If your cat eats quickly then pukes it probably both worries you and makes you crazy.
The good news is there's a simple solution to stop cats from eating too fast.
Take a regular old bowl, build some unique designs into it to spread the food out, voila! Now your cat needs to eat around the design barriers and can't wolf down the food.
So let's get right into some of the best slow feeder cat bowls of 2020.
Table of Contents
The Best Slow Feeder cat bowls Quick Guide
Best Ceramic Model
Great for Large Cats
Multi Cat Ceramic
Best Multi Pet Option
Collapsible for Travel
Great For Flat Faced Cats
The Best Slow Feeder Cat Bowls
Cat Shaped Slow Feed Cat Bowl
If you're looking for something designed specifically by veterinarians then this is the model from SimplyPets is for you. On top of that it is also environmentally friendly which is a huge plus as more of us are watching our ecological footprint.
As you can see it is cat shaped which is adorable, but it has also been designed and tested extensively to ensure it requires your cat to work for food, but isn't too difficult to get frustrated and abandon eating.
A few other key notes worth looking at before purchasing:
"One of my two kitties is a big time gobbler and has been since the day we adopted him from the shelter. We'd tried separate rooms and multiple smaller meals per day, but it was difficult with our work schedule. This works great, we put food in when we walk out the door and we have only had one accident in the past few months!"
The following is a concern for some owners of this product:
DotPet Ceramic Slow Feed Plate
Even though this is much more a plate than a mat I wanted to include it because it is made of ceramic which is one of the best materials around for keeping things hygienic.
It is a very large plate with a lot of surface area that you can pour kibble or wet food onto. One of the biggest perks is the low profile of the plate which ensures cats of all kinds can easily eat from it.
A few other key items worth noting:
"It has done wonders for our cats that scarf and barf. The only problem we had with it was in the middle our Persian can't reach the food. We started pouring it out toward the edges mostly and we haven't had a single problem since then!"
Gulp Stopping Plastic Slow Feeder
This gulp stopping option comes in tons of different sizes and color options, so it is an excellent all around slow feeding bowl for cats of any size and homes of any decor!
It is make of melamine, which is a component used to make plastics. But not to worry, it is 100% non toxic and also 100% dishwasher safe for easy cleaning!
A few other key items worth noting about this bowl:
"It slowed down my food crazed kitty with ease! No more spewing after erasing an entire meal in a matter of minutes."
It is worth considering the following:
Fun Stop Slow Feeding Bowl
This is another great option in the family of slow cat feeding bowls that are made of plastic. All of the ridges and knobs in the center of the bowl make it perfect for slowing down even the most determined cat.
This bowl also has significant capacity if you need to feed multiple cats at the same time or if you'e got a cat that gulps, but fills up really quickly! It is also made of food safe plastic (meaning it is the same type of plastic we prepare human food on).
A few other key items worth noting:
"I have three cats and this works great for the two ten pound cats to share. The 16 pound boy (no he's not overweight) has trouble getting his paws in to pull the kibble out though so don't go with this if you've got a big cat."
You'll want to consider the following before making a purchase:
Ceramic Slow Feeding Station
This is clearly a little bit different than your traditional slow feeding bowl. Pioneer Pet has flipped the paradigm on its head to make your kitty find the right spot to reach the food from.
There are lots of different holes in different shapes all around the feeding station and you can dump food right in the center of it. It even has a built in funnel in the top to make this easy.
Once the food is in the middle your cat can pull the food out to the edge and then chomp it down. At most they get a few kibbles each time. A few other great things worth noting:
"An excellent way to reduce food intake and also challenge my little fluff balls overly active mind that is always looking for things to destroy! 4 paws up!"
The key issue worth considering on this option is:
Cat Catch Interactive Feeding Bowl
Catch is a brand new way to turn eating into an interactive game for your kitty. It also creates a slower experience than simply gulping down every bit of food in front of your feline friend.
This helps not only entertain your cat and burn some calories, but it also ensures that your cat won't eat too quickly and simply throw the food back up a few minutes later!
A few other key items worth noting about this option:
"My two young cats and my older cat all figured out how to use it quickly and it helped my older inactive cat lose a few pounds over about a 3 month period of time. Win win!"
The biggest concern noted by some users of this model is:
Outward Hound Multi Pet Slow Bowl
If you're looking for a great slow feeder that might work for both cats and dogs then this is an excellent option. While this model was designed specifically for dogs, it still works great for cats too!
