For cats, hunting is part of what brain scientists call "The Seeking Circuit." In the seeking circuit, the brain releases dopamine, which heightens their arousal and creates a great feeling of anticipation... like a child on Christmas morning. The small meal completes the cycle and leaves your cat feeling satisfied and complete... the presents are open. Cats need to engage in the seeking circuit many times a day to be mentally and physically healthy.
Using a standard bowl as a cat feeder denies them this natural cycle entirely, yet the need to hunt remains instinctual.
Cat toys engage cats in the seeking circuit, putting them in a heightened state of arousal. However, without the unique cat feeder the circuit is not completed by the food reward. This leaves them in the heightened state of arousal without the satisfaction of completion (Let’s be honest, nobody likes being in a heightened state of arousal without the satisfaction of completion).
In nature, cats hunt and engage this seeking circuit between 9-20 times a day, 24 hours a day. Cats spend an average of 6 hours a day seeking their food, which provides them with the majority of their daily exercise. This goes on day and night. Now you know why your cat might wake you up to eat in the middle of the night! When we remove the opportunity to hunt, we deny their natural instincts and disrupt their natural rhythms. This can lead to physical, behavioral and mental problems.
"Veterinary behaviorists know that feeding has a dual purpose for cats. It is not only a way to satisfy their energy need, but it also represents the main opportunity to satisfy their primary behavioral need to act as predators. Not having the possibility to satisfy this need may be physically and psychologically detrimental to a cat. Dr. Liz Bales (a Penn Vet grad!) has finally heard our cats’ voice and has created a feeding-system that, for the first time, considers their point of view on what a good meal is!"
—Dr. Carlo Siracusa, VMD, PhD, MS
The NoBowl Feeding System is one of the best cat toys because it mimics the natural cycle of the hunt by engaging the natural seeking circuit and completing it with the satisfaction of a food reward. In addition, the NoBowl Skin provides the tactile sensation cats want, so that they can engage their teeth, claws and paws in the hunt.
Once transitioned onto using the best cat toy for your feeding system, your cat will hunt, find their meal, and then play with it to get the food reward. Satisfied with this healthy portion, your cat will groom and rest until hunger motivates the next hunt... just like in nature.