Published by: Ingrid King. Last Updated on: October 22, 2022 by Crystal Uys
Do you have a cat who inhales his meals? Does she throw up after meals, a syndrome also known as “scarf and barf?” Does she show other signs of indigestion? If so, your cat may benefit from a slow feeder bowl.
Benefits of slow feeders
- They can prevent vomiting after meals. However, a cat who vomits frequently, regardless of how fast he eats or what bowl she eats from, requires veterinary attention. Frequent vomiting is never normal.
- They promote healthy digestion. Slower eating reduces bloating and can help better nutrient absorption.
- They provide mental stimulation. Depending on the design of the feeder, your cat may have to work at getting every last morsel.
What to look for in a slow feeder
When choosing a slow feeder, consider the following:
- Most slow feeders are made out of silicone or plastic, which can be a problem for some cats. Plastic bowls have been implicated in possibly causing feline acne. I have not found any information about silicone being involved in feline acne, so that may be a better choice.
- A lot of slow feeders were designed with dogs in mind, so make sure you pick one that is sized for cats.
- Look for feeders that are easy to clean. Ideally, you should be able to put them in the dishwasher.
Two suggestions for slow feeders
I came across two slow feeders that look like good choices for cats.
The Slow Feeder Lick Mat and Bowl from Raw Paws is made from food-grade silicone free of BPA, PVC, and phthalate. It cleans up easily with soap and water or on the top rack of your dishwasher. Appropriate for wet and raw food, it clings easily to hard surfaces to stay in place.
For more information and to order, visit rawpaws.com.
The Doc & Phoebe’s Slow Wet Feeder is a cute mouse-shaped feeder made from BPA free plastic. It is dishwasher safe. This feeder is small (the size of the palm of your hand) and the creators suggest it can be used to engage your cat’s hunting instinct by hiding it. This feeder is available from Chewy.com.
Chewy.com has a wide variety of other slow feeders available, click here to see all of them.
A word of caution about changing your cat’s food bowl
If you have a finicky eater, you probably aren’t in need of a slow feeder, but I’d like to issue a general caution about changing your cat’s food bowl. Cats are creatures of routine, and sometimes, even a small change can cause stress for them. I would be especially careful if you have a cat with a history of not eating consistently well before changing a food bowl your cat loves.
Photo by Abeer Zaki on Unsplash
Ingrid King is an award-winning author, former veterinary hospital manager, and veterinary journalist who is passionate about cats.