At Halo®, we spend a lot of time thinking about what cats should eat—real whole meat that’s ethically sourced and non-GMO fruits and vegetables—but not as much time thinking about how they eat it. Now some veterinarians and animal behaviorists suggest feeding alternatives that provide indoor cats with enrichment and satisfy their natural instinct to hunt, like giving them opportunities to search for their food.
While you can purchase food puzzles, puzzle feeders, foraging toys, and treat dispensers, it’s also easy and inexpensive to come up with your own simple ways to provide enrichment while feeding.
Mix it up
Instead of plopping the bowl of kibble in the same spot every time, choose a new dining spot every day. Let your cat find the food each day, then move it the next.
Little bites in little bowls
Did you know cats’ stomachs are roughly the size of a ping pong ball? Maybe you’ve mistaking them being fussy for full. Rather than one big bowl of food twice a day, measure multiple snack-sized portions and put them in different bowls around the house.
Yep, when it’s time to eat, literally scatter their kibble across the floor and let them snarf it up. Make small little piles of dry cat food or get fancy and create a kibble trail around your house cat treats, letting your cat sniff out each piece.
Of course you’ll want to consider the makeup of your household first — if you’ve got human crawlers or toddlers, dogs, or other animals on the loose, you may want to keep food out of their reach. Be sure to think through your own threshold for finding cat kibble or treats all around your home.