Your cat is a natural predator… small wonder that two bowlfuls of cat food or unlimited dried food often leads to plump, bored felines! Over 35% of UK cats are overweight, putting them at risk of diabetes, cystitis and arthritis. They have a strong instinctive need to hunt and if we feed them in a way that uses these skills they will be both fitter and happier.
- 1. Divide your cat’s daily food into 5 small portions – cats naturally eat little and often over a 24hr period.
- 2. Move the food dispensers round the house – so your cat has to hunt for the food.
- 3. Provide plenty of fresh water away from food. Many cats prefer drinking fountains.
- 4. Use puzzle feeders so your cat has fun and also eats more slowly
There are many good commercial ones on the market, but for cats who are used to ‘ready meals’ it is usually best to start with homemade versions. Using Blue Peter skills the following can easily be made:
- a) Toilet Roll Pyramid (Dry Food): stick several rolls of toilet roll cardboard inners into a pyramid using tape. Your cat then has to use its paws to fish out the food.
- b) Plastic Bottle Puzzle Feeder (Dry Food): make holes just bigger than the cat food biscuits so that when your cat rolls the bottle around the food will fall out.
- c) Multifaceted Puzzle Feeder (Wet & Dry Food): taking a sturdy shoe box, cut holes in the top and fit in several yogurt pots as mini food containers.
See here for more ideas and information: www.icatcare.org
by Jacky Macqueen