Purina One is calling on cat lovers to create and share do-it-yourself puzzle feeder projects to help enrich the feeding experiences of cats.
Designs will be featured on Purina One's DIY Cat Projects Pinterest board and in the brand's booth at Maker Faire in New York on Sept. 21 and 22, where Purina One will work to challenge common misconceptions and educate cat owners about their cats' "true nature."
"The 'true nature of cats' movement is about letting our cats be who they were born to be through proper nutrition and enriching experiences," says Nida Bockert, director of Purina One brand cat food, in a release. "The active pursuit of food is in a cat's True Nature, and using a puzzle feeder is one great way to appeal to your cat's natural desire for physical and mental stimulation."
Some puzzle feeders are ball- or tube-shaped and release bits of kibble when rolled just the right way. Some have sliders that move to reveal hidden compartments where you stash the food. Others have silos of different heights to add complexity to the hunt. While these feeders come in all shapes and sizes, they operate on a similar premise: each challenges your cat to work for her food.
"Puzzle feeders don't have to be expensive, and there are many different DIY versions that are cheap and easy to build at home,” Bockert says.
An example of a DIY puzzle feeder includes "The Wheel," which is made by cutting a few holes in a round food container (such as an empty margarine or sour cream container). The holes should be large enough for a piece of kibble to pass through. Gluing an additional lid to the bottom of the container that is slightly larger in diameter will alter the way that the feeder rolls and add variety to the experience for your cat.
Enriching the feeding experience of cats with things like puzzle feeders is core to Purina One's "true nature of cats" movement. By studying African wildcats, an ancestor to the domestic cat, Purina One identified several ways to help cats be who they were born to be, including the right activity and proper nutrition. This was the inspiration behind the Purina One Smartblend Healthy Metabolism wet and dry formulas, which are formulated for the nutritional needs of spayed and neutered cats.