Which interactive cat feeder is best?
Sometimes it just isn’t enough to feed your cat using a plain old bowl. According to studies, forcing your cat to work for their food by interacting with puzzle feeders can greatly improve not only their dietary health but their mental health as well. Just keep in mind that it might take you a try or two to find the right interactive cat feeder for your cat. They’re all different after all.
That said, the best starting option is the Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Co. Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder. This interactive cat feeder was engineered by veterinarians to maximize improvements to your cherished pet’s physical and mental health.
What to know before you buy an interactive cat feeder
Types of interactive cat feeders
There are two types of interactive cat feeders: stationary and mobile.
Stationary: Stationary feeders remain in place to allow your cat to engage without chasing the feeder. Puzzle boxes, feeding towers and slow-feed bowls are examples of stationary interactive cat feeders.
Mobile: Mobile feeders are designed to engage and improve your cat’s hunting instincts as well as introduce some exercise. Feeding balls and mouse-shaped feeders are some examples.
Interactive cat feeders are typically made from either plastic, wood or cardboard.
Plastic: Plastic interactive cat feeders are the easiest to clean, and they’re usually quite sturdy as well. They’re usually good for both dry and wet food, but make sure they are BPA-free, especially if you think your cat may chew on the feeder itself.
Wood: Typically the most durable option, wood is better for stationary feeders due to its heaviness. They’re harder to find, however, and aren’t suited for wet foods.
Cardboard: The most inexpensive option, cardboard feeders are a great option to see how your cat will interact with a new feeder. A chew-heavy cat will tear through them, though, and wet foods will ruin them as well.
What to look for in a quality interactive cat feeder
If an interactive cat feeder is too easy, your cat could get bored. If it is too hard, they may decide it isn’t worth interacting with. Start with a simple feeder and work your way up until you reach a good balance for your feline friend.
There are also feeders with multiple difficulty levels built-in that can improve your cat’s intelligence or allow multiple cats to engage with the level of their choosing.
For stationary interactive cat feeders, make sure they have a non-skid base. Without one, the feeder could move easily, making a big mess and possibly scratching your flooring.
How much you can expect to spend on an interactive cat feeder
Interactive cat feeders don’t cost as much as you might think. You can find many solid options for less than $10 with even more mid-range options becoming available for less than $20. The really complex and feature-rich interactive cat feeders will run usually between $20-$40, or possibly more.
Interactive cat feeder FAQ
My cat doesn’t eat from the interactive cat feeder I bought for them, what should I do?
A. If your cat is the type to need convincing to use a new feeder, then there are several steps you can take to slowly introduce them. First, toss some dry food both on and around the feeder so your cat can eat and approach at their own pace. If they won’t go for their regular food, you should upgrade to placing some treats in and around the feeder instead. If even the treats don’t work, then it might be time to try another interactive cat feeder.
My interactive cat feeder can’t be washed. How am I supposed to clean it?
A. Your interactive cat feeder should come with cleaning instructions directly from the manufacturer. If it doesn’t, the manufacturer should at least have those instructions on their website. If they don’t, you can always use a damp cloth to wipe away the grime followed by a dry cloth to make sure it won’t be damp after cleaning.
What’s the best interactive cat feeder to buy?
Top interactive cat feeder
Doc & Phoebe’s Cat Co. Indoor Hunting Cat Feeder
What you need to know: This is an elegant solution to improving your cat’s eating habits and diet regulation.
What you’ll love: This product was engineered by veterinarians, which has led to tremendous improvement in the heath of most consumers’ cats. It’s also easy to clean.
What you should consider: All cats are different, and some may not engage with this product.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy
Top interactive cat feeder for the money
Cat Amazing Interactive Treat Maze & Puzzle Feeder
What you need to know: This low-cost interactive cat feeder improves not only their dietary health but engages with their mental health as well.
What you’ll love: This cardboard is durable enough to withstand the weight of larger cats who like to lay on top of things.
What you should consider: If your cat likes chewing on cardboard then this product will be ruined very quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon and Chewy
Worth checking out
The Company of Animals Interactive Slow Feed Bowl
What you need to know: This is a BPA-free option for dry cat food that engages your cat as well as improves their eating habits.
What you’ll love: A heavy base keeps the feeder in place, and it’s very easy to clean after use.
What you should consider: This interactive cat feeder isn’t designed to stimulate weight loss, but some customers have reported weight loss in their pets when using this feeder.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan C. Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.