We recently brought a shelter cat (was a stray) into our home. At first, his eating habits were normal, but as time went on he started to eat frantically as if every meal were his last. I know this is common in strays. We've started feeding our two cats in separate rooms, tried placing larger objects in the bowl to slow his eating, switched to a food with higher protein and fiber content, but nothing seems to be helping. Our female cat tends to nibble on her food, often leaving food in her bowl most of the day. He has now started eating her leftovers as well. She is a tiny cat and finicky eater so I'd rather not have to take her bowl away. I've looked into automatic feeders, but they are so expensive. Do you have any other advice or suggestions?
well to be honest there is only one way and that is to remove food which is not eaten. Also give him smaller portions but feed more regularly this will stop him gulping down his food and possibly bringing it back up (my cat did this).
You could try a week or so of confinement in one room for your new stray cat. In this room should be placed his bed, toys litter and water and he only comes out to eat. Sometimes giving a cat a chance to have to only get used used to a small area first gives them time to calm down and settle before having the larger space to explore. It may be an idea to try and help your cat relax in his new home.
Don't forget to give him lots of attention during his confinement and make his world a stimulating one with lots of interesting toys which will challenge him and get him to stop concentrating on the food issue. I have a page about indoor cats and how to enrich their environment here /indoor-cats.html
I hope all works out well for you all
best wishes Kate