If you are in a rush and want to skip ahead to our number one choice for cat slow feeders look no further than the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Tiger Diner Cat Feeder.
Cats are born hunters.
Housecats, though, have it handed to them in a silver platter like true royals. This is usually not healthy for them, as they tend to devour food as fast as they can, causing indigestion and bloating.
So, how do you keep your cat’s feline instincts alive, while helping her slow down their eating habits?
Cat Slow Feeders! These are special feeding bowls that provide a fun way to make your cat work for their food.
In this article we’ll review the following products:
- Trixie’s Tunnel Cat Feeder (also available on Chewy.com!)
- Catit Senses 2.0 Digger Interactive Cat Toy (also available on Chewy.com!)
- Pioneer Pet SmartCat Tiger Diner Cat Feeder
- CATCH Interactive Feeder
- Trixie Activity Fun Board (also available on Chewy.com!)
How to Choose the Best Slow Cat Feeders
Cat slow feeders are a great invention!
They help our cats eat in a healthier way while stimulating their natural hunting behavior.
You must have seen your cat hopping around trying to get hold of insects as they fly by, or cheerfully playing with toys. Well guess what, this habit can be cultivated outside of playtime, and using slow feeders is one way to do so.
There are many options available in the market. Some factors to consider when picking one include:
Type of Food
What does your cat prefer to eat? Kibble, wet food or both? The majority of the slow feeders can only be used with kibble. There are, however, multi feeder options available for both wet and dry food.
Size and Food Capacity
Do you have many cats? Then you might want to go for a large feeder. I mean, you don’t want to see your loved ones scramble and wrestle to fit around that bowl.
You will also have to take into account the food capacity of the feeder in proportion to your cat family.
Cleaning and Maintenance
Most feeders come with a dishwashing option, but some do require hand wash. I prefer dishwasher safe feeders to make my cleaning a little easy.
Most cat feeders are made of plastic. Ensure your product is made from high-quality, food-safe thermoplastic polymers and organic synthetic compounds. Other materials used can include rubber, ceramic, and stainless steel.
There’s no way I could highlight all the designs available for cat feeders. There are mats, bowls, foraging cat feeders, and many other innovative designs. The design you choose would depend on your cats’ characteristics and personalities.
Are they active and inquisitive? May I suggest a puzzle feeder to keep them intrigued?
A cat with limited mobility will do well with a mat or bowl design.
Five Benefits of Using Cat Slow Feeders
Cats are binge eaters if left unchecked.
This would mean constant trips to the vet to address indigestion and boats. Another problem is a common syndrome known as “scarf and barf”. This happens when a cat quickly gobbles food, causing the body to reject the food, which is then vomited.
Using a slow feeder can help prevent such cases.
1. Minimized Vomiting
Slow cat feeders increase a cat’s feeding time, reducing or preventing vomiting for healthier, happier kitties.
2. Promotes Healthy Digestion
Longer feeding durations for your feline friend translate to healthy digestion. This, in turn, reduces bloating and ensures that nutrients are absorbed effectively into the system.
3. Provides Mental Stimulation
Cats are interactive creatures.
Improve their skills by getting them a feeder with tricks and they will learn to work for their meal.
Nothing brings joy like seeing a cat find its way around a challenge.
It may also help with those moments when your pet becomes sluggish, like the summer or winter months.
4. Cats May Feel Fuller Faster (regulate weight)
Slow feeders help in weight management and prevent obesity as cats are less likely to overeat.
5. Keeps the Cats Active
These feeders can also be a fun source by making eating interesting and reducing boredom, especially for indoor cats.
Is There Anything I Should Watch Out For?
It’s important not to rush while buying a slow cat feeder as many considerations have to be made.
Also, don’t force your cat into using the slow feeder. They will end up loathing the item faster than you can convince them it’s a good thing. Instead, let them acquaint themselves to the feeder over time.
I find that cats warm up to things that humans like. Try fiddling a little with the feeder, and your pet friend is sure to come and take a look.
Finally, ensure that the slow feeder you buy doesn’t have any potentially dangerous bits that could cause choking. Instruction manuals offer an excellent way to better understand the items, and you’ll know if they are pet safe.
Which Are The Best Cat Slow Feeders?
In this section, we’ll look into some of the best cat slow feeders and bowls available in the market.
Cats can be quite inquisitive, a probable reason behind the saying “curiosity killed the cat”.
Direct their frisky nature and energy with the aid of Trixie’s Tunnel cat feeder into something mind-stimulating.
It has a top container that you fill with your cat’s favorite food.
