What to Look for in a Puzzle Feeder for Cats?
So your cats told you to go out and buy them a puzzle feeder - we get it - but with so many on the market, how do you decide which is best? To help, we've put together a list of criteria to look for when shopping for this type of cat toy!
To understand what makes a great puzzle feeder, it's important to first review why you're getting one in the first place. What are the benefits to you and your cat?
Top Reason to Get a Puzzle Feeder
Enrichment & stimulation - Food doesn't come in a bowl out in the wild, so cats have evolved to be natural hunters and foragers. A puzzle feeder simulates their natural environment and enables cats to practice their instinctual behaviors to sniff, scratch, reach and retrieve tasty rewards!
Activity & excercise - Lumbering from bowl to couch is just not enough activity for your domestic lion - sorry! Puzzle feeders get them moving for their meal - which is the best motivation! They also keep cats left home alone a chance to get some play even without their human around.
- Slower eating - Scarfing food out of a bowl leads to all kinds of trouble - the two most common problems are excess weight and vomiting from eating too much too fast. Puzzle feeders compel cats to eat in smaller, incremental portions. That means they don't keep eating past being full and don't have a big clump in their digestive track - so they're more likely to keep it down and not puke it back up on your favorite chair.
What to Look for in a Puzzle Feeder
The best puzzle feeder is one that most effectively delivers the benefits we've outlined above. So here are the things to look for when you're making a selection:
Provides a challenge - If the goal is exercise - mental and physical - the puzzle feeder should provide a challenge to your cat. Most feeders will do this, however the best ones will provide a provide a variable level of difficulty. That means that as your cat becomes more adept at getting out the food and treats, they will continue to be challenged and not get bored.
The Cat Amazing, for example, provides three difficulty levels and a 4th level that can be unlocked for further challenge.
Enables movement and exercise - There are two types of puzzle feeders - mobile and stationary. The stationary ones usually have opening for the cat to reach in and pull out their food. The mobile ones usually roll (like a ball or tube) that dispense kibble through small holes as they roll around. Both types are important because the stationary ones tend to have the cat move their limbs dexterously, while the mobile ones force them to move their whole body.
Cat Amazing combines the benefits of both by having large openings for them to reach inside, and yet is still so lightweight that it easily slides around on the floor - carpet or hardwood. Here you can see the benefits of both types of exercise:
Doesn't dispense too much food at once - That's really important for the gastrointestinal benefits we listed above. Most puzzle feeders are good for this, just be wary of food bowls with a maze or dividers inside -- those can still be great, but can often be figured out very quickly by a clever cat.
Safe - This something you should look for in all toys and really all products you buy for your cat. Be on the lookout for sharp edges and places where the cat can get stuck. Also be mindful of the materials and inks used to print designs on the toy, as they will come into contact with food. Cat Amazing, for example, is minimally printed with SGS Certified Metal-free inks.
Eco-friendly - Again, this is something you should be on the lookout for in all your pet products. After all, why would we want to damage the environment for ourselves and all animals to make stuff for our pets? Seems counterintuitive. Cat Amazing is the world's most eco-conscious puzzle feeder: the reinforced cardboard is durable, while still 100% recyclable & biodegradeable - win-win!
Hopefully this guide gave you a framework of things to consider when shopping for a puzzle feeder for your cat. In our household, we use the Cat Amazing (of course!) and keep a treat ball full with treats that they can roll around from room to room. That combination keeps them buys and provides the right variety of challenge and play!
To learn more about Cat Amazing visit our homepage!
To see a side-by-side comparison of how Cat Amazing stacks up to other types of feeders, check out this post: Top Cat Puzzle Feeders Compared.
Or jump right to Amazon to get yours today!
Thanks for reading! ❤️️