Why Does My Cat Eat So Fast? (Solved & Explained!)

Some cats really seem to like their food. Even with no other animals in the house to compete with, they gleefully gobble-up everything that you put in front of them – even to the point of getting sicks! If you are wondering ‘why does my cat eat so fast?’ then you’ve come to the right place.

Cats eat too quickly for different reasons. It could be parasites, for instance, making them feel constantly hungry, or they might be trying to prevent other animals from getting their food. Some cats eat quickly simply because they love what you’ve picked for them – it varies from cat to cat.

Today we’ll take a closer look at scenarios where cats might eat too quickly for their own good. We’ll tell you some possible reasons, as well as what happens when they eat too fast, and what you can do about it. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at quick-chowin’ kitties!   

Why does my cat eat like he’s starving?

If your cat’s fast-eating habits are something new, then you might well want to bring them in to the vet. Worms and other parasites basically leech nutrition from their host’s meals, leaving your cat feeling always hungry and desperate to ‘balance the scales’.

Watch for symptoms such as these:

  • Lethargy
  • Diarrhea
  • Coat dulling in color
  • Swollen belly
  • Noticeable weight loss

If you see these, your cat might well have a parasite or worms! Deworming your cat regularly is a good defense against this happening again, so it turns out to be worms, then make sure that your adult cat gets dewormed every 3 months and for kittens, it should be every 2 weeks until they reach 8 weeks of age.

What happens when a cat eats too quickly?

When cats eat too fast, there’s a very real possibility that it’s all going to come back in the form of vomit! What happens is that the food hits the stomach in too-large amounts, which in turns causes your kitty’s tummy to expand too quickly to accommodate this.

This sends a signal to your cat’s brain that something isn’t right with their tummy, and this causes your cat to regurgitate what they have eaten. That’s why the food just looks like it’s been crunched up and dampened, rather than liquified – the difference between regurgitation and vomiting.

This may sometimes occur with a change of diet in cases where your cat really likes the new food, so it may simply stop once your cat has gotten used to the new grub. You’ll want to watch them for the rest of the day, however, to make sure that this is the case and that your cat is not actually ill.

How do I get my cat to stop eating so fast?

Some cats can’t seem to help themselves. Rescue cats, especially, tend to eat their food very quickly, mostly because they are used to having to do this to prevent other kitties from stealing their meals. Thankfully, you’ve got a few good methods at your disposal to get them out of this habit or to at least manage it.

Consider wet food if your cat is currently eating dry food

Dry food goes into the belly small, but then hydrates and expands. The problem with this is that your cat thinks that they haven’t eaten enough until the food expands and they find out that they’ve eaten too much!

Switching to wet food can help this or if you are on a budget, try adding one or two spoonfuls of wet food either on top or simply mixed in to your cat’s food.

You can even make the dry food expand and soften in advance, by pouring in some warm beef or chicken broth in it and letting it cool a few minutes before serving!

Regulate their portions

With some cats, you’ll just have to regulate their portions. For instance, if your cat normally eats 2 meals a day, then you might want to turn it into 3 or 4 smaller meals throughout the day if you can do this. If you’ll be stuck at work and unable to, then you might consider an automatic feeder.

These are relatively inexpensive and you can set a timer, so that they serve pre-portioned meals on a schedule while you are at work. This will keep your kitty feeling full and minimizes the chances that they’ll end up eating, regurgitating, and then gobbling up the mess again (it’s gross, but we’ve all seen it!).

Slow feeder bowls can really help

Another trick that works a treat for getting your cat to stop ‘inhaling’ their meals is a slow feeder bowl. These can be purchased, such as in the case of ‘puzzle bowls’ which have indentations inside to put the food in.

This makes your cat have to dig the food out of these sections and forces them to eat more slowly. You can also make a slow feeder bowl on your own.

With dry food diets, placing a tennis ball in the bowl before pouring means that your cat will have to eat around the ball. Even a larger, flatter bowl can work as well.

With the flat bowl, you spread out the food into a thin layer, and this also prevents your kitty from gobbling everything up in an instant and then getting sick from it.

Some final words on fast eating

If you are in a panic about your cat’s eating habits, just remember that it doesn’t always mean that your kitty has worms or other health problems. Sometimes cats just really like their food. If you’ve just changed their diet a bit, then that could be the case, while other kitties will gobble up anything with glee.

If you’ve ruled out any health problems but your cat can’t seem to help themselves, then don’t worry too much – this is normal with some cats. You’ll just need to make sure that you implement some strategies such as we’ve listed today to help your kitty to learn a little bit of self-control!