Your cat is adorable, lovable and enjoys the nutrient-dense, healthy food that you buy for them.
But maybe they’re loving it a little too much.
People don’t realize it, but your pets can overeat, and the more delicious the food you buy for them, the more likely they are to overindulge and start to develop an unhealthy weight problem.
You’re just trying to care for your little feline friend, and it’s hard that even the most
A cat slow feeder can help with weight gain, but in the long haul, it can also help prevent excess damage to your cat’s teeth from overeating, and cut down on your cat food costs over time.
Even if your cat doesn’t have a feeding issue now, getting them a gravity feeder or activity bowl can help maintain their current weight, and give them something fun to do while they eat. We all know how rambunctious they get.
Without further ado, let’s showcase the five best cat slow feeders in 2020.
Our Recommendations For The Best Cat Slow Feeder For 2020
Best Overall – Catit Sense 2.0 Food Tree Cat Feeder
Doesn’t this just look like fun? Catit Sense 2.0 is basically a game that your cats have to play in order to unlock their treats. This can be done with normal cat food, but based on the size of normal kitty kibble, you’re going to be better off doing this with treats and larger bits of food.
This slow feeder cat bowl requires your cat to paw their way to success by batting the food around from the top level. They might be able to use the side of their mouth to grab a piece or two out, but it should mostly fall to the next level, requiring more activity to get to their food.
This allows more time for the food to hit their stomach and signal that they should stop eating, while also boosting their activity level, even if it’s a cheeky way about doing it. The base is wide, and comes with plenty of weight to it to prevent your cats from tipping this over, but it’s not impossible. You should place this in an area where it will be difficult to tip, like the corner of a kitchen.
The size of food you can fit in here isn’t described by Catit Sense, so you should measure out your food before you put it in here so you can monitor exactly what your cat is consuming. It would take your cat charging full force at this to knock it over, and even then, the lid doesn’t just pop off, so this will definitely provide more balanced, slower eating than what your cat is currently doing.
|Container Volume:||8 oz (rough estimate)|
Runner up – Northmate Catch Interactive Cat Feeder
Doesn’t this just look silly? At first glance, it seems simple, but the way it’s designed is actually quite ingenious. Look at the way your cat’s mouth is shaped, and you’ll soon realize why this is one of the best slow feeder for cats out there.
They have to work for it. They sink their adorable little face in between the fin-like purple plastic wedges, and have to use their face to push them out of the way. They’re able to get to the pieces on top of each section with relative ease, so they can feel full. But then, as they sink lower and start chewing the pieces at the bottom, it takes longer. They have to burrow their whiskers deeper into the bowl.
It takes longer to eat, and hopefully, they realize that they’re full and leave the rest for later. Now, that being said, this bowl does come with its inconveniences. For one, it’s smaller than the overall size of the Catit Sense, but has more utility and can hold more food.
It’s made of plastic, and should not be put in a dishwasher in any way. It should be lightly washed with soap and warm water, then left to air dry appropriately to avoid degradation of the material. That’s a lot more maintenance, but worth it for the slow-feed effect. The sales page states it’s dishwasher safe, but as your cat uses this and creates scratch marks with their paws and teeth, they’ll leave micro divots that can house and grow bacteria that your dishwasher just can’t get out.
Last but not least, there are four anti-slip feet on the bottom to ensure this stays put, wherever it is that you place it. Most of us put our cat dishes on the floor in the kitchen, so this is helpful, otherwise your cats will bat it around until it tips over.
|Container Volume:||12 oz (rough estimate)|
|Best For:||Dry food|
Alternative – Trixie Activity Cat Feeding Dish
Looking to give your cat a little something to do while they eat? Whether you annoy them into smaller portions, or seamlessly usher in better eating habits for the rest of their lives, Trixie is able to help you out.
This cat food bowl to slow down eating comes with multiple avenues for your cat to go, which are all hooked up to a hopper-style, tupperware-looking container that sits in the center. With this hopper, you can set how fast the treats come out, and it works for standard dry food as well.
Place your setting based on how your cat is eating. If you notice them huffing everything down quickly, they might end up going into the other room to regurgitate everything. We don’t want that. The last thing we want are digestive issues, so tweak this as needed. It might take a few days to get used to the right setting for your cat.
While the container doesn’t hold a lot, that’s kind of what we’re going for here. You will have to refill this once per day or once every two days. While the entire container is dishwasher safe, remember that a hand cleaning and air drying is going to preserve the plastic better and prevent bacterial growth in micro divots.
The base is nice and wise, so your cat won’t be able to tip it over. If you have a beefy cat, they might be able to knock it around, so consider the size of your cat before you decide to specifically buy this food dish. It works for most, and comes with five different versions for you to choose from.
|Container Volume:||10 oz (rough estimate)|
|Best For:||Dry food|
Alternative – PetSafe Healthy Pet Gravity Cat Food Station
When we were making these slow feed cat bowl reviews, we expected PetSafe to end up on the bottom of the list. They came in just above it, because this is a gravity feeder, and as you’ll see us mention later, it’s not the right solution to slow down all cat’s eating.
Gravity feeders are essentially bowls that just keep some of the food in the chute, making your cats work to get it out. This will work better for a cat without an eating issue, but as long as you only put in the recommended amount of food here, you’ll teach your cats that when it’s up, it’s up.
Made from a variant of BPA-free plastic, this is completely dishwasher safe and food-safe for you to store cat food in for extended periods of time. The base is wide in the front, but constricts in the middle to create an hourglass shape leading up to the hopper’s base. It makes it easier to get leverage on than other feeders, so you’ll want to watch fuzzball to ensure they’re not tipping the poor thing over.
