Say No to the Bowl: Alternative Ways to Feed Your Kitty

Traditionally, we have fed our cats out of bowls for centuries. Some of us even use saucers for our “fancier” cats. However, studies have shown bowl-feeding to be unhealthy for cats.

According to Petful.com, free-feeding, or leaving a bowl of dry food out all day, is actually bad for your cat. They pull in examples from the animal kingdom: herbivores graze all day because their bodies were made for it. On the other hand, carnivores hunt every so often, but they eat big meals to keep them full longer. Rarely do we ever see a lion eat some gazelle, take a little nap, then return to the same carcass.

The website continues by quoting Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD, who explains all-day feeding is bad for your cat because it promotes obesity, urinary problems, and kidney infections, among other health problems.

Cat BowlsSo how do we simulate what a wild cat would do in order to keep our cats healthier?

One way is to pick up their food bowl. By giving your cats their own food bowls with measured portions about twice or more a day, your cat’s body will begin to adapt. Your cat will realize food will not always be available and will eat the right amount to stay full until the next feeding time. The goal is to not allow your pet to think food will always be there because if they think they will always have access to food, they will become lazy. If you don’t have time to schedule meals, don’t be afraid to ask someone to stop by and feed your kitty. You can use Sitting for a Cause to find a sitter who would be happy to pop in and check up on your cat!

Another great way to feed your cat is by putting their food in a “food puzzle” toy. These wonderful products make your kitty work for its food. Puzzles keep your cat active and prevent it from binge eating. Try a few different ones out to see which one is more engaging. Also, make sure your cat can figure it out too so they don’t starve!

Huffington Post recently put out an article suggesting a new type of product. Dr. Liz Bales, a University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine graduate, developed a new design on how cats receive their food. This NoBowl Feeding System, is a product that can be hid around the house and encourages hunting. The product will hopefully be available August 2016.

The main goal is to feed your cat properly. Cats were made to hunt, so having a steady supply of stationary food available endorses obesity, lethargy, and even aggressive behavior.  Let’s try something new for our kitties and remind them about the joys of hunting.

Do you already say no to the bowl when it comes to feeding your cat? Share below!

Featured Image Credit: Tom Thai (modified)

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