I’ve written many times about how greedy Sampson is. He’s very food focused, and seems to be highly attuned to the sound of the food box being opened.
His food focus has been a problem. He tries to steal any human food that’s accidentally left anywhere he can get to. (Or some places that he shouldn’t be able to!) He eagerly licks clean the food bowls of the other cats and indeed will steal their food if given the opportunity. There have even been a couple of occasions that he has made himself sick from eating so quickly.
We seem to have finally found a solution for his meals. A solution that slows him down so that he doesn’t bring his food back up. As an added benefit, if he’s eating slower it gives more time for Elvis to finish his food without Sampson jumping up to steal it.
The solution is a little activity centre. We spotted it in the reward shop of the site we use for most of our cat-related shopping, and as we had enough points to get it we decided to try it out. I’m so glad we did – it’s fantastic.
The activity centre consists of two parts. The white base has little bumps on it to help keep the food from sliding around too freely. The blue dome clips on over the top leaving a few little openings perfectly sized for a paw to sweep into and pull bits of food out.
Using the activity centre requires Sampson to use his brain to get his food. He can’t just mindlessly wolf it down without a thought.
The first time we fed him with it he was a bit unsure. I had to show him how to hook the food out a couple of times before he would even attempt it. He’s gradually got used to it though and now uses it like a professional – his paw flashes in through the opening, curls around and swipes some of the pieces of food out where he eagerly munches on them.
Whilst he has got faster at eating from the activity centre as his proficiency and understanding of it increase, he is still eating at a much more reasonable pace than when he was just eating from a normal bowl.
It’s a good solution, I feel.