Hunting for food is natural for cats. When you’re feeding your cat at home, taking his or her instincts into account can help you make the feeding experience more natural and exciting.
Here are some tips to consider when you’re choosing the way you go about feeding your cat or kitten:
Use a Flat Dish or Shallow Bowl
Did you know a cat uses its whiskers to help it navigate its surroundings and communicate its mood? They’re also a huge part of your cat’s eating experience. By knowing a little more about your cat’s anatomy and how it works, you can make mealtime more enjoyable.
Instead of using a bowl with high edges that might impede the whiskers and cause an annoying sensation, it’s best to use a dish that’s shallow and wide so your cat can reach all of the food more easily.
Sometimes determining how much to feed a cat is half the battle. Be sure to follow the feeding instructions on your bag of cat food, and choose a dish or plate large enough to hold the proper amount of food. One great option is a dish with a lip that’s just tall enough to keep the food contained.
Give Your Cat a Good View
In nature, cats like to have a clear view of their surroundings in order to keep an eye out for predators or rivals. Even though your home is a nice, safe environment for your cat, they are still most comfortable when they can see what’s happening around them as they eat.
Remember the flat dish with short sides? Not only does it help stop the kibble from spilling onto the floor, it also puts your cat at ease by letting him or her keep an eye on the surroundings.
Where you place the dish is also an important consideration. Instead of placing it in a corner of the room or up against the kitchen cabinets, try positioning the dish more out in the open so your cat can look around while he or she eats.
This is especially important if you have other pets.
Engage Your Cat’s Curiosity
Cats have amazing curiosity and welcome a challenge. Puzzle feeders are a great way to add some problem solving and activity to your cat’s day.
- You can find puzzle feeders and food distributor balls at your pet store and online – or you can search online for easy ways to make them yourself. The premise is simple – you place some kibble inside the feeder. Then your cat bats the feeder around to get the food to spill out of the holes.
- This activity stimulates your cat’s desire to work and hunt for food. It also slows down your cat’s eating and helps prevent your cat from eating too quickly. This can be especially helpful for overweight cats, since it gets them moving and encourages them to eat at a more gradual pace.
- Be sure to measure with the amount of food you’re putting into the feeder so as to not overfeed. And check the feeder before the next mealtime to make sure your cat is eating the recommended daily amount of food.