We’ve heard it so many times before but it wasn’t until we adopted “Splash” a year ago that I really knew the true meaning of “Labrador” cat. Despite being arthritic which was not surprising given the extra kilos she was carrying, she was up on counters and into the dishwasher at every opportunity. She would finish her meal in about 10 second flat and then spend the rest of the day and night following us around, tripping us up and telling us all sorts of elaborate stories … sound familiar?
There is a lot of talk about re-creating the hunt for our cats – that meals are too easy for them now which is resulting in an increase in lazy, bored and overweight cats – which is in turn linked to other health issues, as it is in people. While I have always been an advocate for feeding enrichment in cats, I have never had an opportunity to try this first hand … so I decided to give it a go and ditch the bowl.
I used a variety of treat balls, tunnels and mazes to supply her full meal – easy for me but she now had to work for her food! While it didn’t take her long to figure each one out, it took her significantly longer to eat her meal. She now seems a little less frantic around meal times and appears genuinely more impressed and satisfied with her meals. She hasn’t lost her love for food and still climbs into the dishwasher when the opportunity arises but instead of begging, she goes on an extra hunt for any stray biscuits around her cat “toys”.
It has certainly convinced me to “ditch the bowl” – is this something you would be keen to do?
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