licking, it also promotes better digestion and reduces vomiting. As your pet licks, saliva is produced, which protects their teeth and gums and removes any food left on their tongues.
In nature, cats also eat in this way. The bowl can also make eating more interesting for your cat if he or she is an uninterested eater by slowing down his or her eating.
They are made of food-grade rubber so it’s safe for cats, but they are harder to clean because of the tiny grooves. Thankfully the mat is dishwasher safe. This mat is chewable, so it needs to be supervised when cats are eating to make sure they don’t chew the mat.
Catit Senses 2.0 Digger Interactive Cat Toy
The Catit Senses 2.0 Digger Interactive Cat Toy is another alternative to traditional cat food bowls.
This slow cat feeder simulates natural pawing behavior by having multiple tubes to encourage greedy eaters to eat more slowly. It can be used for an entire meal of dry kibble or to add some fun to treats. With this product, your cat not only eats slower but is also stimulated to engage in instinctive behaviors indoors, increasing its enjoyment of the environment.
Besides being easy to clean, I also like the shape of this bowl. It is so easy to clean the green tubes because all of them are removable. This cat puzzle bowl doesn’t have many hard-to-reach nooks and crannies, and all the tubes have rounded edges.
Due to its plastic construction, this feeder is prone to scratch marks and is not very durable. It is BPA-free, however, so cats can use it with no problems. A rubber base prevents it from moving around the room, despite not being made from heavy materials like ceramic.
Raised Cat Bowl Elevated Slow Feeder No Spill
As an elevated bowl and a puzzle bowl packaged together, it is a great option if your cat is elderly.
With elevated bowls, senior cats are less likely to suffer from neck problems caused by bending over to eat. Additionally, they position a cat’s mouth in a better position relative to their stomach, allowing them to swallow more easily and vomit less. This bowl promotes healthy eating thanks to the slow feeder protrusions.
With this purchase, you also get two identical bowls, perfect for a multi-cat household. They also make great cat water bowls when flipped upside down.
It is made of melamine, which is anti-corrosive, rustproof, and lead and cadmium free, as well as being safe for cats. In addition, it is easy to wipe clean and quite heavy, so the bowls won’t slip or fall over easily. The silicone mat that comes with these bowls also helps prevent slippage if necessary.
Conclusion On Slow Feeder Cat Bowls
Slow feeder cat bowls provide a plethora of benefits to any cat. Whether your cat is dealing with obesity or vomiting from overeating, changing to a new bowl can make a huge difference. Before purchasing, be sure to find a suitable bowl that will challenge your cat without deterring them from their food.
Last update on 2022-07-02 at 20:04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API