I bought the Catit Design Senses Treat Maze in last year's Amazon black friday offers. It was one of the few things I got and I had very high hopes for it. The product aims to get your cats to work a bit harder for their biscuits and to deliver those treats to them in such a way that they slow down and don't eat them so fast. Sounds like a great idea - unless you have three cats who didn't read the instruction book and worked out that the easiest way to get the biscuits was to rugby tackle the device and knock it to the floor. So much for the intellectual approach to feeding your mogs.
The treat maze comes in several parts. There's a rubbery base that it stands on that's supposed to be soft on their paws. In the middle of this sits the white plastic part into which the biscuits are flicked. And above that is the transparent maze.
The idea is that you put biscuits in at the top and your smart, well-behaved kitty will daintily move the biscuits through the three levels of the maze until they pop out the bottom and can be consumed. I suppose some cats will do this but ours were far too smart to be conned into this trick.
We abandoned the maze quite quickly. The compliance was not helped by my husband's unwillingness to take away their biscuit bowl and force them to use the maze. It's now in the garage in the charity shop box.
Nice try kitties!
I have to say this was a very good buy. I have two fussy cats!
Before I bought this for my cats I was having a lot of trouble trying to get them to eat wet food as all they wanted to eat was dry food but wouldnt drink a lot of water. I was concerned because they wasnt drinking a lot of water and refusing to eat wet food. The wet food / water makes it easier for them to digest the dry food.
My cats were eating crunchies / treats far too fast and making themself sick before I bought this.
I noticed a big change afterwards. My cats found it easy to use and knocked a few crunchies or treats down at a time making them eat a lot slower an less at a time and they started eating wet food!
One of my cats decided to try to eat them by jumping up the sides and leaning over the top so i just put a bit of cardboard to block her from doing so (smart kitty!)
They use it all the time, my cats love a challenge . Its easy to adjust to make it easier or difficult and its also good fun watching your cats tryin to get treats down and waving their paws about in the wrong direction *haha*
Keeps my cats eating a healthy amount of crunchies per day with their food and sometimes an added treat and since getting this not once have my cats been sick due to eating crunchies/treats too fast.
So if you want to make your cats work for the crunchies, or if you feel your cat is eating too any or getting sick like mine was then give this a try it may solve your problems as well as give you a laugh watching them
Great mental exercise for cats
My husband and I first got a cat when we moved in to our home back in 2010. Our cat was born on the same day that we moved in to our first home together so it seemed like fate that she should come and live with us! Our cat is a little ball of fun sometimes, other times she is lazy. She has a heart murmur which means that she should take it easy and so I am always looking for ways to stimulate her mind and keep her active without anything that is too over the top and going to excite her too much. When she gets out of breath she can pant and this makes me worried about her health. I had been eyeing up this food maze for several months before I purchased it and it was only when I saw a friends cat using one that I was finally prompted to order one from Amazon.co.uk for just under £15.00 including delivery.
The concept of the food maze is that you pour dry biscuits or cat treats in to the top of the food maze (through a circular hole) and then your cat uses their paws to reach in to one of the three levels through a cut out piece of plastic to knock the treats down each level. You can adjust the difficulty of the second level by turning a piece of plastic around to cover the holes slightly to increase the challenge to your cat. Your cat then has to knock the food down through the levels in to the base at the bottom to be able to enjoy them.
Our food maze came provided in a Catit Senses branded box and was in several pieces. There is a grey rubber mat that goes around the bottom of the maze to hold it firmly in place, prevent slipping and ours is always handy at catching stray biscuits and crumbs. There is the base of the food maze which was joined together to the other 3 levels of the food maze. The levels and the outside plastic edges were already in place and I just had to put in the difficulty changing plastic piece in to the second level and put the large plastic circular disc with a circular hole in the middle on the top. This meant that it was built and ready to go. In all it took about 2 minutes and I did not even bother to read the instructions until afterwards when I just wanted to check that I had built it correctly. The instructions were provided in a booklet that appears to cover all of the Catit products. I think that this is a good idea particularly financially as it means that the company only need to print one booklet for all products and I can keep one in my cupboard just in case something needs to be put back together.
Once the food maze was built I set about placing it on the floor in my living room. My cat came over as soon as I started to pour some dry biscuits in to the food maze and I also added some Whiskas crunch (tiny cat treats) and some Whiskas Temptations (a more larger treat) to tempt her in to trying to get them. After about one minute of sitting there looking at it I used my finger through the top level and knocked a treat down, it fell through the second level down in the bottom level and then with another nudge I knocked it down in to the deep circular base and she promptly ate it. She then decided to have a go herself and within a few minutes she had located several of the larger treats amongst the normal dry Go Cat biscuits and had knocked them down in to the bottom of the food maze. I was amazed by just how quickly she grasped the concept and I set about ringing my friend to come over and have a look (she's cat mad like me!), she found it very funny too!
Our cat has exercised her right to do just what cats do and work things out.. She has realised that if she gets two large treats she can stack one at the side and the next one will slide up it and come out of the side of the top or middle level. She has also realised that if she stands up very tall and uses the wall to steady herself she can lean her head in to the large circular hole at the top and just pick through and find the treats that she wants to eat. This is very funny to watch and she picked this up within an hour or two of me setting up the food maze and filling it up for her. Initially I was a little bit frustrated that my cat had figured this out but she rarely uses either of these methods to get to her biscuits or treats preferring to use the standard method.
