Please note that some posts contains affiliate links & I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links Find out More

🐱 WHAT To Do If Your Cat LICKS O...
🐱 WHAT To Do If Your Cat LICKS Or EATS TOOTHPASTE?

How Cats Eat

by | Jun 18, 2021 | Cat Behavior & Care | 8 comments

How cats eat and their cat bowl preferences seems the next logical post in a series of blogs that have covered how dogs eat, as well as how cats hunt. The cat that must hunt for his food typically catches small game like mice, rats, or rabbits, crouches over the kill, and swallows small prey headfirst, fur, feathers and all. If the cat is able to rarely nab a bird, it may be plucked first to remove obnoxious tail feathers. Rabbit-size prey are eaten more slowly.

cat huntHow Cats Eat

The cat’s teeth are designed for a carnivorous lifestyle. The dagger-shaped canine teeth are used to kill, while the tiny incisors across the front of the jaw pluck feathers or skin from the prey. Rather than chewing, cats shear off manageable portions of food with their molars, then swallow these chunks. The specialized teeth are located in the side of the cat’s mouth, so Kitty typically tilts his head to the side while eating. Nibbling with incisors and licking with his rough tongue rasps off smaller pieces.

Cats tend to be intermittent feeders, or grazers—rather than gorgers (like dogs). Healthy cats eat several small meals throughout the day. A typical meal of dry food might consist of half a dozen kibbles or so—about the nutritional value of a mouse. That’s why I prefer to feed Karma-Kat with feeder like the Doc & Phoebe No Bowl solution. It mimics the way cats hunt. Some food-obsessed cats gobble food, though, which can lead to problems.

how cats drink

How Cats Drink

To drink, the cat uses his water-absorbent tongue curled into a spoon shape. Kitty laps up liquid creating an efficient bio-mechanical process that creates a column of liquid they swallow before gravity sucks it back into the bowl. They swallow after every four or five laps. Larger cats lap more slowly than smaller cats to adjust for the size/process.

A bowl of clean water should be available at all times. A water fountain may be an ideal solution–especially to keep cats from drinking from the toilet! Learn more about kitty drinking technique in this post.

Why Cats Hate Cold Food

Cats relish food that is body or room temperature—the same as prey. Food cooler than this may be refused, or even vomited when eaten cold, so always allow refrigerated foods to warm before serving. A few seconds in the microwave often helps, but don’t overheat.

Do your cats prefer room temp foods or will they gnosh on refrigerated items? For a while just due to easy storage, I kept Seren’s dry food in the freezer and she didn’t seem to mind.

Some cats share food bowls with no problem, but dinner time is less stressful when everyone has his own place. When you have more than one cat, feed them in separate bowls some distance apart to help avoid confrontations.

how cats eatCAT BOWL PREFERENCE

Several bowl choices are available, from trendy designer crockery to paper plates. Consider what the cat likes before making your choice.

Cats dislike chasing a lightweight bowl over the floor. They are turned off by a dirty or smelly dish. Longhaired and flat-faced cats prefer shallow bowls that allow them to eat to the bottom without bending their whiskers or getting their face messy.

Plastic bowls tend to hold odors, are hardest to keep clean, and their light weight allows them to slide around the floor. Some cats may suffer skin problems like acne resulting from plastic food bowls.

United States-made ceramic bowls are better choices because of their solid weight and ease in cleaning. The glazes in ceramic bowls manufactured in some foreign countries, though, may contain lead.

Heavy non-breakable glass bowls are also good choices, and cats may drink more water from glass containers because they like the taste. But care must be taken if the glass is breakable.

Stainless Steel Cat Bowl, the Cats Meow

Stainless steel bowls are the choice of veterinary clinics because they are easily sterilized and are non-breakable. The FrostyBowlz is one of the best products I’ve seen, in which the insert can be frozen to keep food and water chilled and fresh. See what Seren thinks of the bowl, below. Some cats object to the taste of water or food offered in such containers, though. You may need to experiment before finding a safe, practical alternative for your cat.

What sort of bowl or dish do you serve to your cats? Do they care or are they persnickety? Do tell!


 

YouTube Button

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Do you have a new kitten and need answers? 

NOTE: Some links to books or other products may be to affiliates, from which I may earn a small percentage of sales, but I do not recommend anything unless I feel it would benefit readers. Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter. Stay up to date with the latest book give aways and appearances related to my September Day pet-centric THRILLERS WITH BITE!

8 Comments

  1. Brenda

    We’ve been feeding Oscar on saucers at least since he has been switched to wet food — maybe before I think. Today’s is a U.S. made Corelleware one. Sometimes U.S. made china saucers have been used. He prefers clean saucers for sure. His water bowl is plastic and probably should be replaced with a stainless steel.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      I’ve got several water fountains and bowls. Love the saucers.

      Reply
  2. Andrea Dorn

    I’ve learned after decades of living with cats that all water bowls must be in either the bathtub or the sink. This is because my cats have always loved scooping the water out of their bowls and playing with it! Right now I keep three large bowls in the tub, one small one in the bathroom sink and one in the kitchen sink.