The rings are just big enough that most cats can't easily stick their entire head into the trough areas and eat the food right out of it. This means they'll need to paw it out or move it around until they can reach it which is great for stimulation and for some exercise!
A few other items worth noting on the Outward Hound option
"It is adorable watching Jenny paw her food out a few kibbles at a time and eat them off her mat. It has totally stopped her from puking and made eating her meals a much longer part of her day. And of course it is good for her overall weight too."
One key item worth noting on this option:
Northmate Interactive Cat Feeder
Northmate was one of the first to design an innovative feeder that stimulates a cat's natural instincts and helps turn meal time into an inspiring hunting game instead of a gulp and puke game.
Even though it is a relatively simple solution it is incredibly effective and helps bring stimulation and fun to indoor cats that don't normally get a chance to hunt other than during play time!
A few key items to note on this top of the line model:
"Our cat scarfs food down so fast she usually pukes up most of it completely undigested just a few minutes later. This has worked well in slowing her down and keeping her hard at work to get the food to the edges."
You'll probably want to consider the following before purchasing:
Extra Large Slow Feed Valley Bowl
If you're looking for the ultimate slow feeder in regards to size then this is an excellent option. It is absolutely huge and can easily accommodate multiple cats at the same time! It holds up to six cups of food at one time.
This model is perfect for any household that has multiple cats that eat together and there's a need to slow any of them down. The amount of food it holds and the size make it a breeze for even 3 or 4 cats at a time.
A few other features worth noting:
"I bought two of these for my six cats as several of them often eat and vomit after. This has slowed all of them down a bit and ensured that none of them eat fast enough to vomit anymore! It is absolutely huge and works well for my house."
The key things to keep in mind before purchasing this feeder:
Collapsible Slow Feeding Bowl Set
If you've got a cat that travels often, or perhaps even an adventure cat that loves to go on walks and hikes, then this is the bowl for you. It fully collapsible into a disc that is less than an inch thick!
It is made of silicone and is 100% toxin free to keep your kitty safe and sound when eating! On top of this it travels super easily and comes fully equipped with a carabiner that can snap it onto your cat carrier.
A few other key items worth noting:
"These work great for Angelo. I feed him both wet and dry and it works great for both. Super easy to clean and even though he's somewhat sensitive the material doesn't bother him one bit!"
Soft Silicone Slow Feed Mat Puzzle
One of the biggest complaints many cat owners have is that cats that have a flat face have difficulty getting to food in other slow feeding bowls. Although most cats will learn to paw their food out of the bowl some can easily get frustrated and give up.
This model is made of sturdy, but flexible silicone that will give when your kitty pushes on it. This means that even flat faced cats can push the silicone out of the way to get to the food on the entire feeding mat!
A few other key items worth noting on this option:
"I had a hard plastic bowl slow feeder for my Himalayan and she had a really hard time eating out of it because she wasn't good with her paws. This has made her life significantly easier and she doesn't puke anymore!"
It is worth noting the following before you purchase:
Trixie Cat Tunnel Slow Feeder
This is another slow feeder that is bordering closely on being a food puzzle as opposed to a traditional slow feeding bowl. This model enables owners to simply pour kibble into the top and then let the cats paw it out through the bottom.
Given that it doesn't really require a lot of thinking, just some work, I've categorized it in my slow feeding bowl article! It can also be just as easily used for hard treats too if you're looking to reward your kitty after some extra work.
A few key items worth noting:
"I never thought I'd find an easy solution for my brand new adopted kitty until I tried this. He was always vomiting after every meal and this stopped it cold. He gets some extra exercise too!"
It is worth noting the following before purchasing:
Catit Digger Slow Feeder For Cats
This definitely starts to edge into the idea of a food puzzle, but I've included it because it uses the same general mechanics of most slow feeding bowls in that it forces cats to paw food out of the tubes.
The nice part is that it is designed to allow for multiple cats to eat from it at the same time and it does have numerous tubes that you can fill to different levels for easier or more difficult eating.
All in all it is a great slow feeder and works well for multiple cats or kittens! A few items worth noting:
"Added some excitement to meal time for Fluffaluffagus. He used to just chow down the second the food hit the floor. Now he works for his meals by pawing the food out, but he doesn't seem to mind one bit!"
It is worth noting the following on this before purchasing:
Why Do Cats Vomit From Eating Too Fast?
Cats are quadrupeds which basically means they are on four legs instead of two.
