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Well this is my first instructable so don't judge me too hard. As well it is being entered in a few contests so it would be ever so nice of you if you voted for it!

So we all who have cats know this dilemma! We put out the food in the morning because we all have busy lives or we are well.. lazy hahaha like me.. And we think.. Cats don't need much maintenence just clean the litter, put food in the bowl when it's empty, water it so it can grow and give it love when HE/SHE wants it.

And then those self sufficient loveable demons get all fat and hairy.

BUT they're sooo cute all fat and rolly!!!

Then the vet comes along and says your cats are too fat!! Put them on a low calorie diet! And don't leave food out for them to eat!

"But wait!?" You say to the pet doctor! "I'm not home all the time to make sure these supposedly self sufficient catstards have their food at the proper intervals!"

"So..." says the now slightly annoyed Vet (not in my case, my vets are nice... I'm assuming someone has a not so nice vet) "Put them on the "No-Free Lunch" diet! Where they work for their food"

So I did! I tried the ball feeder treat dispenser.. that only works if you don't have a dog that would eat the cat food.. and if your cats showed any interest in this ball..

So I sat down and thought. I don't have the money to go out and buy 50 million different gadgets to figure out which one is the one that works for them.

So I figured out a way to give them this diet with stuff I already had in the house!

Electronic feeders are cool but too much work to make at the moment plus I'm not THAT handy yet!
Yet being the key word!

Step 1: Find Your Items!!!

Gather Your Items! Yay!

1. A bowl or plate with a high ledge that is a decent size. That a cup could roll around in it and not fall out.
In this case I had a large Stainless Steel base from a pet fountain that my cats didn't agree with and the fountain thing broke anyway..

You can use a aluminum roasting dish or some bakeware with high walls.. you could even use a cardboard box.. but then that would be even more of a cat trap.... then it wouldn't work to help them lose weight because they will sit in it and eat hahaha.

2. A cup that will fit the needed amount of food for the day for the cat or cats. I have 3 cats so I needed one that would fit 2 cups of dry cat food, since normally cats are I guess supposed to have 1 cup of dry kibble a day per cat.. But if they are on a diet.. they get less.. and they need weight management.

So the prerequisites of the cup..
- It should fit inside the base.
- It should not have a handle.
- It should be able to roll around a little bit and give the cats room to get food that comes out.
- It should also be at least a little bit smaller than their heads
- It should fit the proper amount of cat food per cat.

or you could use the treat ball but they don't like the noise it makes while hitting the sides.. and it rolls around way too much..

3. The cat food! Your normal cat food.
My cats are on Hill's Perscription diet w/d (weight management) diet from my vet. My oldest cat (male) Tigger had bladder crystals in the past so I had to put them all on a perscription diet to help them the crystals not form as easy. And lots of water too.

Then you also need the cats or cat.. but that's a given.. so it's not something you need to gather hahaha.. they will come.

If you don't have cats.. then there's no point in doing this... Unless you have a roommate that needs this kind of diet ;-)

Step 2: If the Cup Don't Fit You Must Equit!

The title may be a little much.. hahaha
and well it may be even spelt wrong but hey.. Don't judge me.

For my 3 cats I have this plastic cup I got from International delights last summer for iced cappuccinos... It gets more use this way...

But as you can see it has enough room to move around without falling out of the bowl.

You want the cup to be able to roll and move around a bit so they can bat the cup and move the food that way as well.

The opening is a little bit smaller than their heads.

You can use a glass cup if you have a softer bowl.. but then you have to worry about breaking glass.

Not to mention you can buy these kind of cups at the dollar store too.. or You can use an old child's sippy cup.
I don't have children so I don't have any of those.

Step 3: Put the Bowl on Something High

I suggest this because it gives this some other activity to do to get to their food.
Not to mention it keeps it away from small dogs..

Big dogs... probably not haha.

Make sure the bowl and cup are secured enough or heavy enough to not get batted off of what it's on.

That could make a huge mess and my chihuahua would have a catfood feast....

Step 4: Fill the Cup

Yeah This is kind of a given..

Step 5: Cup in the Bowl!

Put the cup in the bowl, it's okay if a little pours out it gives them a starting point. And shows that there is something to eat in there..

This is especially important if you are just teaching your cat or cats to use it!

Step 6: Now the Cats Will Come!

Obviously the cats have heard the glutinous jingle of cat food being poured into an object.

They come a running.. starving.. Jump up to where you have shown the food to be.

They look around all confused and uncertain.. (well Cali was camera shy she's done this before)

Then another cat bugs her with love and kisses (Luna Fae loves her sister). I'm not saying this is the result. This set up will not bring your cats closer together.. It might make them fight though...... hmm..

Anyways.... Once they have eaten any residual outside kibbles they will realize that there is some inside! So they will reach in with their heads and eat what they grab. And pull them out with their paws. As you can see Tigger modeled those.

So not only does it feed them proper amounts. It makes them think a little to get the food. And it makes them eat slower too.

I haven't had any complaints about it from them.

:-)

Step 7: Now Your Cats Are on the No Free Lunch Diet! Huzzah!

And all the love is for them!

So if you liked this please do vote for me in the contests.

:-)

Thank you! And I hope it doesn't take your cats long to figure it out.
If it does you can paw at the food and make some of it come out so they know!
Great idea, pity i actually bought a cat feeding ststion to get them to work it out, before finding this post!
<p>Wow, what an idea - making the cats work for their food. Ha ha! I love it!</p>
Lol thank you!
<p>i like it. Mine only get raw 2 times a day but they can be relentless when hungry! Great idea</p><p>a</p>
<p>Good idea.</p>
Oh thank you! It tends to work nicely!!

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