    Oh, and so many of them prefer to drink water direct from the faucet. My bathroom faucet dripped for a long time before I got it fixed. Now the cats sometimes jump up there and just stare at it perhaps wondering what happened 🙂

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Andrea, Seren has always enjoyed the drippy faucet, too. With her I think it has a lot to do with interaction at the sink…she knows what to expect when we’re in the bathroom, and can hang out, get attention, AND get a drink all at one place.

      Fortunately she doesn’t play with the water. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Patricia Hubbard

    My indoor cats use stainless steel bowls for their water and dry food and use throw-away bowls for their wet food. They all get along well when eating but do not like cold food and thank goodness for the microwave to sometimes take the chill off. Now of course if it’s ice cream or milk, that’s a different story. I swear if Thomas is in another room and he hears the cap come off the milk here he comes running meow meowing all the way. I usually give him a couple drops so he knows he had some. He’s got ears like a elephant. Very interesting about their teeth and the specific things they use them for. Oh yes, many years ago I came home from work and apparently a mouse had got in and my gift was part of a foot and tail. Ugh! Of course they wanted to be praised. Great review on the FrostyBowlz.

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Patricia, isn’t that funny how they don’t want SOME kinds of food to be cold…but the ice cream or even yogurt is fine. lol!

      Reply
  4. Bruce

    thanks for the information Amy this article is very interesting, I usually put the food bowl close to the drinking bowl. and provide meals 3 times a day

    Reply
    • Amy Shojai

      Thanks for visiting and commenting, Bruce.

      Reply

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Personalized Pet Bowls Review | Amy Shojai's Blog Personalized Pet Bowls Review | Bling, Bitches, and Blood - [...] an honest review…or rather, the pets would. After all, I’d already written about how cats eat as well as…
  2. How Cats Hunt: Feline Hunting Behavior Explained - […] groom herself before claiming the prize. Then, she’ll carry the prey to a well-sheltered area to eat. Like your…
  3. Food Obsessed Pets: Here's Why Pets Gobble Food & What to Do - […] specific breed of a cat doesn’t appear to play a role in feline gobblers. Refer to this post on…
  4. Sick Kitty: What to Do About Anorexia When Pets Won't EatAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] important to know your individual pet’s routine and preferences. Read about how dogs eat and how cats eat for…
  5. Why Do Pets Suck? Learn Why Dogs & Cats Nurse On ObjectsAMY SHOJAI'S Bling, Bitches & Blood - […] Suckling is natural for kittens. Learn more about how cats eat in this post. […]

Leave a Reply

Categories:

Recent Posts

TOP 10 DO’s & DON’Ts WHEN ADOPTING A PET for ADOPT A DOG MONTH

It’s Adopt A Dog Month! If a new fur-kid is in your future, remember that more goes into adopting a dog than picking the “prettiest” or just plopping food in a bowl. I’ve written about shelter adoptions before, but here are more specific tips. Follow these do’s and don’ts to ensure your furry love connection lasts past the honeymoon and endures for the lifetime of that pet.

10 DO’s & DON’Ts for Adopting a Dog (or Cat)

Don’t adopt too early. Kittens and puppies adopted too young bite and claw more than those corrected by Mom and siblings. Wait to adopt furry until they are at least 8-10 weeks old for pups and 12 to 16 weeks for kittens…

What Makes Humans Happy? And Where Do Pets Fit In?

When we look at the principles of Positive Psychology (the study of what human wellbeing and fulfillment is made of – including happiness) it’s easy to see why so many of us attribute our happiness and wellness to our pets! I’ve frequently written about how pets show love, and what dogs want out of life. So why not explore what makes humans happy, too?

Read on to learn about th 5 Elements of Human Well-being According to Positive Psychology…

How to Prepare for a Disaster: Pet Preparedness & Tips

With the latest hurricane and more on the way, it’s time to revisit your pet disaster plan. You do have one, right? After Katrina and Harvey, everyone should understand the importance of disaster preparation.

I posted this in June for National Pet Preparedness Month. September is Disaster Preparation Month. Hurricane Ian drives home the importance of having a disaster plan not only for yourself when Mother Nature throws a tantrum but also to keep your pets safe. Whether you must deal with tornadoes, floods, landslides, typhoons, wildfires, or other emergencies, there’s a rule that we must always PLAN FOR THE WORST.

And then pray it doesn’t happen. For those going through issues now, refer to these resources:

Florida Animal Shelter Emergency Response
Mobile Phone: 941-525-8035.
Office Phone: 863-577-4605.
Email: sthayer@spcaflorida.org.

Florida Animal Shelter Emergency Response

American Humane Red Star Disaster Response

American Red Cross

Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief (Government)

What Cats Want Out of Life & What Cats Need

Whether you share your pillow with a kitty, or care for feral, stray or community cats, always consider what cats want out of life. I’ve written about what makes humans happy, as well as what dogs want out of life, and it’s time for the cats. We love our cats all year long, but sometimes lose sight of what cats need out of life. It’s important to channel your “inner kitty” to learn how to keep the purrs rumbling 24/7 to provide what cats need.

