Best Puzzle Feeders For Cats


Catch Interactive Feeder Bowl

  • Reduces eating time
  • Prevents choking & bloating
  • Make every meal time fun and challenging
  • 100% Guarantee & Safe

Trixie 5-in-1 Activity Center

  • Includes 5 Games for fun mean time
  • Fun Board
  • Fun Circle
  • Poker Box
  • Slide & Feed
  • Tunnel Feeder

PetSafe Slim Cat Interactive Toy

  • Adjustable openings
  • Improves cat's digestion
  • Dishwasher safe

Housecats have pretty awesome lives, don’t you think? Lots of pats, warm beds to sleep in, toys to play with, plants to knock over, sofas to scratch, and food on demand. What a life!

The thing is, it’s easy for your kitty to get lazy when they live a life of luxury.

Their predatory instincts get dull, they lie around more than they would if they had to hunt their food, and sloth can set in.

To help your cat live a full, happy and healthy life, you might think about using a puzzle feeder.

Puzzle feeders introduce uncertainty back into meal times for your pussin. Instead of just chowing down on whatever delicacy you’ve placed in front of them, kitty has to work for her food! This keeps her brain engaged and can often provide additional exercise.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about puzzle feeders. We’ll also recommend three popular products you might like to consider.

Cats need enrichment in their environment

Cats were first domesticated in the Near East, over 10,000 years ago. The 600 million cats in the world today are all descended from five female cats known as Felis silvestris lybica. That’s some family tree!

However, despite this long period of domestication, cats are still wild animals at heart.

Scientists working on the cat genome project have found that cats really only put up with people because they like getting rewards. It’s actually the process of getting food from people that enticed wild cats to live alongside the human population – and that fact is still true today.

Their research shows that really, cats are only “semi-domesticated”. This means that your tame housecat actually retains many of the qualities that a wild cat has.

Now of course, everybody – kitties and people alike – enjoy a life of convenience where food is regular, plentiful and available. It’s nice to not have to go out and catch a mouse or kill a mammoth, isn’t it?

However, the regular feeding schedule actually produces boredom in cats fairly quickly. There’s no challenge involved in eating a delicious tin of cat food, or in wolfing down kibble.

This can have negative consequences. You might find your cat is bored and starts ripping up your sofa or your curtains. Boredom, environmental stress, and frustration are all reasons that cats start to show behavioral problems.

She might develop other behaviors too, like becoming completely food-focused, because that is the only thing she has to look forward to during her day (especially if she is an inside cat). Even the most food-seeking missile of a cat needs some enrichment in their environment.

In the same way that some people overeat when they’re bored or stressed, cats use food as a way of bringing enjoyment and interest into their day. Your cat isn’t just greedy – she is seeking stimulation. A puzzle can help slow down over-eating while providing the mental stimulation she needs.

However, if you are able to introduce variety and fun into your cat’s daily life instead, this can help to address negative behaviors, by providing exercise and challenging their minds.

Using a puzzle feeder can help to provide the stimulation your pussin needs – and help keep their waistline trim.

What are puzzle feeders?

Puzzle feeders are a way of providing mental stimulation for your pussin, as well as slowing down their eating. They are a small “puzzle” where you hide the food and your cat needs to work out how to get it out. They tap into your cat’s natural instinct to hunt their food.

Puzzle feeders tend to come in two types:

  • Stationery – these puzzles stay in one place on the floor, and your pussin uses their paws, nose or mouth to extract the food hidden inside
  • Rolling – rolling puzzles are a bigger challenge as they’ll scoot across the floor as your kitty tries to get the food inside. This is great for exercise! But it also means the puzzles are generally harder, so don’t start off with one like this unless you have a super-smart pet who’s already familiar with stationery feeder puzzles.

Puzzle feeders for cats are easy to buy or make, and you can choose puzzles at different levels to increase your cat’s enjoyment as they learn each new puzzle.

How to train your cat to use a puzzle feeder

To successfully train your cat to use a puzzle feeder, it’s important to follow some simple rules and guidelines.

  1. Start out easy. You don’t want your cat to get frustrated because the puzzle is too hard. Begin by using a very simple puzzle, where your cat can clearly see and smell the food and may only need to use a paw to get it out. It should have a lot of openings so that it’s easy to retrieve the food.
  1. Make it worth it. Fill up the puzzle to at least half to three-quarters full. You want your cat to actively hunt the food out, not get bored and give up because there are only a few biscuits in there, or because they can’t get some out quickly. The reward needs to come fast in the beginning so that your cat begins to associate the puzzle with a pleasurable experience – eating!
  1. Gradually increase the challenge. As your kitty gets used to a stationery or open puzzle, with time you can increase the level of the challenge. This will keep their brain working and will make mealtimes much more interesting. This could mean:
    • Changing the puzzle feeder to a more difficult one, or stepping up to a roller feeder
    • Placing the puzzle feeder in unexpected places around the house, so that your kitty has to “hunt” their food.

Once your cat has got the hang of puzzle feeders, your cat will be happier for it.

Three popular puzzle feeders for your cat

Catch Interactive Feeder Bowl

A good option for beginners, this puzzle feeder is open and stationery. Your cat can see and smell the food easily and will be able to get it out quickly. This plastic feeder bowl measures 27 x 23 x 7.5cm and easily washes up when your pussin is done.

alt
Available on
Product Name
Catch Interactive Feeder Bowl
Dimensions
27 * 23 * 7.5cm/10.6*9.1*3.0 inches
Item Weight
471g
Available colors
Green, Purple
Features
Reduces eating time, Prevents choking and bloating, Make every meal time fun and challenging, 100% Guarantee and Safe.
Unit Cost
$ Check price
5555Amazon 4 logo(14.99+ reviews)

Trixie 5-in-1 Activity Center

With five different game options, this stationery puzzle feeder is a step-up for pussins who already comfortably use simple feeders. It uses five different retrieval techniques including sight and smell, and it’s suitable for wet, dry and liquid food or treats. It measures 12 x 16 inches and is dishwasher safe.

alt
Available on
Product Name
Trixie 5-in-1 Activity Center
Dimensions
15.8 x 12 x 3.3 inches
Item Weight
3.2 pounds
Features
Includes 5 Games for fun mean time, Fun Board, Fun Circle, Poker Box, Slide and Feed, Tunnel Feeder
Unit Cost varies per game.
$$$ Check price
10001000Amazon 4.5 logo(21.88+ reviews)

PetSafe Slim Cat Interactive Toy

This very popular product is also super simple – but it will make your cat work hard for their food! You just add dry food inside the ball, clip it shut, and place it on the floor. Your kitty has to play with it to get the kibble to drop out through small holes. You can adjust the setting to make it easier or harder.

alt
Available on
Product Name
PetSafe Slim Cat Interactive Toy
Dimensions
5.8 x 3.2 x 7 inches
Item Weight
0.96 ounces
Available colors
Blue, Green, Orange, Pink
Features
Digital thermostat, quiet fan, automatic temperature control, 170 degree heat sweet setting.
Unit Cost varies as per color of product
$$$ Check price
26422642Amazon 4 logo(5.95+ reviews)

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