My cat is dumb and barfs a lot

Posted by
Oliver and Nelly.
I have a new cat, Oliver. He is a turd. He is like a cat version of one of Zoolander’s friends; super pretty and dumb as a rock.

He and I have been negotiating his troublesome eating habits. He often gets so excited about whatever I’ve just fed him that if I don’t sit with him and force him to take digestion breaks every 30 seconds, he just HORFs down food and then HORKs it back up again — which is especially nasty now that I’ve begun feeding my cats organ meats for some meals. Re-barfed ground-up cow livers. MMMM.

Most of the time, sitting with O is no problem. But some days I do need to leave the house and I don’t have time to babysit my idiot cat.

How can I slow down his frenzied eating so I don’t have to napkin up so much cat barf?

I look forward to your help. -Scott

Comments on My cat is dumb and barfs a lot

  1. Have you taken the cat to the vet for a checkup? Our tabby had this problem for years, & he started to lose weight. So we took him to the vet, they ran tests, did ultrasounds, & basically concluded he has feline irritable bowel syndrome. Now he takes meds that settle his stomach & eats prescription low-residue canned food, & he almost never pukes (only pukes if he chews on something plastic or a plant, which is why we can’t have such things in the house). The food isn’t cheap, but then neither is raw food, & it’s worth our boy kitty not wasting away from starvation!

  2. We feed our cats raw food- and it comes in little plastic sausage tubes that are frozen- sometimes if i have forgotten to thaw it out I pop it in warm water and then give it to them, and often the middle is still frozen- so they eat the thawed part, wait a little, eat a little more and so on- if it is ground organ meat maybe this would work? It sure slows down our two kitties.

  3. My Siamese kitty does the same thing–eats all her food in about seventeen seconds!

    So I started throwing it all around the room so she has to eat one tiny piece at a time, and it’s like a goofy hunting game for her (we feed her grain free dry). I guess it wouldn’t work so well for organs…but for dry food, it’s a lifesaver.

  4. My kitty horks down his food too, but rarely barfs (our issues are at the other end). I do worry about him eating it so fast. Lately our vet has suggested putting pumpkin in his food to help his digestion. We give him a little bit of food in the morning, a little bit when we get home and a little right before bed, with the pumpkin. You might want to ask your vet about it 🙂

    • This made me laugh so hard! I have two: one that did the puking, and one that did the disposal. It was so nasty but I couldn’t help to laugh through all the dry heaves, lol.

  5. Our cat is not a vacuum, but that’s because she doesn’t particularly love most of her food. She gets free-fed on a grain-free dry food for most of the day, and then gets little bits of wet food in the morning and evening. She gobbles up the wet food, but it’s not enough to make her puke. She only eats the dry food when she’s really hungry, because even though it’s good for her it’s not her favorite. Maybe if you can find a kind of healthy food that your cat doesn’t really like, it would help him break this habit?

  6. My cat used to have the same problem. The vet suggested a “free feed”. In other words, instead of a feeding schedule, just keep the cat’s bowl full at all times, that way they’ll eat when they’re hungry rather than waiting and wolfing down food as soon as you set it down.

    That was MONTHS ago. Haven’t had a single problem since!

  7. My cat is the same way, but he was starved when I found him so I guess he thinks every meal is his last. It try to keep his dry food dish full in the morning and at night so he knows it’s always there. He still tries to bury it and hide it from the other cat.

    • My parents have a rescue cat who has been trying to bury her food for 11 years. In all that time I think it’s worked once – when she dragged the door mat partially over the bowl.

      The funny part is all 3 of their cats free feed so it’s not like she needs to bury it and it never seems to bother her that she can’t, it’s just a habit – eat, scrape ineffectively at the floor/cupboard/air for a minute or so, move on to something else.

  8. One of my parents cats (not the same one mentioned in a previous comment) has a similar problem but it seems like it’s for different reasons. She eats sensibly enough but she’s never grown out of the kitten mentality of pretty much just eating, sleeping and running around until she falls asleep again.

