1. Take a shoe box and cut random shapes for your cat to discover
Take a small cardboard box and cut holes that are larger than the size of your cat’s paws. Cut these holes in random places and use random shapes like circles, squares, triangles, etc. Tape the flaps of the box closed and then toss some dry kibble in there. Shoe boxes make good puzzle feeder boxes.
2. Toilet paper rolls can make a fun alternative cat food puzzle
What cat doesn’t love to bat around a roll of toilet paper? Take the cardboard center from the toilet paper roll and cut holes in it that are a little bigger than the size of the kibble. Fold the ends in to close them and you have an easy and cheap puzzle feeder.
3. A plastic water bottle makes a durable long lasting food puzzle
You can also make one out of a small plastic water bottle. All you need to do is cut holes in the plastic bottle and then pour some dry kibble in. Replace the cap and you have a feeder that’s simple for the cat to roll around, plus it makes an alluring sound.
4. A plastic holiday egg (if you have that around) is a very durable and fun food puzzle
Cut a couple of holes in the top and bottom section of the holiday egg using the X-ACTO or utility knife. Trim away any remnant plastic so the opening is as free as can be. Place some kibble inside the holiday egg, reassemble it and give it a test before rolling it out for play. Widen the holes as needed to ensure kibble can pass through.
5. An egg carton is a ready assembled food puzzle
All you need to do is take an egg carton and put some dry food in the cups! Cut the carton in two so you can have two puzzles. The carton will slow down your cat’s eating, and if they are nimble with their paws, they can fish food out of the cups! Easy breezy.
When you make homemade puzzle feeders, you should be around to supervise the playing. Most of the above puzzles are safe enough but it’s always a good idea to watch your kitties when trying something new.
Our cats do get bored, so shake it up and try a new puzzle every week. And, for those who aren’t as handy or if your kitty needs more of a challenge, Amazon has some sturdier cat food puzzles.
I'm making some puzzles from small containers of cottage cheese. Will let you know how things turn out! If you have used food puzzles for your cat(s), please let us know about your experiences.
Marion Lovato is the author of Sam, the Superkitty. Her book describes an ordinary cat changing into a superhero to protect his family from things that go bump in the night. Available on Amazon as a paperback or Kindle edition. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667