Monday, April 20, 2015

Crazy Cat Lady, Part 2

So, we have this cat with an eating disorder. We actually took her to the vet twice and were trying all these crazy expensive foods because she was throwing up all the time. We tried expensive grain free wet food, prescription food, this weird paste for digestive problems, everything. Then one day, for whatever reason, I just put a tiny handful of food onto the windowsill where the cats eat (so they dogs don't steal their food) and it was like this:


She literally hoovers up her food. Or as Francis puts it, "I watched her unhinge her jaw like an effing snake." She doesn't chew, which explains why the barfed up food is still whole. Hector, our younger dog, had a similar problem when he came to live with us, and we bought him a slow feeder, so we looked for a slow feeder for cats.


The first one we tried was the Northmate Interactive Feeder. It worked.... for awhile. But Miss V is like a velociraptor. She's a skilled hunter (every few years we get some mice in the house and she will take out a family in 48 hours) and enjoys a challenge, even to the point where she stopped trying to get to Marcellus's food bowl because she was adequately entertained. 

Sidebar: I think Miss V got two cats worth of brains, and Marcellus was the loser. I hear he once hid in the basement FROM A KITTEN. He would starve to death if he had to use an interactive feeder, so we took pity on him and let him eat from a bowl. He doesn't overeat, so it works out. 

Back to the Northmate: As you can see from the video, Miss V has mastered it. She got so good at it that she started barfing again from eating too fast, so now we have to try a new kind of feeder. Enter the Aikiou Stimulo. These are the only two slow feeders for cats I have found, so when she masters this one, I don't know what is next, other than getting rid of my white dining room chairs.




Now she is back to eating at a normal pace, BUT she has started to forage for any extra food she can get. I am positive  - POSITIVE - that she gets the right amount of food for her age and size, so either we have turned food into such a fun game that she's addicted, or she just has a compulsion to eat until she barfs, all the time. She can get on top of the refrigerator, which is freestanding, she can get into the upper kitchen cabinets, she can get into the pantry, and I THINK she might be able to get into the latching food bins, though I haven't caught her in the act yet. It has gotten to the point where we had to change the dogs' food schedules, too, because she will eat dog food if she can get it. Now everyone gets 10 minutes with their bowl several times a day, and if they don't eat, the food has to be locked up until lunchtime, or tea time, or dinner time. The whole house is slave to a 9lb cat's bulimia. 

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