All your feline friend has to do is nibble away the rewards that trickle down the six different tunnels. I find this feeder a fun way to stimulate your cat’s sense of curiosity.
|Pros ✔️||Cons ❌|
|A rubber base to keep it steady.||Hard to use for wet food|
|The top container can be sealed for freshness||Disadvantageous for kitties that don’t know how to use their paws to move food.|
|Can be used as a daily feeder|
|Easy to clean and also dishwasher safe|
|Can be used by multiple pets|
The Catit 2.0 Digger Cat Toy provides a fun way of keeping your cat alert and sharp. It allows your pet to dig out food at a healthier pace and stimulate their mind while doing so. I see it as a smart and exciting way to channel your cat’s hunting spirit!
The Catit 2.0 consists of specially designed tubes that drive a cat’s instincts to paw out smaller portions of food.
The main drawback of this slow feeder is that some cats easily figure out that they can cheat by tumbling the tubes (and the food) to the floor. Some people fixed this by gluing the tubes, which made the washing more burdensome.
|Pros ✔️||Cons ❌|
|Rubber mat to secure the cat bowl||Not suitable for wet foods and treats|
|Easy to disassemble and clean.||Hand wash only|
|Three short, tubes and two long ones to adjust difficulty levels||Easy to cheat|
|Sloped surface that collects kibble and prevents spillage|
|Bisphenol A (BPA) free|
If you haven’t tried out an enticing mat-type, cat puzzle feeder, then here’s your chance.
This feeder is modeled like a grass patch with perfectly sized spikes that encourage your pet to forage for its meal.
Whenever cats lack mental stimulation, they easily get bored. I know first-hand the damage an idle cat can do: ripped furniture, toilet paper all over the floor.
As the name suggests, this feeder provides a healthy distraction for your pet friend. The cat will enjoy pushing the food out between its many ‘blades’ of grass.
|Pros ✔️||Cons ❌|
|Ideal for pets on a restricted calorie diet||There is no rubber on the bottom for grip and may slide when placed on the carpet.|
|Suitable for both wet and dry food|
|Dishwasher safe – top rack|
|Bisphenol (BPA) and Phthalate free|
|Suitable for both indoor and outdoor use|
|Available in a variety of sizes. The large feeder can be used by multiple cats at a time|
This is another great option to keep your cat active while eating and to help him/her slow down their feeding.
This model comes in two main varieties. One is made out of lead-free, non-toxic porcelain, while the other (a bit cheaper) is made of BPA-free plastic.
I tend to prefer the porcelain one, as it gives me more peace of mind. For example, I can simply put it in the dishwasher.
The funnel-shaped design makes it very easy for you to put food in, while making your cats work for it. There is no way to cheat with this one. Your cat will have to patiently pick the nibbles with her paws, in a very similar movement to what cats would do to catch a mouse from a hole.
|Pros ✔️||Cons ❌|
|Ideal for pets on a restricted-calorie diet – Impossible to cheat||Not a good option for wet food|
|Easy to put food in||Some people find it difficult to clean due to the small holes|
|Dishwasher safe – top rack|
|Encourages cats’ natural movements|
|Non-toxic, safe materials|
Another great product from Trixie, a household name in Cat Slow Feeders.
The thing I love the most about the activity fun board is that it doesn’t just provide one challenge over and over.
Rather, it comes with five different activities that your cat can engage in. There is a tunnel, three “fish” bowls, two different mazes, and some holes for more liquid treats (or wet food).
You can put the food in different places and see which activities come easier and which are more challenging and fun!
This fun board is made of very sturdy plastic, though, we were not able to find if it is BPA-free or not. So it will be better to not heat it up or not put it in the dishwasher.
Overall, this is a great product that can keep your cat(s) entertained for a good amount of time every day.
|Pros ✔️||Cons ❌|
|Ideal for cats who like different challenges||Unclear Plastic Specifications|
|Rubber on the bottom ensures the board does not move||Not sure if dishwasher safe|
|Option for wet food as well|
|Easy to clean|
When it comes to cat slow feeders, there are a lot of options available in the market, and selecting the best feeder can be daunting. I choose to see it as a fun challenge.
My favorite is the porcelain version of the Pioneer Pet SmartCat Tiger Diner Cat Feeder.
The fact that it’s not made of plastic gives me great peace of mind as it will not be harmful in any way to my kittens.
It also offers simplicity and functionality. It requires enough effort to slow down your cat and keep him active, but not as much as becoming an unpleasant chore.
In the end though, it is up to you to choose which one will be a best fit for your cat.
Let me know which is your favorite and if we missed anything from the list.