Several months ago I came across this little gizmo while at the grocery store.
It’s a plastic bottom-heavy wobble mouse with 3 holes in it to dispense cat treats when the cats move it around. The mouse’s head screws off so that treats can be added. The Snacky mouse comes with a .42 oz. bag of chicken flavored Temptations treats (both my cats’ preferred flavor). I usually refill with Temptations brand treats but have used other brands of treats that have worked just fine. It works on both hard floors and carpet but seems to be more effective on the carpet (or easier for the cats to get the treats out).
Cat’s are predatory animals and so they actually enjoy working for their treats. I attended a veterinary seminar in February and sat in on several feline lectures. The feline speakers talked about these treat dispenser toys, highly recommended them, and said cats love them. They weren’t kidding. They also recommended hiding your cat’s treats to let the cat fulfill that predatory instinct.
I have two cats who are strictly indoor cats so having a variety of toys and enrichment for them is important. One of my cats picked up on how the Snacky mouse worked fairly quickly. It took my other cat a while to catch on but once he figured it out, he gets the job done! It’s interesting to me that they both have different techniques. Dakota, my gray tabby, is a very tactile cat and the one who figured it out quickly. He uses his paw to bat the mouse around. Nugget, my blonde tabby, (and who may or may not be missing a few brain cells but shhh, we won’t tell him) roots the mouse around with his nose. Both methods work well although Nugget’s rooting technique seems to get more treats dispensed. But Nugget is the lazier of the two and if Dakota is around, Nugget will let Dakota do all the work as he just sits there reaping all the benefits (as you can see in the photos above). If Dakota is not around, Nugget will work hard at getting the treats himself. It is fun to watch them and it provides both fun and enrichment for the cats.
One word of warning. One day I filled the mouse and put it down. My phone rang and I went to the next room to answer it and got distracted. When I returned in about 4 minutes, Snacky Mouse was empty. My cats were sitting there looking right pleased with themselves and still working to get even more. There might have also been some diarrhea related to this story, but I digress. I now only fill Snacky Mouse with the alloted number of treats. And I ALWAYS keep Snacky Mouse out of their reach when not being used for obvious reasons.
I wish I could show the cute video I made of Dakota and Nugget playing with Snacky Mouse but I am not able to download it to my blog. So instead, I’ll post a video I found on YouTube of two other cuties being introduced to Snacky Mouse and trying to figure it all out. As you will see, they succeed! I love this gizmo and in my opinion, whoever came up with this idea is a genius! Since I purchased mine, I’ve seen other versions. Most grocery stores and retail stores carry them.