Here are the best cat puzzle feeder we’ll be covering:
- The Company of Animals Catch Interactive Feeder
- Doc & Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder
- Lickimat Casper & Felix
- Simply Pets Online Slow Feed Cat Bowl
- Catit Senses Digger Interactive Cat Toy
- PetSafe SlimCat Meal-Dispensing Cat Toy
For cats and dogs alike, fast eating can be a real problem that leads to more serious health concerns down the line. Fortunately, it’s also a problem with a pretty easy solution!
If your cat is eating too quickly, or if you’ve noticed that you have to spend more time cleaning up undigested food after each meal, then you may want to look into puzzle feeders for your four-legged friend.
What are food puzzles?
For the most part, food puzzles are exactly what they sound like. More specifically, food puzzles are essentially toys for cats that make them work harder to get the food that they need.
Food puzzles keep cats entertained and stimulated, so that they’re able to grow, learn, and improve their mental health as they eat. It also helps them let out some of the energy that might otherwise drive them to scratch up your furniture or indulge in other destructive behaviors.
Finally, food puzzles force cats to eat more slowly. They still consume the same amount of food, and they’re still getting all of their nutrients, but they have to spend more time working out how to get at the food. As a result, they’re less likely to swallow their food without properly chewing it or eat too much too quickly.
Our recommendation for the best cat puzzle feeder
In general, there are a few key factors you should keep in mind when looking at food puzzles for your cats. These factors include things like:
- Practicality: Look for a cat puzzle feeder that’s easy to clean. If you can toss it in the dishwasher instead of washing it by hand, that’s a good chunk of time you’ve saved yourself!
- Hygiene: Related to the above, look for a feeder that cleans well. In other words, look for non-porous materials that won’t retain odors or colors.
- Adaptability: Depending on what you feed your cat, make sure the feeder works with wet and dry foods alike, as well as various sizes of kibble.
- Durability: A good puzzle feeder will keep your cat fed and entertained for years. Look for tough materials that hold up to lots of wear and tear.
- Safety: Watch out for any protruding parts or sharp edges that may cut your cat’s sensitive mouth. Look for rounded edges and soft but sturdy materials.
The best cat puzzle feeder is the one that works for you and your cat alike. Check out the pros and cons of some of our favorite feeders and take your home and lifestyle into consideration, or use the list below as a jumping-off point in your quest to find the perfect cat feeder!
One of the best cat puzzle feeders for cat’s that prefer dry food, the Company of Animals CATCH Interactive Feeder is a no-nonsense obstacle puzzle that holds cat food and encourages browsing.
The multiple, soft-tipped “spikes” create an interesting surface for cats to play around, while the textured surface holds in the cat food and prevents it from spilling all over the floor. The CATCH interactive feeder comes in a wide variety of colors to fit into your home’s decor.
Pros: great way to entertain and feed your cat while they eat, durable material, dishwasher-friendly and easy to clean, treated material doesn’t retain odor, and relatively soft surface lets your cat chew on the obstacles to clean their gums and teeth without having to worry about sharp edges or abrasive parts
Cons: product is geared towards smaller cat, so if your cat is a larger breed or just a little bit chunkier, they may have a hard time getting their paw between some of the spikes. If your cat has a sensitive mouth, they may still develop some sensitivity around the spikes.
If your indoor cat has big dreams of being a mighty outdoor hunter, you may want to consider Doc & Phoebe’s Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder. These adorable, mice-shaped food dispensers are the perfect match for the cat who’s willing to work for their food!
Designed by veterinarians for restless indoor cats, the Hunting Cat Feeders are specifically tailored for cats who need the extra mental stimulation and exercise. Leave them around your house for your cat to track down, discover, and eat their fill.
Each feeder can hold around three tablespoons of dry food, or two scoops with the provided measuring spoon.
Pros: fabric skin with nylon and rayon fibers for a soft outer layer, machine washable outer layer, inner frame is dishwasher safe and doesn’t retain odors, designed to work with any size of kibble, great mental exercise for restless kitties
Cons: depending on how rough your cat likes to play, the soft outer skin may start to break down over time. If you have dogs in the house, you may want to keep an eye on these feeders, as a larger animal may be able to chew them up.
By far the best cat puzzle feeder for wet food, the Lickimat Casper & Felix Slow Feeder is a sturdy, non-slip cat feeder that provides plenty of obstacles to prevent the dreaded “scarf and barf”.
Available in a range of colors, the Lickimat feeder boosts dental health while your cat eats, as the soft-treated rubber gently stimulates the gums and improves blood flow and cleanliness in an oft-neglected area.
