This freestanding toy measures about 6” tall and has an internal motorized laser with an adjustable mirror to direct the light. The laser moves around in a pre-determined “random” cycle.
I set it up on the floor and started it up. The first thing I noticed was how mechanical the laser movement sounded. It’s not super loud or anything, but it is noticeable, and could be distracting to pets. Pixie found a spot to sit and watch the laser night show, but felt no need to chase the laser. We ran the program again, and she walked over, sniffed the laser, and then went and took a nap.
We had a little more success with the manual mode, moving the laser around, like we used to do with a keychain laser pointer that we had a few years ago. I think the noise combined with the predictability and lack of reaction of the programmed mode made it less interesting for our kitty.
This sturdy transparent plastic ball with adjustable openings holds about 2/3 of a cup of dry cat food. It’s pretty easy to clean, fill, and lock. The idea is the kitty will push the ball, and food will come out. My friend has one for her cat, and I’ve seen it in action.
However, even with the addition of treats and catnip, my kitty could not figure it out, nor was particularly motivated to try. I put it on the floor in front of her, and pushed it around a bit, so she could see how the food came out. She ate the kibble that had been dispensed, sniffed the ball, and then went and took a nap.
We left it out the next day, hoping she’d try to use it, but Miss Pixie didn’t even touch it. I guess this product might be better for younger, smarter, and more resourceful kitties.
This food puzzle consists of a large beehive-looking contraption with 3 platforms inside, and a “moat” below to catch the food. Each platform has holes on it that the kitty must push the food through in order to get to the next level, and eventually reach the moat below, so that she can eat it. It has one adjustable shelf, so that you can change the difficulty of the maze as your kitty learns how it works.
When we set this contraption up, Pixie appeared a bit puzzled and did quite a bit of sad mewing, because she could smell the goodies inside, and apart from the few bits of kibble that fell down naturally (which she ate), she couldn’t get to them. I knelt down with her and reached my finger in to show her how the puzzle worked, but she didn’t seem too eager to try.
We left it set up and let Pixie explore in her own time. Sure enough, when we weren’t watching her, the sound of descending kibble and eager munching was heard. She must have been feeling shy about trying it while everyone was looking.
When I put food in this morning, she did a bit of complaining, but as we sat down and ate our own breakfast, we saw her go over to the bowl and bat the kibble down through the holes. Good Kitty!
Only time will tell if this product will help with Pixie’s weight loss efforts, but I think the Catit Food Maze was the clear winner in terms of ease of use (and compatibility with our kitty). I also like that it still keeps the food confined to her feeding area, and the chances of my tripping over a ball full of kibble are greatly reduced. The exercise quotient is definitely less, but maybe as Pixie slims down, she’ll be more inclined to increase her activity level.
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