This means your cat's esophagus is horizontal rather than vertical. Food can slap against the lower esophageal sphincter and cause regurgitation of whole, undigested food several minutes after it's consumed.
Slowing down gobbling will help.
Gobbling or wolfing down food can be due to many reasons, but there are two very common reasons.
Reason #1: Multi Cat Households
Cats that live in multi-cat households with portioned out meals can result in cats stealing food from one another. This is because some cats are more food motivated than others or simply like to eat more than others.
On top of this many cats simply like to chow their food down faster than other cats. My cats Lexi and Beast are totally different. Lexi loves to eat her entire meal right away, Beast grazes all day.
If I leave both bowls out Lexi will eat all the food immediately and Beast will end up with nothing the entire day. But when it comes to puking, the biggest problem is simply that Lexi eats everything so darn quickly.
Reason #2: Experiences of the Past
Even if your cat currently lives in a house with no other pets and no risk of her food being stolen she may still have memories or reflexes driven from her previous life.
Many cats that were strays in the past are prone to gobbling food down very quickly because they had strong competition or they simply didn't feel safe where they were eating their meals.
Slow feeding bowls are a great way to help minimize this behavior. Over time your cat should adjust to understanding that they no longer need to worry about their food being stolen and there will be plenty to go around.
This video from Dr. Karen Becker is also very helpful in describing a wide variety of other reasons that cats may vomit. If from reading this article it doesn't sound like gobbling is the problem then watch the video:
What Types of Slow Feeders Are There?
There are a couple of different types of slow feeders on the market. Each one has benefits and drawbacks, so we'll briefly outline them here so you get a feel for which one might be right for your situation.
Traditional Stationary Hard Plastic
The traditional hard plastic option is going to resemble a cat bowl quite closely. The key difference you'll note is that it'll have lots of ridges or barriers built into the middle of the bowl.
These are there to stop your cat from simply jamming his face into the bowl and wolfing down all of the feed as quickly as possible. The idea is your cat will have to move food with his paws to get it where he can access it.
The biggest benefits of these types of slow feeders is that they are typically durable, easy to clean, and come in at a very low price point. On top of this you'll usually find they have lots of little features after years of development to make them easy for owners to use too (think anti skid feet for example).
Soft Rubber or Silicone Feeders
Soft rubber and silicone versions are typically going to have a flat base with a lot of things sticking straight up out of the base. The shapes and sizes may vary, but more often than not they resemble a small patch of tree trunks glued to a rubber base.
The key difference here is that they are flexible whereas a hard bowl is not. Hard bowls generally require the cat to directly move the food with this paws.
Softer feeders allow for this but also enable your cat to sneak between them with just his face. They're also generally speaking easier to get wet food out of as you can bend them easily to scrub or spray them.
Ceramic Bowls and Feeders
Ceramic slow feeders are going to heavily resemble both hard and soft feeders, they'll just be made of ceramic instead.
The key reason you'd want to consider ceramics is that they are not a porous material. This basically means it is difficult for bacteria to take hold and develop, especially if you wash the feeder in hot water like a dish washer frequently.
Ceramics are also quite heavy in comparison to standard plastic which gives them extra weight to stay in place if you've got a rather rambunctious cat.
Stainless Steel Options
Similar to ceramic options, stainless options are going to resemble those of hard plastic feeders for the most part. There aren't many stainless options on the market at the moment.
Stainless steel is super lightweight and very difficult to break, it is also a non porous material like ceramic so it is very easy to clean effectively.
If you are set on stainless steel your best option may be to buy a traditional stainless steel cat bowl and simply flip it over and use the bottom instead of the top as the bowl.
Puzzle Driven Feeders / Activity Centers
Puzzles are a good option as well, but I'd personally categorize them as a different type of feeder for a different purpose. That purpose is usually to make a regular cat work for their food either because they have too much energy or they simply need to lose weight.
You can read more about them in the next section for alternatives.
Are There Alternatives To Slow Feeding Bowls?
If you've tried a slow feeding bowl or think your cat(s) will not do well with it then there are other options you can try. If you have only one cat with this issue then try multiple small meals. If you've got multiple cats there are several options you can try.
Single Cats: Multiple Small Meals
Spreading meals out is the best option if you've got a lone cat that still eats far too quickly and the slow feeding bowl doesn't seem like a viable option.
You'll want to provide several more meals a day but do so in much smaller portion sizes. The key concern with this method is that it is time consuming and you may not be available to provide multiple meals.
