If you’re curious how CH kitties eat, think of a toddler: food flying everywhere, covering her face. Is it always that bad? Certainly not. But CH parents need to be prepared for everything — including mealtime.
Feeding CH Kittens
Depending on the severity of their condition, some CH babies may not be able to eat by themselves. To help with this, try spoon-feeding your little one wet food, or whatever your vet recommends. You’ll likely have to participate in many, if not all, feedings to make sure your little one is eating properly.
Unless your CH kitty has mild to possibly moderate CH, chances are you’ll have to experiment with several food dishes. Like water bowls, your CH cat’s food dish much match her abilities and needs. Many CH kitties experience head tremors while trying to eat, and consequently they may peck or bob at their food. Because of this, several factors need to be taken into consideration: namely the bowl’s diameter (so your kitty doesn’t have to aim too hard) and if it’s sturdy.
If you plan on having a kibble bowl, odds are a large, ceramic dog food bowl will do the job nicely. Skip the cat supply aisle for this necessity, as you may find most cat bowls’ diameters are too small. Metal dishes are a good option too (especially if they have non-slip bottoms), but a ceramic dish is less likely to be knocked over — especially if your kitty likes to scoop out kibble!
However, this is just the start, as some kitties may have an easier time eating out of non-traditional bowls. Look for bowls that have easy access. Another option is this smaller low-entry bowl from Petco. (Note: Some kitties are allergic to plastic, so keep that in mind if you plan to use a plastic food dish.)
And then we have several options for wet food.
Some folks use small paper plates, which makes clean-up a breeze. I prefer to use small ceramic plates and flatter dishes, which seem to work well for my cats. I think this is really a personal preference, but here are a few suggestions:
The dishes on the left are cat food dishes; you can find similar ones at your local pet store. The dishes on the right are actually appetizer plates. I use these in my home because they’re generally a bit bigger and flatter than official cat food dishes.
Some CH kitties have a difficult time leaning down and focusing on their food, so if this is the case, try placing the food on a raised platform (see the top photo). If the dishes slip off while your kitty eats, try using non-slip mats under the dishes, or find an elevated feeder that comes with removable bowls.
If you have a scooper or messy eater, odds are you’ll need a placemat to go under that food (and separate water) bowl. After a few messes are made, you’ll find that one that is easy to clean and is anti-slip is ideal. As mentioned in on the Drinking page, silicon mats are a good option as they’ll make sure your cat’s bowl doesn’t slip all over the floor. However, a regular placemat or towel can do the job nicely, too.
While the placemat is a good start, also remember to keep the floor clean around your cat’s eating area clean, as well. This is because most CH kitties are messy eaters — whether they intentionally fling food everywhere or don’t — but they’ll usually clean up too. Keeping a clean floor is not only sanitary, but if your cat decides to eat that kibble she tossed out of the bowl, she won’t be eating dirt and dustballs, too.
Some CH kitties are known for scooping their kibble (even wet food at times) out of the bowl and on to the floor, where they then eat it. CG began do this at an early age, but I’ve yet to catch Ellie. Some can even scoop the food from the bowl straight to their mouth.
Other CH cats lay down while they eat, and may rest their heads on the bowls.
How does your CH kitty eat?