Food as Play – Weight Loss Tips for Cats
While many cats are perfectly content to sleep the day away, if their food wasn’t provided in a bowl for them, life would be very different. Cats are born hunters. They would usually hunt an average of 7 times a day. No wonder they can easily gain weight when they no longer need to expend any energy to eat.
One way to help your cat stay fit and healthy is to make their food into a hunting game. We can hide their food, put it in interactive toys, or even make our own toys to encourage them to ‘hunt’. This is great fun for your cat, while helping maintain a health body.
If your cat has never hunted before, you may need to keep things simple at first. And remember that the best motivation to hunt is a bit of hunger, so don’t expect your cat to want to work for his food if there is a big bowl just sitting there!
- Use an empty drink bottle to make your own food dispenser for dry food. Simply remove the lid and put some dry food or treats inside. To start with you may need to show your cat how to roll it to get the food out.
- Hide food under boxes or inside a paper bag. Make sure your cat can’t get his head stuck in the bag, so a lunch bag would be an ideal size.
- Dog toys like this food ball are also suitable for cats. Or if you dislike the idea of food all over the floor, this one is another option.
- Recycle your toilet rolls by making them into toys. Simply seal each end with paper and masking tape, then put dry food inside and punch some holes in the roll so your cat can roll it around to get food out.
- Put food in small (unbreakable) bowls in elevated places like on top of the book shelf or in a cupboard.
- Put a teaspoon of your cat’s food in each section of a muffin tray. This works for both wet food and dry food.
- Scatter food on the floor. Even just walking around to find food is much more exercise than strolling over to the food bowl 7 times (or more!) a day.