Cats are cute but they are also stealthy predators, born to hunt and kill. Food Puzzles (a.k.a. foraging toys) offer many benefits and are the closest thing to hunting we can offer our house cats. Here’s how to start foraging and bring out your little predator’s instincts:
The first toy should be easy! The goal is simply for them to learn the game and get rewarded for their behavior.
Start with clear objects so they can see, smell, and hear the kibble rattling around inside. Round toys that roll easily are less frustrating.
While they are learning, toys should have multiple holes for kibble to dispense. Three holes are great for all beginners.
When you first place the toys, sprinkle kibble around them so your cats approach and hopefully start to push the toy for more.
Sprinkle kibble in some favorite napping or perch areas for them to discover during the day or leave rolling toys open until your cat gets the hang of them.
If you have multiple cats, offer puzzles throughout your home. Cats hunt and eat alone, so feeding them in close proximity can create stressful competition that can result in aggression.
If your cat has mastered the basics, its time to increase the challenge. Decrease the number of openings. Offer objects that don’t roll predictably. Use larger objects with more weight, and combine with smaller toys they have mastered.