Do-It-Yourself Puzzle Feeder to Keep your Kitty Amused

Halo Healthy Weight Grain-Free
Halo Healthy Weight Grain-Free
Halo Healthy Weight Grain-Free

I am not going to take credit for this idea of a homemade activity feeder to enrich your pussycat’s life — but I am going to be the one to give you the idea of making your puzzle feeder healthy by using it with Halo’s new Healthy Weight Whitefish and Salmon Spot’s Stew for cats. This new grain-free kibble has 33% protein and no wonder — the first three ingredients are whitefish, salmon and whole eggs — no rendered meats, fish or poultry (like chicken meal) and no artificial ingredients of any kind. This way you can make the puzzle feeder both delicious and healthy for your kitty when she gets the reward for solving the puzzle.

This is a do-it-yourself project you can do in the time it takes to thoroughly dry out a water or sports drink bottle and then cut a few holes in it just big enough for pieces of dry food to fall out if you roll it around. There are a number of commercial puzzle feeders you can buy that are intended to keep your cat busy, but why not go for the Ultimate Recycle and turn a plastic bottle into the best fun your cat will have had in a long time?! Keep in mind that the Grain Free Spot’s Stew is small kibble so make sure the holes you cut don’t let the pieces pour out, but rather only squeak out if your cat is sufficiently serious about moving that bottle around and solving the puzzle of tasty bits appearing magically.

I snitched the idea of the make-your-own play toy to challenge your cat’s natural hunting instincts from a wonderful new book called CAT SENSE: How the New Feline Science Can Make You a Better Friend to Your Pet by John Bradshaw, a famous anthrozoologist in England. This ground-breaking new book by a cat-loving scientist gives more insight and empathy into what makes a pussycat tick than anything I have ever read — and I’ve read more than my fair share of books about dogs and cats! In fact, I admired this book so much I wrote one of the kudos on the back cover:

“Cat Sense makes sense of cats for us from an entirely fresh perspective, using a combination of history, science, logic and a heartfelt compassion, certainly inspired by his own lovely kitty, Splodge. John Bradshaw has given us all the gift of being able to truly comprehend our pussycats and offer them the unselfish and satisfying life we have never quite known how to do until this book opened our eyes.”

You can hear my interview with John Bradshaw on my NPR show DOG TALK (and Kitties, Too!) on September 25th on the Radio Pet Lady Network ( In the meantime, have a go at making your own activity feeder to fit that tasty new Grain Free Spot’s Stew.

-Tracie Hotchner