Mum has written before about her mild obsession with her idol Vicky Halls, the cat behaviour counsellor from the U.K.
One of the things Vicky discusses in Cat Counsellor is feeding time for kitties. A feral cat would spend about 6 hours a day hunting and scavenging for food. A house cat, on the other hand, can be licking their dinner bowl clean in five minutes. She describes some ways that people can make feeding time more interesting for kitties, and uses these ways in treatment plans for a range of different behaviours and personalities. She says they can build confidence in a shy or clingy cat, can stimulate a bored or destructive cat, can challenge a clever cat, and can help de-stress a cat who is on edge.
This is one of those ways. It is cheap and easy, and I love it!
Mum got a yoghurt container, and cut a hole about the size of a 20 cent piece in the lid. She also cut two small holes in the base, which she threaded a piece of elastic through. Then she put some of our breakfast crunchies in the container, put the lid back on, and hung it on a cupboard knob over our eating spot. While I was watching, she wiggled it and jiggled it a bit to get some crunchies to fall out.
I spent some time having a good sniff of the container, figuring out how to get the food out.
I soon learned that I needed to wiggle and jiggle the container to shake some food out.
This morning, my breakfast took about an hour for me to finish! Mum thought I looked quite pleased with myself as I made the container bounce around on the elastic to shake food out.
After reading that Vicky believes making feeding times more challenging is a good way of helping out a stressed cat, mum has been keen to try all the ideas she puts forward. The vet thought my cystitis was probably a delayed reaction to the stressful events of this year, so mum is trying to be more proactive. So in the coming days, I will also be posting about my carton, my bottle, and my pyramid, and which ones seem to be a success with me.
(While getting the link for Cat Counsellor, mum saw a book she hadn't seen before, The Complete Cat. We know what is going on her birthday list! MOL!).