Cost: $3-6 at online retailers like Chewy.com; $6-9 in most pet stores
Length of ownership: 1.5+ year
Let me start off by saying that I approve of all of these toys’ durability, inexpensiveness and effectiveness. They are all great ways to add activity to your cat(s)’s daily routine by getting Kitty to work for her food.
My favorite of this bunch is the SlimCat Interactive Feeder. It’s a spherical shape with that an swivel to make it harder or easier to dispense the food inside. That variable difficulty is why this toy is my favorite. With two different hole shapes (oblong and circular), it accommodates different kibble shapes and sizes. Additionally, you can choose to have the holes completely open or partially closed, which adds to the difficulty level. These toys are large enough to hold about a cup of food. A small complaint about this toy is that the lid to the toy is a tad small, which can make adding food from a measuring cup difficult. It’s easy enough to pour kibble in from your palm, so, as I said, it’s a small complaint.
My second favorite of this trio is the Active Treat Ball toy from KONG. This toy is egg shaped with an oblong hole at one end for the kibble to come out. The toy unscrews at the middle and can hold about 1/2 cup of a kibble. There is a cylinder in the middle of the toy so you can choose to put the kibble outside of the cylinder (easier to dispense) or inside the cylinder (more difficult to dispense) or both. This toy isn’t my favorite because it does hold significantly less food than the SlimCat toy and you can overload the cylinder so that the kibble gets jammed. I also didn’t see significant increases in the time it took my cats to get the kibble out when it was in the cylinder vs. the body of the toy, so this toy isn’t as adjustable as the SlimCat toy.
My least favorite toy is the Twist n’ Treat toy. This toy is an saucer-shaped toy that twists apart at the center and holds a scant 1/2 cup of a kibble. It is meant to be adjustable by screwing the two parts closer or farther apart but because it is made of hard plastic (instead of something with more grip, like rubber), as my cats batted around this toy, it either came apart or tightened up to the point that kibble couldn’t come out. It does essentially work – I’m not going to give it away (yet) – but the other toys in this post are way more effective.