How to make food puzzles for your cat
Food puzzles are a great way for your cat to receive enrichment while enjoying a snack! Today we’d like to share instructions with you on how to make food puzzles for your cat.
Why food puzzles?
Not only do animals identify food with their sense of taste, but they also use this sense to explore their world. Although cats may recognize food primarily by the aroma, the taste and feel in their mouth is also an important tool for food identification. Offering food to cats in non-traditional ways (not using food bowls) can act as an important piece of enrichment in their daily routine.
Puzzle feeders, toys or devices that contain food encourage your cats to engage in predatory behaviour. Manipulating the device provides stimulation and exercise.
A variety of such puzzles can be found at most pet supply stores. They can also be made easily from cardboard tubes, egg cartons, or anything else that will contain food. Ensure that food cannot be dislodged or acquired without some effort on the cat’s part.
How to make a DIY cat food puzzle
Watch this video for a step-by-step guide!
What you need:
- A sturdy shoe box.
- Three or more toilet paper rolls.
- A utility knife. (Please use under adult supervision.)
- Duct tape or a non-toxic glue, just in case.
How to make it:
- Make sure your toilet paper rolls are completely clean and sanitized.
- Use your utility knife to cut the rolls into various lengths. This is in order to make things more challenging for your cat – easy, medium or difficult.
- Next, trace around one of the rolls on the top of the box. Repeat it in different locations on the box top – one for each roll.
- Use the utility knife to cut holes in the box top. If you cut the hole slightly smaller than the border you traced, the rolls may hold in place without having to be glued or taped.
- 5. Set the box so the rolls come out the top and place some kibble inside each roll. This way, your cat has to reach down and scoop the food out. Or you can set it on its side so your cat has to reach in to pull the food towards them. Each provides a different experience for your cat.
*You can also make this tool in an open box, with more rolls all next to each other. See our video for details!
We hope you enjoy trying this out with your cat! If you want to make a few for your local animal centre as well, you can give them a call and drop them off outside the centre. Our kitties would sure appreciate it!
If you’d like to support our animals in other ways, ship wish-list items directly to your local animal centre.
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