Flash is rather difficult to convince when it comes to games. But what ALWAYS works are feeding games. That’s why I want to show you 3 possibilities today, with which you can easily keep your cat busy with dry food or dry treats.
Food Game 1 – Throw it around the apartment
The game with the most physical activity is probably to simply throw the food through the entire apartment. Flash and Nala chase after the chunks of food at a monkey pace, where I often notice how quick they can be when they want to.
We also like to bring a little bit of variety into this. Just walking through the apartment will be a bit monotonous in the long run. So all kinds of objects like transport boxes, cartons, etc. are often misused and put in the way as an obstacle to run past or jump over them.
But Flash has learned in the meantime: he catches the dry food pieces with his mouth or paw directly from the air. It’s not that difficult and much less exhausting than sprinting or jumping over obstacles. We always call him then the “goalkeeper”.
But as soon as we notice that the cats run slower behind, the game is over. This is a clear sign that they are either exhausted or just don’t feel like it anymore. We always use a kind of jackpot as a final signal by throwing 3 pieces at once. So the cats know directly that there is nothing left and the game is over.
Food Game 2 – Hide in Towel
You may have already seen this variant of the food game in our contribution to the food of Kitty’s Cuisine or in the stories on our social media channels. Here, a few pieces of the dry food or treats are spread on a thin towel (e.g. a dish towel) and the towel is then folded together as often as you like. Depending on how good your cat is at finding the treats and fumbling them out of the towel, you can of course fold more often.
Flash gets it right with 2x folding, because he is very ambitious and clever. With Nala, on the other hand, I can fold the towel a maximum of 1x, because otherwise she loses the desire very quickly or doesn’t even start to search. But nevertheless she often needs help. Whether it is very clever to wait until someone puts the food in front of her feet or very stupid, because she doesn’t understand how it works, that is probably a matter of interpretation. If you like to write in the comments below how you interpret such a behavior, I would be quite interested.
This possibility of the game is a pure “thinking game” for your cats and offers no physical compensation whatsoever. But it can be a welcome change if you have a very active house cat at home.
Food Game 3 – Hide in the apartment or playpen
A particularly long-term employment is our third feeding game. It is best to distract your cat a little at first. Either with one of the first two variants or with a toy of your choice. The main thing is that your cat doesn’t know what you are up to. Then you distribute the pieces of dry food at different places in the apartment. Such places could be e.g. the scratching post, a shelf, under the scratching board, in a box or in the transport box. Personally, I like to use our outdoor cat playpen because it is a great place to hide things even when it’s inside. You can be creative, but make sure that the cats can get at it and that there are no places where the cats shouldn’t go. For the beginning it is recommended to choose obvious places, so that the cat understands what it is all about and has a quick sense of achievement. With time the level of difficulty can of course be increased and the hiding places should also be varied to avoid boredom or routine.
Now you can lean back and let your cat search the flat happily. Nala and Flash will be busy with this for quite a while. Often they don’t find all the nuggets right away. But then they are even more happy later or the next day when they find something to eat.
The good thing about it is that you only have to make a short effort once and the cats are then busy for quite a long time. Besides, it’s not only mental work that’s required, but also physical work, when they have to jump up scratching posts or stretch themselves to reach the treat. With Nala and Flash it is even so that they spend the rest of the day sleeping when I have done this feeding game with them in the morning, because it is very exhausting for them and demands everything from them. I like to use the time then to write new articles for you, because it is really difficult with a bored Flash.
All three feeding games are really well received here and can be done without much effort. Of course this kind of game should not be done 5 times a day, the cat should not get overweight. But now and then this is a nice and simple form of keeping busy.