    So she’ll eat and then immediately go back to running around the house or the garden or wherever at top speed, which isn’t any better for a cats digestion than a humans.

    Free feeding seems to work to some extent because she won’t eat as much at once but they’ve never really found a perfect solution.

  9. We raw feed our cat, and although he doesn’t have barf problems, the raw feeding mailing list I’m on frequently discusses this issue.

    First of all, kitties shouldn’t have too much organ meat, particularly liver. Just like maybe a teaspoon size piece of liver every day (or a larger piece every few day) is good. Too many soft organs and your kitty will get diarrhea.

    Sounds like your cat’s eating kibble besides the organs. Without getting all evangelical about it, I really recommend switching to an all raw meat (with bones) diet instead. If for no other reason than: if you give your cat big hunks of meat he won’t be able to inhale them and will be forced to chew them up. The inhaling problem is BIG with kibble eaters ’cause they know they don’t need to chew most of the time.

    The “rawcat” mailing list is really really full of info. Do a search for it if you want to learn more 🙂

  10. I have the same problem with my cat, the best solution I’ve found ( and seems to be the general suggestion) is to feed him smaller amounts throughout the day

  11. Ok, I didn’t see this suggestion in any of the above comments, so PAY ATTENTION! I’m way down here at the bottom, but I MAY have a solution for you.

    My cat also barfed up his food almost immediately after eating. I allowed him to “free graze” from a bowl of dried food that was always available, and tried putting a tennis ball in the bowl to make him slow down, but his still threw up almost daily after eating.

    Finally, I spoke to my vet and she explained that this is a common problem with cats…because we put their food bowl flat on the floor. This means that a cat has to bend down to eat their food, placing their esophagus on a downward angle. Although their esophagus muscles propel most of their food to their stomach, they’re fighting against gravity so a lot of the food gets stuck in their esophagus. This causes the vomiting right after eating, which of course makes them hungry so they binge eat again. (For some reason, dogs don’t have this problem.) The fact that they have to force the food UP towards their stomach is also one reason why it looks like their just gobbling it down.

    Simple solution: put their food bowl on a small box or platform about 6-8″ tall so that they can eat upright. I did this with my cat, and the vomiting immediately ceased. I don’t even have to use the tennis ball anymore.

    Try it!

  12. I think we’re going to try just giving our cat a tiny bit of food at a time, because he pukes a lot for a little guy. He eats quickly because when he was a kitten my mother-in-law’s cat would jump him whenever he went near the food bowl or litter box- for a year. I think he still has the habit of eating FAST before he gets jumped.

    If no one will be home until late at night that golf ball trick might be the ticket.

  13. Our cat totally does this. The only thing that helps is feeding him several meals a day (he does ok on two meals a day) and being super strict about how much he gets. If he gets even a little bit too much food, he yaks. Also, we feed him raw meat some of the time, and the cat is FAR pickier than we are on the freshness of meat. If it isn’t perfectly fresh as can be, he throws it up. So we had to switch to a different butcher, which helped a lot. We also cut (raw) chicken bones in half now, and make sure he has a lot of variety of meats in his diet. For a while, we gave him a lot of the same food, and he was throwing up more. Now that we switched butchers, cut bones down, and feed a larger variety, he throws up less.

  14. my cat does that too. I just started feeding her smaller portions twice a day and it seems to have helped a bit.

  15. My sister’s cat has a “scarf-n-barf” problem, as they call it. She’s an all white Van Kedisi, rescued from a feral state many years ago. So, they just feed her tiny handfuls at once. If she is free-fed, she’ll make a mess! Our two kitties are fine, thankfully.

  16. My cat has this issue. Just place a flat layer of food in a pie plate or similar dish – or you can put little bits of food throughout a muffin tin. That will slow eating. According the vet, vomiting is normal but if stops being interested in eating, then there’s a problem!

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