Once your cat’s eating is under control, you’ll be able to store up to four pounds of cat food in here with no issue. That means if you’re going out of town and you just have someone checking in with your cats once a day, you can set and forget this before you leave, and everything will be fine.
|Container Volume:||64 oz (rough estimate)|
|Best For:||Dry cat food|
Alternative – Pioneer SmartCat Tiger Diner Cat Feeder
When cats get crafty, this slow feeding cat bowl becomes slightly less effective, which is why it landed on the bottom of our list. However, that takes a while, and by that point your cat is already going to be used to eating at a much slower pace.
The main attraction to this bowl is its material. You’ll notice that everything else on this list so far has been some grade of plastic, but Pioneer Pet went ahead and made this bowl out of ceramic. Because it looks like an upside-down soup bowl, it wouldn’t be too hard for cats to dig their paws into one of the cutouts, and flip it over.
Hence, the ceramic. This weighted bowl stays exactly where you put it, no matter what. You’ll be able to put it down and not worry. After getting the initial amount of food out, cats will have to dig their paws in and work for the rest of their dry mix. This does two things: lengthens their eating time to allow digestion and stomach signals to kick in, and keeps them active at the same time.
Cleaning this is a breeze: warm water, soap, and you’re done. While it is dishwasher safe, ceramic can only withstand drastic temperature changes so much, so it’s recommended to hand wash it at least once a week for the best results. It’s durable, but I would still be nervous dropping it or putting it on the floor too hard. The only benefit plastic has over ceramic is that you can drop it a dozen times, and it’s not likely to crack.
|Container Volume:||20 oz (rough estimate)|
|Best For:||Dry food|
Cat Slow Feeder Buying Guide & FAQ
How Can I Get my Cat to Eat Slower?
Cat food bowls to slow down eating are important, so while we’ll discuss those benefits, there are other things that you can do.
- Slow Feeder: The point behind this is to maximize the time your cat spends at their food dish while minimizing the amount of food they’re receiving. You can portion control many of these feeders, so your cat has to work harder to get the same amount of food they’re used to. All of this will provide more time for them to chew and hopefully lead to less stomach issues as a result.
- Time it Out: Give half of one recommended serving to your cat, and set a timer for fifteen minutes. Come out, and give them the other half. This puts enough time in between for their stomachs to signal that they might be full. For the first few days, your cat might eat everything you put in the bowl on the second go, but after a while you’ll notice some food remaining after they’re done. That’s how you know it’s working.
- Inconvenience Them: This sounds harsh, but cats don’t really know better for themselves, so this inconvenience can be a good thing for them. Put an obstacle to their food bowl, so that eating is harder. Your cat is going to eat, since it has basic survival instincts, but consider putting their food dish in a small enclosure where they have to stick their head in instead of comfortably looming over the bowl like a vulture. Make it just a little bit uncomfortable for them to get to it, and eventually, they’ll feel full enough that they want the inconvenience to end.
Can Cats Use Slow Feeders?
Absolutely. Until recently, many thought that slow feeders were just designed for dogs, but cats can be overeaters as well.
In fact, since cats are usually more relaxed and less active than most dogs, it’s possible for your cat to get on the chunky side fairly easily.
Cats can be crafty, as we all know. You might have to experiment with different types of slow feeders to get the right system down. It’s not enough to portion control—you need to make them work for it.
Are Gravity Feeders Bad for Cats?
Gravity feeders aren’t bad, but if your cat has an obesity problem and they’re known to overeat, then they might not be as good as an activity feeder.
With a gravity feeder, your cat is able to eat their fill, and walk away… at least, that’s the idea.
Gravity feeders will work well for cats that have some level of control over their own eating, since you won’t have to worry about refilling the bowl for a couple of days.
But because gravity feeders don’t do anything to actually control portions, it’s not as good for overeaters as an activity tray/bowl.
Some cats might just be like, “Alright, now there’s more food. I guess I can eat that, too.”
Can You Put Wet Food in a Slow Feeder Bowl?
Absolutely not. One of the key reasons that you can use dry food in a slow feeder is because it has little to no moisture.
Water, in any form, when left untouched will begin to rapidly produce and multiply bacteria. It doesn’t take long for this to become a foodborne illness.
Let’s say that you’re at work for eight hours throughout the day, and you have a one-hour commute in total.
That’s nine hours, plus any stops after work before heading home, where wet food would be left out.
As humans, we’re not even supposed to leave leftovers out of the fridge for more than four hours, otherwise we are recommended to throw them in the trash.
Think about wet food growing bacteria, as it’s uncovered, for nine hours in total. It runs a high risk of getting your cat sick.
Wet food should only be served to your cat when you are nearby and able to clean up afterwards.
Any shreds of wet food that made it outside of the bowl/can and onto the floor need to be cleaned up as well so that your cat doesn’t eat them later after bacterial growth has occurred.
Many cats will turn up their nose to spoiling food, but they may not be able to detect any odors when the food is beginning to spoil and has just crossed that threshold where it’s no longer safe to eat.
That, and cleaning dried, wet food out of a gravity feeder would be a kind of fresh hell that nobody wants to endure.
Healthier Eating Habits for Your Cat
It’s hard to get your cat to eat right, but by slowing everything down, you’ll be able to teach them to listen to their stomachs when they’re full, and prevent overeating.
It could be all you need to correct bad eating habit behavior from your furry little mister.