I must say that I have been very pleased with this food maze. My cat loves this and she has been using it regularly, particularly during the night when we are trying to sleep. I have the middle level at the smallest hole possible for all of her treats still to get through and she manages to work it out very well. Sometimes I will find that she knocked down about 50 biscuits and left them in the bottom yet she is still trying to knock them down. Because of this I often pick up some of the biscuits and put them back in to the top to keep the top level filled up and to avoid wastage of biscuits.
After a month of using this my cat now has this as her sole dry food feeding method. She seems happier and healthier for it and is definitely eating a lot more of her dry biscuits than she used to.
The price of this food maze was very reasonable and it usually retails for around £16-£17 in most places plus postage. I was very pleased to find it reduced on Amazon.co.uk. This was very simple to build and my cat got to grips with using it basically instantly. I would definitely recommend this to anyone with an inquisitive cat.
For those of you who haven't read a few of my latest reviews concerning my cat Asbo, he suffered a fractured pelvis which the Vet believes was caused by a car and this led to major surgery which then meant he had to spend 8 weeks in a cage to recuperate to let the pins and his bones heal properly to allow him to have a good lease of life.
Whilst he was in the cage, keeping him occupied was quite difficult because his space was limited and I was faced with not making him move around too much because he was meant to be recuperating, but not letting him get too bored because he would create havoc in the cage and try climbing it, which was strictly a no no from the Vet. Keeping Asbo occupied once he came out of the cage was also quite a challenge because again he needed to be kept occupied and entertained to ensure that he didn't jump about too much but at the same time not limit him and prevent him from doing what cats do - climb because we also had to help him rebuild his strength in his back legs which had been affected by his accident because they were now quite weak with little muscle definition and if he did try to jump they didn't support his weight if he misjudged the jump and he soon become tired if he ran about a lot. So we bought a few toys to encourage him to run about and exercise but I wanted something else to keep him occupied for an hour or so a day when he would be at home alone whilst I was out working.
I am a fan of the Hagan Cat-it brand, it is one that I am comfortable with buying products from because they are really good value for money and to date I have had two cat fountains, some play toys and a laser mouse. Hagan the parent company behind the Cat-it brand produce products across a broad spectrum for cats ranging from litter trays and cat carriers to toys, scratching posts and collars and their products can be found either online or in good pet shops and I think they are really good value for money.
The Catit Design Senses Treat Maze which is currently on offer in Pet Planet usually retails about the £16 price bracket though when I bought mine it was on offer for half price. The idea behind the product is that it provides entertainment to your cat through challenges which when completed result in a reward. To do this your cat must work out how to get the treats to run through the maze until they fall from the top to the bottom into a tray where they can get their reward and as Cat-it state "The Food Maze appeals to your cat's sense of touch and taste while encouraging mental and physical activity".
To look at this Treat Maze looks like a food blender with holes in, being similar in size and in shape. The bottom which is perfectly rounded and flat to allow it to balance properly has a small tray in which the treats drop into. With my Maze was a free Accu-pressure mat to give it its full title and Hagan say that it "provides pressure point paw massage, whether this is true or not I don't know, my cats don't spend any time with the mat, all they want is their treat but it does have little raised bits running across it which you can feel with your fingers if your touch it and apparently if your cat walks on the mat or sits with his or her paws on it, they do get a massage on their pressure points on their paws. The actual maze itself, whilst a circular shape has two trays for placing the treats on which are a lime green colour and then surrounding those trays are holes for your cat to comfortably put his or her paws into to try and grab the treats, however what they cant always do is simply grab the treats and cheat, they have to work through the maze to get to them.
Asbo is quite a clever little thing and when he saw this and saw the treats I had put into it he got quite excited and immediately assumed he had outwitted me by sticking his paw into one of the holes in an attempt to drag the cheese flavour biscuit out. He didn't succeed. So having failed that task he tried lying on the floor and reaching his paw through another hole in a further attempt to get the treat, again he failed. So he wandered off out of the room and came bounding back in pushes the treat maze and still the treats don't fall out, some simply fall to the lower tier and this now has his attention and the attention of Dude who also wants to know what is going on and between them they manage to get a few treats out of the maze to the bottom tray where they can collect their reward. From time to time Asbo has been successful at getting his treat from the Maze without having to work too hard for it. If you think your car would get bored of this toy which they had mastered it you can adjust the level of difficulty if you follow the instructions to increase or decrease the openings for a more difficult challenge.
Whilst I don't have this toy out everyday for Asbo and my other two boys, it is used quite often and more for the fun factor to encourage them to stop being lazy and to get them moving about, more so Asbo whilst he is house bound. They all enjoy this toy and know that when it comes out of its box there is a treat in store for them and I always buy the Whiskas treats which they really like to have but you can use ordinary cat biscuits.
For the price I paid which was £9 I think it was really good value for money, it is still used as often as I get it out for the cats to play with and it keeps them all occupies and amused. It is quite sturdy when stood on a flat surface, more so a wooden floor but essentially either work really well. The one thing I should note is that this toy isn't indestructible; it is made of plastic and could break quite easily if a lot of force is exerted, but for my cats it is something they enjoy and something they get a reward for using.