When you have a cat with food obsession, slowing down their eating is one solution to the constant meowing by your cat to be feed.
Somewhere over the past two years of everyone being constantly home, one of our cats starting begging on a near constant basis for food. She spends hours every day morosely hanging out on the counter and meowing loudly whenever anyone enters the kitchen.
After some alarming weight gain from overeating, I brought her to our vet for a checkup to rule out any health issues triggering her incessant need to eat. After a physical evaluation and a blood panel, our vet declared, “it’s not physical, it’s mental.”
I have since cut way back on her treats and carefully monitor her meal times to make sure she isn’t helping herself to the dishes of our two other cats.
One other strategy I decided to implement was a cat puzzle feeder toy to both slow down how fast she inhales the treats we do give her and to provide some enrichment in order to stretch out the feeding time.
Trying out the Catit puzzle feeder
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After some research, I settled on trying out the Catit Senses 2.0 Digger Interactive Cat Toy. I liked the simple design of this cat puzzle feeder.
The cat puzzle feeder comes with a white plastic holder that has slots for the five cups: two large and three small. A rubber base fits under the holder to keep the feeder from moving around.
The puzzle feeder is easy to clean. There are no crevices for food or debris to get stuck into. The smooth plastic surface allows for a quick wipe with a sponge and dish soap to clean.
To assemble, place the green cups into the slots and place the holder on top of the gray rubber base. Pull gently on the edges of the rubber base to secure it around the holder.
The puzzle feeder is for dry cat food only. This means you can either put dry kibble or cat treats into the cups. The puzzle feeder is designed to have cats fish their paws into the cups to pull out the treats or kibble.
After cleaning the puzzle feeder, I put one cat treat into the bottom of each cup and waited to see how my cat would react. At first she was annoyed that there weren’t any cat treats in her dish and kept looking at me and meowing expectantly.
After a few minutes, she was draw to the puzzle feeder by the smell of the cat treats inside each cup. She pawed in confusion outside of the cups at first as tried to get to the treats.
It didn’t take her long to dip a paw into one of the cups and fish out a treat. Once she did that, she pretty quickly figured out how to get the rest of the treats out of the other cups. The whole treat feeding the first time probably took around ten minutes.
Once she got the treats out, she very quickly pulled out the cups looking for more treats.
She gets treats once a day and each time, I have been using the puzzle feeder. She has gotten quicker and now immediately starts fishing out the treats.
This takes her only a few minutes but it’s a lot longer than the few seconds it used to take her to eat her treats and it prevents her from stealing treats off the plates of my slower eating cats. By the time she is done fiddling with the puzzle feeder, the other two cats have had a chance to eat all of their treats.