Cross or 'X'-shaped cat kibble?
October 19, 2014 7:30 AM   Subscribe

A few years ago all the kibbles started mysteriously switching to the small round pellet shape. This is less than ideal since some cats will wolf down the kibble, completely unchewed, and then throw it up. This is essentially an industrywide phenomenon due to a study showing cats will eat 40% more of the pellet shape. What manufacturers have kept a cross or other larger shape that must be chewed?

It's shocking, though perhaps not entirely expected, that this would happen. What manufacturer would turn down a 40% sales increase? The cynic in me even says that ralphed-up nibbles are better for the company!

I would prefer a quality food without too much in the way of fillers like chicken byproduct meal, etc., but honestly the nutritional quality at this point is not as important as slowing down the consumption. I have a slow feeder, but it can only do so much. Cats, as obligate carnivores, do not have grinding teeth, just piercing and cutting, so they're not going to break down a pellet shape.
posted by wnissen to Pets & Animals (15 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite
Dave's Naturally Healthy is a Y-shape (a little over a quarter-inch wide) with pretty decent ingredients. I can post a picture if it would help.
posted by dayintoday at 7:49 AM on October 19, 2014

We put a golf ball in the food bowl and it slows the eating right down. No more scarf and barf.
posted by sadtomato at 8:15 AM on October 19, 2014 [9 favorites]

You might consider a different slow-feeder, because my dog also did the snarf-and-barf-and-snarf cycle. We have this one. But if you're definitely looking for X-shape cat food, HealthWise makes some.
posted by juniperesque at 8:29 AM on October 19, 2014

Hills Science Diet Light (Lite?) Hairball formula is still pyramid-shaped. It doesn't keep one of my little hairballs from snorting it all up, but other kitty just prefers it.
posted by ezust at 8:40 AM on October 19, 2014

Pet Guard chicken and brown rice is corn, soy, wheat, yeast and by product free. It is Y shaped. (I had to go look!)
posted by SyraCarol at 8:50 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

We feed our freaks Meow Mix. Most varieties have a number of non-pellety shapes, including X's.
posted by SquidLips at 9:04 AM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Our cat would eat the spokes of the "x", and leave the hub.
posted by BostonTerrier at 9:37 AM on October 19, 2014 [10 favorites]

Purina One indoor has triangles, Y-shapes and pellets. I've seen a marked reduction in puke since I switched from their Urinary Health line (which IIRC was all pellets).
posted by desjardins at 10:09 AM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Our cats eat Hill's t/d Feline Dental Health. It (supposedly) helps keep their teeth clean because it consists of large spherical pieces that cats have to bite it into pieces (theoretically scraping plaque from their teeth). It's certainly large enough that it slows them down considerably. It's also fairly low calorie, which is good for our mostly indoor chubbos (even though they love it enough to eat it exclusively even when they have a choice of foods). The downsides are that it's relatively expensive and you need to see a vet in order to buy it.
posted by GoLikeHellMachine at 10:33 AM on October 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Bench & Fields Holistic Feline Formula is in a Y shape, but this doesn't prevent my cat from swallowing them whole (he actually only has his canine teeth now so he can't really chomp).
posted by tangaroo at 12:37 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Science diet oral care kibble is large and needs to be chewed because it is too large to be swallowed. It is a pellet shape (just significantly larger than standard kibble), but my cat definitely can chew them.
posted by fermezporte at 12:42 PM on October 19, 2014

Meow Mix and Purina regular dry are both multi-shape. I think the Friskies foods are pellets.
posted by irisclara at 4:43 PM on October 19, 2014

This thread seriously has the potential to change my life: we just spent today hitting the many, many barf spots with carpet cleaner. I look forward to all of the answers.
posted by sfkiddo at 6:50 PM on October 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

We use Nutro Max Cat, which, helpfully, shows pictures of the kibble on the bag. Some still goes down whole for our cats, but much less so than pellets. Nutrition-wise, our vet and shelter tell us it's an improvement over the most ubiquitous brands at a mid-range cost.
posted by Leona at 7:20 AM on October 21, 2014

We use Royal Canin Oral Health which are big chunks of kibble. All thee of em love it. At least two crunches per chunk.
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:57 PM on November 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

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