The easy-to-clean surface holds yogurt, wet food, peanut butters, purees, and any other spreads that your cat might like. This encourages greater diversity in your cat’s diet and creates a happier, healthier pet overall!
Pros: whisker friendly design helps fussier cats keep their faces clean, ribbed surface encourages healthier posture for eating cats, obstacles prevent cats from eating too quickly, environmentally friendly materials for a green mealtime!
Cons: feeding mat may be cat-friendly, but it is not a chew toy, which means that cats who like to nibble may break off edges or parts of the mat.
The Simply Pets Online Slow Feed Cat Bowl is another obstacle feeder that works by disrupting your cat’s natural eating patterns and encouraging them to work harder to get the same amount of food.
Designed by veterinarians to help cats with a quick-eating problem, the Simply Pets bowl is made of a special bamboo fiber blend, which means that you won’t have to worry about your cat chewing through plastic or picking up leftover contaminants from any metals.
The bowl is available in blue, purple, or ivory, so you’re sure to find a color that matches your home’s overall design aesthetic.
Pros: larger bowl with larger obstacles makes this bowl a great fit for larger cats, comes with instructions on how to introduce cat to obstacle eating, microwave safe and dishwasher friendly for easy cleaning
Cons: not suited for use with wet food, as food may clump in some of the nooks and crannies, significantly larger than the average cat bowl, may present difficulties for cats with shorter snouts
For a truly unique cat feeder, the Catit Senses Digger Interactive Cat Toy combines mealtime and playtime! The interactive feeder encourages your cat to paw for their food, splitting a single meal into multiple tubes for increased foraging and hunting behaviors.
It may look complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple—simply divide your cat’s food between the removable tubes. Your cat will have to paw or scoop out each bite, which encourages them to slow down.
With a choice of three different tube sizes, this feeder basically comes with three different “difficulty levels”, depending on your cat’s habits and personality.
Pros: easy to wash and extremely adaptable, with a dishwasher-friendly base and varying tube sizes for different cats, solid rubber base prevents sliding or tipping over during mealtimes, even with particularly determined cats
Cons: cats without a strong digging instinct may need a little bit of extra help to understand how to get their food out. If your cat is struggling, start by putting the food directly in the tube wells at first.
If your cat is living for the thrill of the chase, the PetSafe SlimCat Meal-Dispensing Cat Toy is a perfect example of some literal fast food! Perfect for most sizes of dry cat foods, the PetSafe food-dispensing toy provides plenty of entertainment for cats and cat lovers alike.
With several adjustable openings built into the ball, you can control the speed at which food is dispensed. Slightly larger than a baseball, this toy is a great way to make sure that your cat gets plenty of exercise, entertainment, and nutrition all at the same time.
Pros: semi-transparent casing lets you judge how much food is left, dishwasher safe (top rack only), provides great mental stimulation in addition to encouraging healthy eating habits, treated carbon fibers for durable, hardworking toy
Cons: may leave crumbs or cat food around the house, not suitable for use with wet food, can attract pests if food is allowed to remain inside of the toy for multiple days, so clean regularly!
Mealtime is just as important for cats as it is for humans, so it’s perfectly normal to have a few extra questions. If at any time you feel that your cat’s digestive problems have gone above and beyond “common issues”, please do not hesitate to contact your local veterinarian.
Why is my cat throwing up undigested food?
Vomiting is a fairly common issue with cats, but it can still be alarming. Most of the time, the cause comes down to food. If you’ve just switched up your cat’s diet or introduced a new type of food, they may be having trouble processing and digesting it.
If your cat is vomiting and you haven’t changed their diet recently, it could be because they’re eating too quickly. If their body is overwhelmed by the amount of food, it won’t process the meal!
How can I get my cat to eat slower?
If you don’t want to use a puzzle feeder, try adding non-edible “obstacles” to your cat’s bowl. This forces them to slow down and work around the obstacle to get their food.
You may also want to consider using automatic cat feeders or dispensers that drop the food on a measured schedule so that your cat can’t get at the food any faster than you portion it out.
Do slow feeder bowls work for cats?
Slow feeder bowls are more commonly used with dogs, but they’re essentially food bowls that are designed with a unique shape or built-in series of obstacles that force dogs to slow down while eating.
Yes, you can absolutely use slow feeder bowls for your cat! Just keep an eye on them to make sure that your cat isn’t moving the bowl around or knocking it over while eating!
How do I get my cat to use a puzzle feeder?
Introducing your cat to puzzle feeder eating should be a fairly simple issue. If you treat it as a toy (try rolling it across the floor in front of your cat), most puzzle feeders should catch your cat’s attention right away.
Once they’ve figured out that there’s food inside of the fun moving object, most cats are ready and willing to give their new toy a much closer look!