General Question

Awooble's avatar

How can I keep them from yacking?

Asked by Awooble (61points) May 28th, 2009

Does anyone know of a dry cat food that has large enough pieces that they actually have to CHEW their food?

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12 Answers

Aethelwine's avatar

Purina Kit N Kaboodle. It has stuffed morsels that take longer to chew. Hope this helps.

crisw's avatar

I think that the nutrition in the food is much more important than the noise your cats make while eating it. Store-bought foods like Kit N Kaboodle are crap.

If the noise bothers you, you can switch to wet food. Or feed the cats in a different room.

Cats didn’t evolve to chew their food. They have slicing molars, not grinding ones, and they don’t move their jaws in a rotary fashion.

Aethelwine's avatar

@crisw I’ve had many cats survive using store bought food. Where might you suggest we buy our food from then?

Supacase's avatar

@crisw I could be wrong, but I think @Awooble is talking about the cats throwing up, not making noise.

crisw's avatar

@Supacase

Maybe..“yacking” isn’t much of a technical term!

If they are throwing up, I’d look at hairballs before i blamed the food.

crisw's avatar

@jonsblond

Cats have very finicky nutrition. While some cats thrive on store-bought food, others have problems with things like feline urological syndrome diabetes and taurine deficiency.

Unlike dogs, cats are obligate carnivores. They evolved over millions of years to eat only meat- not grain. Grocery store brands are filled with grain. I feed my cats a grain-free kibble (Innova Evo) which I buy in a local pet supply store.

augustlan's avatar

Meow Mix Hairball Formula has helped to reduce the amount of ‘yacking’ my cats are doing.

elijah's avatar

I feed my pets Wellness. Do a quick search of what goes into grocery store pet food. You will switch. Yes it’s more expensive but they will eat less because it’s not stuffed with fillers. His stomach might not be digesting properly so it comes back up.

Darwin's avatar

Funny. In our house cats “urp” instead of “yack.” Is that a regional dialect or an entirely different language?

augustlan's avatar

We just say ‘puke’ or ‘throw up’.

Awooble's avatar

We do buy “high end” food from a pet supply store…their yak (throw up) is consisting of nothing but entire pieces of food – which is considerably different from a hairball. I was hoping if they actually chewed the food, it would digest better instead of coming straight back. But, according to crisw they aren’t supposed to chew?

Darwin's avatar

As @crisw has said already, cats don’t have teeth that are designed for chewing. Instead, they have a mouth full of razor-sharp blades for slicing chunks off an animal and then swallowing the chunks whole.

Cats actually are designed to throw up rather easily. Scientists speculate that this could be an adaptation that allows them to get rid of toxins or bad food. In some cats, however, this mechanism is set a bit too delicately, so the cat throws up often (usually on something you care about or in a very difficult place to clean). If a cat has a food allergy or sensitivity, too, the body could interpret the food as a toxin. Thus, many cat owners are starting to avoid foods with corn in it or other grains as well.

Cats may regurgitate (ie “yak) because they are eating too fast. If you suspect this is the case there are new bowls specifically for puppies (but which could do the trick for cats) that make it impossible to bolt the food. You could also either feed multiple small meals instead of one or two large ones, or allow self-feeding, which works well if you feed only dry food.

There is also a type of nerve damage where the food sits in the cat’s esophagus instead of going on into the stomach, at least until the cat throws it up. Cats with this problem may be very thin or may show rapid weight loss because they are starving. If your cat, despite his new-found hobby, is still plump, active and healthy, with a shiny coat, then there he most likely has no disease as the cause.

In addition, there can be esophageal blockages or strictures, problems with the muscles of the esophagus, and other physical difficulties, which you can read about here . Even an undiagnosed case of pneumonia can cause a cat to regurgitate its food.

Another thing to watch for is the cat’s demeanor. If it suddenly throws up but right afterward returns to its normal, lovable self, then the cat probably is not feeling any nausea. Thus it really is just regurgitating the contents of its esophagus rather than vomiting the contents of its stomach.

A nauseous cat is a sick cat. They often drool, their haws can be raised, and they frequently go into what I call the “bad kidney crouch.” In this case, the cat needs to get to the vet ASAP because the conditions that cause nausea in cats can be rapidly fatal.

If your cat is throwing up daily, or if your cat is losing weight or looking ill, then take your cat in to the vet. Otherwise try non-grain containing food, multiple small meals or free feeding instead of one or two large ones, or try wet food instead of dry.

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