My Lovely Feline just released a new slow feeder dish designed specifically for cats. Slow feeders and food puzzle are growing increasingly popular in the cat world for multiple reasons, which we’ll talk about. I’ll also discuss how it works and the pros and cons.
What Is a Slow Feeder
Slow feeders or food puzzles are designed to make a cat work for their food, often by pawing to free kibble from tiny obstacles, or even problem solving little puzzles.
Examples of Slow Feeders
There are many different types, but the ones I’ve used include:
A Catit Senses 2.0 Food Tree with multiple levels and holes, so the cat has to paw the kibble down each level until it falls into the hole at the bottom.
A TRIXIE Products 5-in-1 Activity Center. This has multiple puzzles, including tiny bowls, holes, a tunnel, and various raised pieces.
The Catit Sense 2.0 Digger has narrow green tubes cats need to dig in to access their food.
An egg-shaped treat puzzle with a hole in it. Fill it with treats and your cat bats it around to get the treats to come out. (I thought it was by Friskies, but it doesn’t have the branding anywhere. I’m not sure where I got it or who makes it, but there are similar types available. I linked this to a PetSafe version on Amazon.)
The My Love Feline Slow Feeder Dish is a round, white ceramic bowl with waves on it, and the cat must use their paws or find creative mouth positions to get their food.
Why Slow Feeders Are Gaining Popularity
There are a number of benefits to using slow feeders and puzzles. Here are the main ones:
- Help scarf ‘n’ barfers or cats that eat too fast and throw up. Slow feeders are designed to slow down the eating process and hopefully fix this issue.
- Fast eaters may go after other cats’ food. In addition to the stealing cat overeating, this is extremely problematic if you have cats on different diets.
- Indoor cats are bored, so it’s important to stimulate them mentally and physically, forcing them to work for food. It’s not the same as in the wild, but it’s definitely closer than just a plain bowl of food.
- Feline obesity is an issue. Whether due to inactivity, boredom, or adapting to a human feeding schedule (free feeding or scheduled meal times, both of which do not exist in the wild), it causes health issues, and many owners are at a loss on what to do. Slowing down eating gives the cat more time to get full as they’re working for their food, helping fight obesity.
Of course, there was a learning curve when I started using the slow feeder. The first time I fed them was right after getting it, and it was after their breakfast, so they already had full bellies and it worked. The next time was dinner time, and they looked at the feeder with food, confused as to what to do. Over time, they’ve picked it up. Since using the feeder, my scarf ‘n’ barfer, Beaker, has vastly improved!
Pros to the My Lovely Feline Slow Feeder Dish
- Food-Grade Ceramic Material. As long as you properly clean the bowl and avoid chips or cracks, ceramic is a fantastic choice for a dish material. Plastic tends to invite all the germs to the party, and cats don’t want to eat out of dirty dishes.
- Simple to Clean. Ceramic is extremely easy to clean with just normal dish detergent.
- Food Quickly Spotted. White, consistent material and ridges make food stand out more than if other colors or material are involved. Cats have a hard time seeing up close, and the contrast of white and the kibble makes food stand out on this dish. Other feeders may have more complex puzzles, but so many colors and puzzles can disguise the presence food.
- Keeps Cats Interested. The puzzle is hard enough that it slows the cat down, but not so hard that they lose interest.
- Attractive. The bowl’s round shape and modern-looking smooth waves are easy on the eyes, and will blend in well with most décor.
Cons to the My Lovely Feline Slow Feeder Dish
- Delicate material. While I love the ceramic material, it will not be a fit for every home, because it’s breakable. The danger isn’t so much when it’s on the ground, but more when it’s in a sink or on a counter. If you have a lot of young children who are clumsy or grabby, you may want to wait until they’re a little older. Also, if you’re in a busy environment like a shelter or sanctuary, it may not work. Chips and cracks can harbor bacteria, so be extremely diligent with cleaning if you crack or chip your dish.
- Every Cat Needs a Slow Feeding Dish. In a multi-cat home, if there are regular bowls in the mix, a cat is more likely to walk away from the slow feeder for the easier and faster meal (in the bowl). Therefore, you’ll end up with a food thief if you aren’t watching the cats finish their food. You should either get a slow feeding dish for everyone or find a way to separate the cat that needs it for their meals.
- Protective Packaging Initially Sticks to Dish. Although the dish is well packaged to prevent breakage, when you first open it, the Styrofoam packaging causes little beads of the foam to stick to the feeder, mostly because of static electricity. These pieces are a bit tough to get off because of the wave design, especially if you don’t want them going down your sink’s drain. I recommend holding the feeder directly over your trashcan and using a Swiffer wipe or a damp paper towel to get all the beads off.
Yes, I Recommend the My Lovely Feline Slow Feeder Dish
I recommend the My Lovely Feline Slow Feeder Dish based on everything I outlined above. It has been very beneficial in my home, especially help slow down fast eaters and prevent them from going after others’ food. As long as you weigh everything I said above and determine it’s a fit for your home, it’s worth getting. If you do, let me know what you think.
What slower feeders have you tried that work for your cats? Comment below and tell me about them.
Want to help your kitty stay hydrated? Shop water fountains.
Full disclosure: I work part-time with My Lovely Feline, however, they did not (and would not) ask me to write a review, and I’m not getting paid for talking about the feeder. I don’t receive any commissions and I don’t make recommendations unless a product works for my cats.