Given this one of the easiest ways to accomplish this is through using automatic cat food dispensers. These dispensers can drop very small amounts of food multiple times a day so your cat can't gobble enough to get sick.
Several of the feeders will even allow you to manually drop food whenever you want from a mobile phone application. On top of this you can combine this with a slow feeding bowl so the dry food drops into a slow feeding bowl in very small portions.
Multi Cats: Feeding Separately
Feed your cats in separate areas of the house or in separate rooms with completely closed doors. Closed doors are a necessity for this to ensure it works properly, otherwise the fast eating cat will
If you give your cat about 30 minutes to eat on his own before opening the doors back up that is typically sufficient to ensure that your gobbling cat won't be able to cause a ruckus and chow the extra food down.
One additional consideration is an item called a SureFeed Microchip cat feeder. These work particularly well in multi cat households because they can secure the food for each cat with microchip access.
Basically, you can put smaller portions out for your gobbler and regular ones for your non gobbler, but the microchip in your cat's neck will stop your gobbler from getting into the other cat's food!
For more detailed information on other reasons cats might vomit check out this great article from Dr. Karen Becker.
What About Food Puzzles?
Food puzzles are a great alternative consideration to slow feeders. They are designed quite a bit differently though and may not serve the exact same purpose.
Food puzzles are usually designed to make your cat think and waste energy while eating. This means they often require a sharp and active cat and they may require some more thinking from your side as well to get them prepared.
On top of this many of the more basic food puzzles can leave a mess of kibble behind all over the house if your cat isn't a very dedicated eater. This is because they are often balls filled with food that dumps out as your kitty plays with it.
Slow feeders have the single goal of dragging out how long it takes your kitty to finish a meal. If your key goal is to stop vomiting from eating too quickly then I'd recommend trying a slow feeder bowl first.
If however you're looking to also entertain your cat and provide some mental stimulation then a food puzzle can be a great choice to consider.
Are Slow Feeders Good for Weight Loss?
While a slow feeder is primarily geared toward helping your cat slow down their consumption, most of them are not specifically designed to do the one key thing that helps cats lose weight.
On the bright side a slow feeder will usually give cats that eat too much a feeling that they are full sooner than if they simply gulp down all their food quickly. This works the same way with humans.
The slower you eat the more likely your body is to tell you that you're full before you finish a meal.
But there are two words a slow feeder can't account for.
If you do not control the portions of food you feed your cat then a slow feeder may force them to burn a few extra calories while eating, but it will usually not do enough to help them lose significant weight.
Controlling the amount of food your cat eats is by far the best method for helping your kitty lose weight if they are overweight. A slow feeder can only do this if you decide to control the amount of food added.
It is also important to remember that if your cat needs to lose weight it should be a gradual process. You shouldn't start cutting their portions in half immediately, instead you'll need to gradually slim them down.
You can read more on PetMD for details on slow feeders and weight loss for cats.
DIY Slow Feeding Bowls For Cats
Although slow feeder bowls are quite cheap these days (usually less than ten dollars), there are of course ways to get yourself a slow feeder at even less cost if you're willing to work a bit!
One option that is pretty straight forward is to simply use a baking sheet designed to make muffins. Spread out your cat's food in each of the muffin sections and let them slowly paw it out.
Another method I've seen people use to create their own slow feeder is to buy both a glass bowl and a glass and simply glue the glass to the base of the bowl on the inside.
You'll need to choose a bowl with a flat bottom and a cup that fits close to the sides of the bowl so that your cat will basically need to paw the food out of the bowl as they eat.
Do note there are some drawbacks to this method:
- You'll need to do all the work yourself
- You'll need to find non toxic glue
- The glue won't hold up in a dish washer
Given the low cost of slow feeders I'd recommend simply purchasing one that is dishwasher safe for the additional safety provided from being able to wash and disinfect it easily.
Wrapping It Up on Slow Feeders
If you've got a feline that is constantly vomiting from eating too quickly then one of the best slow feeding bowls for cats is a great option to consider.
The behavior that causes gobbling could just be a personality trait or it could be based on life experience. You'll want to take this into account to determine the best solution.
If you manage to slow your cat's eating down and they are still vomiting then you'll want to get your kitty to the vet straight away and get them checked out. Constant vomiting is not "normal" cat behavior and you should ensure there isn't something else causing it!
If you have any experience with your own cats and methods for slowing down their eating or minimizing how much they vomit then please share them in the comments below!
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