4 Must-Read Tips Before Buying a Food-Dispensing Cat Toy

PetMD Editorial
By PetMD Editorial on Dec. 17, 2013
Image: John Wright / Flickr

How Treat-Dispensing Toys Can Help Your Bored Cat

Are you looking to get your cat more active? Does he or she constantly look bored? Then you make want to consider using a food-dispensing (also known as treat-dispensing) cat toy, which provides both physical and mental stimulation during snack times. In fact, according to the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, “self-play toys are especially good for cats who are left home alone while people are away.” Before you go out and buy a food-dispensing cat toy, however, consider the following.

1. Food-Dispensing Cat Toys Should be Durable

The durability of your cat’s food-dispensing toy is of utmost importance. Look for one that can withstand you cat’s repeated punishment, and if the rough play becomes so intense that your cat is at risk of injury, take the toy away.

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2. Food-Dispensing Cat Toys Should be Easy to Clean

There are enough things to clean around your home. Save yourself the trouble and choose a food-dispensing cat toy that is easy to clean. Bear in mind that some styles of food-dispensing cat toys are easier to clean than others.

3. Stuff the Cat Toy with Healthy Treats

Just because your food-dispensing cat toy can be filled with just about anything, doesn’t mean you should. Only stuff the cat toys with healthy treats and consult with your veterinarian prior to making treat giving a routine. He or she may have recommendations as to the amount of calories for the treats given daily/weekly so that your dog does not become overweight or obese.

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4. Do Not Use the Toy for Regular Feedings

Despite its potential benefits, you don't want to overuse a food-dispensing cat toy (especially if you use cat kibble in the toy). Failure to do so may result in your cat refusing his or her regular meals. Instead consult with your veterinarian on how frequently you should be using the toy.