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Suggestions to Satisfy Indoor Cats\' Outdoor Urges?

Forrest JenkinsForrest Jenkins Member Posts: 439
edited 28 November, 2007 in Food & Nutrition
I have noticed recently that Margaux and Mueller have a few odd food obsessions. They eat a serving of dry food every morning, a very small snack at lunch, and a serving of canned food at night. They are both at healthy weights. I read that feeding in servings rather than free feeding satisfied the cats' obligate predator need to have a full meal at once. Lately, both my darling almost-11-month-olds have been behaving strangely about food. They will hunt through the garbage, actually EAT a plastic milk ring (no digestive problems when they did that thankfully!), and seem to truly relish hunting/digging/wrestling something and then trying to eat it. I know they would actually be able to kill and eat things if they spent time outdoors, but that is NOT about to happen. I need suggestions for things that are healthy for them that I can hide for them, or make more challenging for them to eat. They love to get a piece of cheese rind, and I think part of the reason is that it's so hard to extract the teeny bit of cheese from the tough rind--just like they would have to really work on a bird or small animal. However, cheese is obviously full of salt and microbes that are not the best things for cats. I think providing an outlet for these food-behavior cravings will help keep them away from inedible or dangerous things around the house--we can't be supplementing a healthy diet with plastic! Thoughts?


  • Vanessa BobackVanessa Boback TampaMember Posts: 3,149
    edited 28 November, 2007
    I wonder if they make cat kongs?? :)) A kong could possibly keep them busy for a while if you put wet food in there or kibble and they have to lick it out. Hm, I\'ll keep thinking for you, and I see exactly where you are coming from but I can\'t think of anything. Do they have toys? Rasha plays with catnip mice and \"hunts\" it. When he catches it, he growls like he just caught dinner. Good luck, and I\'ll keep thinking! ;)
  • terri echolsterri echols kalamazooMember Posts: 4,758
    edited 28 November, 2007
    my mother took in a part-siamese feral...lots of fun, that one. he had to be declawed, she got tired of needing stitches. now he bites, but not as badly as he scratched. saying this to say that the adjustment for rex from wild thing to pampered pet was not smooth. the trash had to be kept in a closet with a door he couldn\'t open, or he would \"forage\". mother eventually found this toy that claimed to be a mouse but looks like a small shaggy woodchuck to me. it\'s ugly, clunky, and you wind it up and it zips around in unpredictable circles. it\'s more challenging prey than a catnip mouse, being mobile, and by using his imagination he can easily pretend he\'s really brnging it down. he goes through all the stalking phases with it, letting loose a rare \"meow\" of frustration if it wanders into a corner and traps itself before he\'s ready to make the kill. for rex, big ugly on wheels worked. sublimation and all that...
  • Karen LeeKaren Lee The kingdom of Mer-lotMember Posts: 89,020
    edited 28 November, 2007
    Rasha, they do make Kitty Kongs ;c; I had one a long time ago. Methinks it is hidden in the house somewhere now, mol. There are also treat balls for cats. You can Google for \"cat treat ball\" and see the many different kinds. It\'s a little ball that you fill with treats and your cat has to roll it around and figure out how to make the treats come out.
  • Forrest JenkinsForrest Jenkins Member Posts: 439
    edited 28 November, 2007
    Thanks Merlin! I'll start looking around. As for the toys questions, they have all sorts of toys, the favorite being a stuffed ball with real feathers attached. Sometimes I put it down in a corner of the couch, and they seem to love digging it out, trying to rip the feathers out, etc. Because of their similar behaviors with food, I think they would go nuts over something they could dig out of the couch and then eat. But obviously, I don't want cheese rinds in my couches! None of their behavior is aggressive toward me or my husband, and declawing is not something I could ever have done. I think I cover most needs a cat that goes outside would encounter, but the way they eat is not consistent with the way an in/out cat would eat. They don't get to roam around and procure food. Like I said, I'll start looking at those treat balls.
  • Annalisa Conserti-JonesAnnalisa Conserti-Jones Member Posts: 5,234
    edited 28 November, 2007
    Have you tried treat dispensers, Margaux's mom? My mom used to put whole treats or kibble in mine, and I try to dig them out by rolling them. She had to stop doing that too, because I kept demanding more when I was done, and it was turning into something close to free feeding. =P
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