5 min read

These Cat Food Puzzles Will Solve So Many Of Your Cat's Problems

A toy your cat will ACTUALLY use ❤️😸

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Some cats are notorious for eating too fast (aka scarf-and-barf), and there are others who will just eat too much and still want more. 

If one (or both) of these sounds like your cat, you might want to get her a food puzzle ASAP.

Cat food puzzles, or interactive cat feeders, are designed to release food when your cat interacts with it or solves a puzzle. They’ll make your cat work for her food — which actually comes with a ton of mental and physical benefits.

That means they’re also great for any cat who needs a bit of extra stimulation in her life.

If you’re ready to improve your cat’s eating behaviors, The Dodo rounded up the best cat food puzzles on the web and reached out to Dr. Jennifer Coates, a veterinarian in Fort Collins, Colorado, to get her take on how food puzzles can really help your cat.

Benefits of a cat food puzzle

A cat’s natural feeding behavior is to eat multiple small meals throughout the day, Dr. Coates told The Dodo. 

“Eating out of a bowl is just too easy for many cats,” she added. “They are meant to have to work for their meals, which burns calories and provides a lot of mental stimulation throughout the day.”

According to Dr. Coates, cat food puzzles can provide your cat with a ton of benefits, like:

  • Weight loss
  • Mental stimulation
  • Ease of boredom
  • Less stress

On the other hand, if your cat has unlimited access to food out of a cat bowl, it’s easy for her to overeat and become overweight, which increases her risk for diabetes, osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, some types of cancer and other serious health problems.

Portable cat food puzzles

Portable cat food puzzles can be easily moved around by your cat and are typically round in shape. All she needs to do is paw at the toy or bump it with her nose, and the food will dispense out of one or several holes in the toy. 

Some portable puzzles can be adjusted to make it more or less difficult for your cat to get to the treats. This can be super helpful if you’re just introducing these types of toys for the first time, and your cat’s not totally used to it yet. 

With portable feeders, you can usually only use dry food; save the wet food for stationary cat puzzles (more on that later).

Portable cat food puzzle
Once your cat figures out there’s food inside the mice, all you need to do is load the mice up with a day’s worth of kibble in the morning and hide them around your house. Designed by a veterinarian, this product comes highly recommended by cat owners.
Cat treat dispenser
Your cat will love to whack at this tumbler-shaped interactive feeder. Plus, it comes with an adjustable opening to make it easier on your cat.
Interactive cat feeder
If your cat loves to chase things, you’ll definitely need to get this ball-shaped cat feeder. It holds up to 2/3 cup of dry cat food, and the opening is customizable.
Cat interactive feeder toy
This toy comes in a fun egg shape that makes its movements a bit more unpredictable. It’s dishwasher safe, and you can adjust the size of the holes to make it more or less difficult.

Stationary cat food puzzles

Stationary cat feeders are anchored in one spot. They’ll usually require your cat to get the food out by using her paw, or by lapping up the food around some sort of obstacle.

Unlike portable puzzles, you can use both wet and dry cat food in most stationary food puzzles.

Cat slow feeder
This maze-like puzzle has deep grooves for your cat’s food that will make it hard for her to get to. It’s also pretty large, so it’s perfect for multi-cat homes.
Cat interactive feeder
If you think your cat is really ready for a challenge, try this slow feeder. Once she figures out she needs to spin the toy to get her food to drop, she’ll have to paw it out of the maze to eat it. Good for dry food only.
Cat food puzzle
If you think your cat is really ready for a challenge, try this slow feeder. Once she figures out she needs to spin the toy to get her food to drop, she’ll have to paw it out of the maze to eat it. Good for dry food only.
Cat slow feeder
This cat puzzle will definitely slow down your cat’s eating while she takes her time licking around the tall, rounded spikes coming out of this feeding mat.
Cat food puzzle
Think of this toy as a ferris wheel for your cat’s food. She’ll have to spin the toy to get her treats, which not only slows down her eating, but is also super fun to watch.
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