Cat puzzle feeders are a great way to keep your cat active and engaged in the treat process. They not only physically challenge but also mentally challenge your cat, which will keep them in top shape. It lets them expend energy while also allowing them to use their built in hunting instincts; this is a Win Win for both you and your cat, since watching them in the process can also be really fun. Today we are going to cover some of the different designs of cat puzzle feeders on the market and their pros and cons. So lets dive in!
Cat Amazing – Best Cat Toy Ever! Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Game for Cats
Wow what a name, lets just call this one the Cat Maze for short. So basically this is exactly what we are looking for in a cat puzzle maze. Its got a great design with 3 different internal sections, and lots of windows all around the box for your cat to poke its paws in to try and get the treats out. Inside you can see the three different difficulty sections by their color coded cardboard. Green is the easiest since it has a window right next to it, so the cat can pretty easily get the treats out. The red/purple layer is a little harder since the windows get smaller and treats need to be whipped around a bit more before they come out of the box. Finally, we have the yellow section which they claim is for our expert kitties; this section again has different shaped holes and no door for the treats to come out, so the cat has to fish even farther for the treats before they come out of the puzzle feeder.
Basically, the design of this puzzle feeder is that there is one main window on the front of the box where the treats can come out of. So each area past this window, like the red and yellow sections, mean that your cat needs to figure out ways to get the treats from these sections up to the front of the box so that they come out the main window. This system works out really well, and cats don’t seem to have much problem grasping the concept.
Users on Amazon have reported that they have used this treat maze for a year or more and have had no problems with its design, or that it is made of cardboard. The whole thing is sturdy enough that even if your cat gets on top of it, the roof won’t cave in and the Cat Maze will survive. Now, the only problems you might run into are if you have a cat that loves to eat boxes. Kitties that love to bite into the edges of cardboard boxes will also love this puzzle feeder, but for different reasons. Amazon has a few customer photos from the carnage left behind by their cats simply eating their way into the box to get the treats. This is oddly kind of funny though, because their cats did technically find a way to solve the puzzle, just maybe not the way their owners had wanted.
I highly recommend this puzzle feeder for anyone looking to give their cats a bit of a challenge. Its got a very unique design compared to the other feeders we will talk about, and cats absolutely love trying to get the treats out either by playing fair or by just eating the whole thing. Either way its going to be a lot of fun for both you and your cat!
Its super easy to use for both you and the cat.
Its made of cardboard which your cat probably already loves.
Its pretty cheap at only $15 so if your cat destroys it you can replace it.
Sturdy cardboard holds up over time.
If you have a cat that likes to eat boxes this puzzle feeder wont last long!
Could be expensive to replace if eaten all the time.
PetSafe SlimCat Interactive Toy and Food Dispenser
The SlimCat uses the tried and tested design of using a plastic ball that pops out food as it rolls around. This is one of the most basic designs and also the most common, but with good reason. The ball design forces your cat to roll the ball around for any food to come out of it, so in theory, it’s not really a puzzle feeder but more like an exercise feeder. Either way, it will still work great for giving your cat a bit of a challenge while making sure they need to work a bit for their food.
SlimCat is pretty small since it’s cat size its about 2.7″ tall and holds about 2/3 a cup of cat food, which is good since this is about the serving size for most kitties, and even better for fast eaters and kitties that need to be on a diet. It works by locking the dry cat food into the main chamber of the ball, and then you adjust the side windows to either limit or increase the amount of food that comes out. So when you first introduce your cat to the SlimCat, you may want to make the food windows bigger so the cats learn what’s going on and gets the general idea, then you can slowly make the windows smaller to make it more challenging for your cat and so it’s more of a workout to get all of the food.
One of the best things about the SlimCat is that its durable plastic design will last forever; there is no way your little kitty will be able to chew their way into this ball to get the food. If it ever gets too messy the SlimCat is also dishwasher safe, so all you need to do is pop it apart and stick it on the top rack of your dishwasher and its good as new!
So what are the draw backs to the SlimCat vs other puzzle feeders? Its ball shape is great for exercise, but it’s also great at getting completely lost. Its very easy for the SlimCat to, say, roll under the couch never to be found again. Many customers on Amazon mentioned how they limit the rolling of it by getting the ball trapped into something else so that it rolls around in a confined space. The second problem is that it can be quite tricky to get the food windows the right size to allow the food to come out at a rate that your cat will accept; too fast and your cat didn’t really need to work for it, too slow and the cat just ignores it and moves on.
Overall, despite the couple downsides, you really can’t beat the price if you have wanted to try out a cat puzzle feeder. Its going to last forever, and if your cat likes the idea of kicking around the ball for food then this may be a great fit for you and your cat.
Ball shape makes for more exercise.
Totally dish washer safe!
Super affordable at about $5.00
Plastic ball lasts pretty much forever.
Holds enough food for a whole meal.
Probably will get totally lost.
Hard to adjust food windows to perfect size.
Cat may totally ignore it.
Northmate Catch Interactive Feeder for Cats
I can hear you already, what on earth is this thing!? Well, its not a plant from an alien world, its actually the Northmate Catch and it is indeed a cat puzzle feeder! As you can tell, they have come up with a pretty unique design which sets them apart from the other puzzle feeders on the market. Basically, this odd alien shaped thing sits on the ground and you toss cat food into the valleys in-between the fingers. The finger like objects make a barrier so your cat can’t just stick its face into the thing and eat all of the food. The puzzle in this case is that your cat will need to use its paws to move the food around in between the fingers until it can get it to an edge and eat it.
The NorthMate Catch holds about 2/3 of a cup of food, which again is more than enough for a normal sized meal. You will want to spread around the food some so it gets to the various parts of the feeder to provide more of a challenge. Its made of hard plastic that is BPA free and is weighted just enough that your cat shouldn’t be able to get it off of the floor. Their website does say that it is dishwasher safe, but does not say which rack. I would highly recommend you only put it on the top rack just incase, since that is the rack you usually put plastic items on anyway.
Problems you may have with Northmate Catch are kind of the same that you would have with any cat puzzle feeder. With its odd design and colors your cat may not really figure out what its supposed to do. Customers have said either their cat instantly gets it, or it takes some time to really show the cat what needs to be done. Cats are really smart hunters, so they know how to get the food out, the problem is more the motivation to bother. Another issue is that its a bit large and looks a bit weird. The NorthMate Catch is nearly a foot long and egg shaped, this means it’s much bigger than your cat bowl would be. The cat version also only comes in that purple color, so if you don’t like purple or don’t think it would look great in your house that will also be an issue.
Other than that, the Northmate Catch is a awesome puzzle feeder and a really unique design over all of the other feeders on the market. It holds enough food for a meal, its slows down the eating process, it challenges your cat, and its easy to clean. It costs about $18.00, so its also a good value for something that will pretty much last forever. If you’re looking for a cat puzzle feeder that will also be a conversation piece for any house guests, this is the one for you.
Super unique design.
Totally dish washer safe!
Affordable at about $18.00
Holds enough food for a whole meal.
Looks really weird.
Only comes in purple.
Cat may totally ignore it.