Snack + activity = snacktivity! Most cats would live off treats if they could. One way to keep their weight down is to make sure your cats have to work for it, when you are spoiling them with nom noms. It's more natural for cats to work for their food, so this is a great way to give those in between snacks.
Keeps the weight down, stimulates senses and provides entertainment
Snacktivities stimulates the cats senses and forces them to use both paw and brain. It also makes them eat slower which is more healthy. This can be done with treat balls or different types of treat mazes. Sometimes it takes a while before the cat figures it out and other times they hardly presents a challenge at all. So it's all about trying different things and see what works for your cat. This treat maze was no match for Ronja!
Do it yourself
If you want to have different mazes available, it can get a little expensive in the end. Luckily it's easy to make some yourself with stuff you have available already. Cardboard is easy accessible and easy to work with. So this is my go to material to work with. When they get dirty you can always throw it out and you can vary the difficulty level according to the cats skills. It doesn't have to take a lot of time to make a cat snacktivity and it's easy to do. So here is some of the snacktivities I've made to activate my two deaf indoor cats. Take a look - get inspired!
Cardboard box with holes
A small box with holes makes an excellent treat maze that you can use again and again. Just cut some holes big enough for a paw to reach in. Make sure the holes are directed towards the bottom of the box, so there's no edge stopping the treats from getting out (on this picture the box is upside down - whoops). Later you can make it more tricky if your cat gets good at it. With this type of box you can put either toys or treats in - or both.
Treats in a paper bag
Put some treats (or toys) in a paper bag and let the games begin! IMPORTANT: Remember to cut the handles before presenting it to the cats or they will get their heads caught in it.
Cat treats in an egg tray
An egg tray is a perfect little treat maze as it already has little compartments for snacks. The compartments are big enough for a cat paw but still presents a challenge. We call this game "Kitty Kalaha".
Cat treats in an egg tray - advanced
If your cat has become an expert in Kitty Kalaha you can make it more challenging by putting balls on top of the treats. The cat has to move the ball before fishing up the treat. Ronja is very good at snacktivities, so I often give her the more difficult version.
Cardboard box with toilet paper rolls
Glue some empty toilet paper rolls to the bottom of a small box (I used a glue gun). Then put a few treats in each tube and watch the cats put their paws in to fish them up again.
We got some funky packing material with our new vacuum cleaner and I used it as a treat maze. When you have made a couple of snacktivities you start seeing the potential in almost everything. Ronja is working on a standard box with holes.
I like to put our snacktivities for my cats when I'm not home, to prevent boredom. I hope this inspired you to make some fun snack activities for your cats. Watch more DIY cat activities on our YouTube channel or get ideas on how to use paper and plastic to create a fun indoor environment for your cats.