Fraser Valley Animal Hospital

2633 Ware Street
Abbotsford, BC V2S 3E2

(604)854-2313

fvah.ca


Food Puzzles 

A food puzzles is anything that can hold food. They can be mobile (rolled/pushed) or stationary. They can be purchased or homemade.



Play More Stress Less

 

Feeding puzzles are a great way to keep your pet occupied and alleviate boredom. A bored cat is more likely to show signs of aggression, seek attention from humans and have stress-related signs like house soiling or over grooming.

 

 Additional Links listed below 

 

Benefits from feeding puzzles:

  • Weight Loss
  • Decrease Aggression
  • Decrease Anxiety/fear
  • Decrease Stress
  • Decrease of attention seeking behavior
  • Increase of health + wellness in general

Demystifying the Feline in your Family

YouTube Videos 

Indoor Cat

Feeding Toys

Hunting is a natural behaviour in our cats and studies show that the act of hunting releases dopamine in our cat's brain; that means the act of hunting actually makes them HAPPY. (check out our Feeding Toy video)

Our indoor cats actually get bored, depressed and stressed which can lead to disease. (check out our indoor cat video

How do we fix this?

Get your cats to hunt indoor - use feeding toys. Home made, store bought ... be creative.


Below are some links to some feeding toys Dr. Horvat uses with Maggie.

As well feel free to read the article from the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery that shows how using feeding toys helped with the treatment of a number of stress related problems - particularly inappropriate urination.

Review Article - Food puzzles for cats: Feeding for physical and emotional wellbeing Leticia MS Dantas, Mikel M Delgado, Ingrid Johnson 

 

When introducing food puzzles, you should:

  1. Continue to offer some food in your pet's food bowl
  2. Adjust the food delivery rate until your pet learns how to use the puzzle so that obtaining food is easy, there should be no signs of stress or anxiety (ie. hiding at mealtimes, decrease in food interest, change in litterbox habits, etc.)
  3. Monitor the pet to ensure that the experience is stimulating and positive (ie. improvement seen with unwanted behaviours)
  4. Be encouraged to convey feedback to your veterinary team on your pet's progress

Are feeding toys/puzzles right for you?

  • Does your pet eat wet and dry food?

Wet food is best used with stationary puzzles. Dry food can be easily used with stationary or mobile puzzles

  • Are you okay with a messy eater around the house?

Mobile puzzles may lead to more food scatter

  • Are you concerned about cost? Is cost a factor to success?

If yes, homemade puzzles are easy to make and work well

  • Are you worried about night-time noise/activity?

Stationary puzzles and puzzles made of softer plastics make less noise

  • How does your pet typically interact with toys – with their paws, nose, etc?

If the cat typically interacts with toys using their paws, they will likely do well with stationary or mobile puzzles. Cats who primarily use their nose will do best with mobile puzzles at first