Many cat parents don’t know about food puzzles. That’s unfortunate because food puzzles can solve a variety of health and behavior problems.
So what are food puzzles? Put simply, food puzzles are toys that, with a little work from your cat, dispense food. Though they come in a variety of types, shapes, and sizes, the puzzles generally consist of tubes or balls that are filled with food that your cat must figure out how to access. You can find food puzzles in your local pet supply store, or you can make one out of recycled materials if you’re crafty.
Food puzzles activate your cat’s hunting instincts and in turn provide several health benefits. Read on to learn 5 ways that food puzzles can improve your cat’s health.
1. Mental Stimulation
Indoor cats can easily become bored if care isn’t taken to keep them stimulated. A stimulating cat environment will have a variety of toys, perches, and scratching posts. Ideally, you’d spend time every day engaging with your cat in play, with a wand toy or laser pointer. Food puzzles work in much the same way, but can engage your cat even when you aren’t around to play. When you put food into the puzzle your cat will have to problem solve to get the food out. This will stimulate a part of her brain that gets stimulated when she is hunting and stalking. Even domestic cats are still wild at heart and need to have this kind of mental stimulation.