Food Puzzles for Cats
Cats are Natural Predators
In the wild, they will hunt several times daily and eat small meals multiple times. Indoor cats need to be given similar stimulations when feeding for their physical and mental health being. This is part of environment enrichment. These enrichments provide the cats with exercise, entertainment and opportunities to forage for food.
Food puzzles can be purchased commercially or be homemade; rolling and stationary.
Here's how to introduce them to your feline friend.
- Make it easy when starting. It's frustrating when you can see/smell your food but cannot get it! So, make it easy in the beginning.
- First, start with placing a small handful of dry food in places that the cat spends a lot of their time to allow them to discover food in new places.
- Next, introduce a puzzle that is at least half way or three quarter way full to that the food dispenses easily. Also, sprinkle a few pieces of dry food around the puzzle so that they nudge the puzzle to get them. This will allow them to associate moving the puzzle with getting food.
- Start with puzzles that are clear and have many or big openings. This will allow them to see, smell and hear the food. They are also less likely to be discouraged if they are rewarded with food for playing with the puzzles. Wet food may be fed in muffin pans or ice-cube trays.
- Gradually increase the difficulty of the puzzles over time. Try using opaque puzzles/ puzzles with odd shapes.
- For advanced hunters, you can try: Hiding the puzzle around the house, putting small puzzles in a bigger one, putting small objects or weights inside the puzzle to make it more difficult to move the puzzle of or the food to come out.
- In time, you aim to feed your cat's entire meal from food puzzles.
For more ideas, speak to one of our staff members or go to foodpuzzlesforcats.com