Ah, the scarf and barf kitty. Those of us with multiple cats are probably familiar with that one kitty who woofs down her food – and then vomits it up. So what can we do about this unpleasant situation? Here are some tips that will help you and your cat.
How to help your cat that scarfs and barfs
Vomiting is not normal for cats, contrary to popular belief. There are many reasons a cat may vomit, but sometimes it’s as simple as how fast they inhale their food. If you suspect your kitty is a scarf and barfer, try these simple tips:
- Feed smaller portions. Our cats’ stomachs are the size of a ping pong ball, according to Dr. Liz Bales, DVM, so feeding them small amounts of food several times per day will help their digestive process.
- Slow down the scarfing. You can do this by watching your cat eat a few bites, picking up the bowl and moving it around. This forces your kitty to walk around between bites, thus better digesting the food. You can also use puzzle feeders or even a muffin pan. This is a great way for you to minimize your involvement in every meal (which can help reduce their stress) and still get the same results by making them take time to eat their food.
- Feed your cats in different areas of your home. Many times cats scarf and barf because they feel threatened that their fellow feline friends will steal their food. This is a normal feline instinct and doesn’t only happen if there’s a bully in the house. Feeding your kitties in different rooms or areas of the home reduces that stress level and can help them enjoy their food more.
- Use a hunting feeder like Doc & Pheobe’s indoor hunting feeder. If you feed your cats dry food, these genius little mice feeders are a great way to stop the scarf and barf. Simply add the food to the feeders and hide them around the house. This accomplishes the portion control, slow eating, reduction of stress AND stops the scarf and barf. Plus, it allows our kitties to engage their natural instinct to hunt! It’s a win-win hunting feeder system!