Dark Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Books Galore! Booksweeps Giveaway, Emily Kimelman & More!

👀 I spy a steal…If you haven’t read my first September & Shadow Thriller, you can enter to win it on BookSweeps today — plus 55 exciting Dark Mysteries, Thrillers & Suspense books from a great collection of authors… AND a brand new eReader 😀

I’ve teamed up with fantastic authors to give away a huge collection of mysteries and suspense thrillers to 2 lucky winners!

Oh, and did I mention the Grand Prize winner gets a BRAND NEW eReader? 😁

Adopting “Other-Abled” and Less Adoptable Pets

September 19-25 is National Adopt A Less Adoptable Pet Week, founded by PetFinder.com. The organization encourages shelters and rescues to create special week-long events devoted to giving overlooked pets like those with disabilities a better chance at finding homes.

This struck a chord with me, especially after living with a tri-pawd dog when Bravo lost his leg. He didn’t act disabled, though. Have you ever adopted an other-abled pet or less adoptable pet?

What Is A Less Adoptable Pet

Why less adoptable? They’re the wrong breed or have special needs. Overlooked pets include deaf dogs or deaf cats, blind pets, or those missing a limb. Many folks prefer the ‘perfect’ cute puppy or kitten and don’t want a crippled pet, or just don’t like the color of the dog or cat. Of course, we know black dogs and cats, and those with only one eye, or three legs, still love us with all their furry hearts! Read on…

Do Pets See In Color?

I love this question. What do you think? Today’s Ask Amy topic is Do dogs see in color? What about cats and dogs, do they see things differently?

Today, take a fun look at this YouTube video discussing the question. And weigh in with your own thoughts in the comments–does color matter to your fur kids?

How to Manage Fur Shedding

When dog shedding and cat shedding creates hairy tumbleweeds, it creates a fur-ocious mess you need to manage. At one time, our German Shepherd Magic’s fur shedding turned our cream carpet to gray. Today we live with two short-haired pets. But Karma-Kat’s silver fur and the Shadow-Pup’s undercoat become furry dust mice on the kitchen’s slate floor, float through the air, and cling to upholstery and clothing. Knowing what to do goes beyond keeping the house clean. Proper fur care can prevent skin problems and also help manage hairballs.

Exposure to sunlight or artificial light determines the timing and amount of shedding. “It is a normal process which can be accelerated under certain circumstances,” says Steven Melman, VMD, an internationally known expert on veterinary dermatology and the founder of DermaZoo.com. In fact, indoor pets exposed to artificial light shed nonstop, even during triple-digit summer or frigid winter months.

Whatever time of year shedding occurs, it’s aggravating, and a nonstop cleaning challenge. Why do pets shed fur, and how can we manage the mess?

DON’T Hug Your Dog on National Hug Your Hound Day! Here’s Why

Several years ago when I wrote for the puppies.about.com site (now TheSprucePets) I took issue with a promotion advertised by a big-name pet food company that encouraged people to post pictures of themselves hugging dogs. Hoo-boy…Oh dear heaven, by the comments I received you’d think that I said cute babies are evil, apple pie is poison and advocated BEATING YOUR DOG! Part of that has to do with folks reading only the title and ignoring the content of the message. Oh well. That drives home the importance of titles, I suppose.

The promo really struck a chord with pet lovers. After all, who doesn’t love a hug? Hugs mean love, hugs mean happy happy happy, hugs are tail-wagging expressions of the joy we share with dogs. Right? RIGHT?!

Uh, no. And glory be, the promotion lives on, declaring September 11 as “Hug Your Hound Day.” Before you tar-and-feather me, read on to learn WHY hugging your dog can put you, and your dog, in danger…

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP): Treatment Hope On The Horizon

Since September celebrates Happy Cat Month, I wanted to share some recent good news about FIP. Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a viral disease of cats first described in the late 1950s that continues to challenge our understanding today. Until recently, FIP was considered a death sentence and veterinarians had little help for diagnosing the disease. On September 1, 2022, The American Association of Feline Practitioners and EveryCat Health Foundation announced the publication of Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP) Diagnosis Guidelines appearing in the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery. PLEASE let your veterinarian know.

Dr. Niels Pedersen, now professor emeritus at U.C. Davis, California, has studied FIP since the 1960s. I had the honor to interview Dr. Pederson for an article about FIP that appeared in CATS Magazine (no longer printed) back in the 1990s, and later to hear him speak at prestigious veterinary conferences and at the Cat Writers’ Association events. You can read a 2017 Winn Feline Foundation recap of one of Dr. Pedersen’s sessions on the topic here.  

Today, FIP can be treated, and some cats like Wizard (in the pictures) possibly cured of the disease.

Visit Amy’s Website

Amy Shojai CACB is an award winning author.  You can find all her publications and book her to speak via her website. 

On Demand Writer Coaching

AmyShojai.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com http://amazon.com/.

Awards

Memberships

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This