As anyone with pets can attest, owning a pet is an adventure! I’ve had a varitable menagerie over the years – a dog, multiple rabbits, snakes, lizards, fish, amphibians, hamsters, gerbils, and cats. I currently have two cats, Chalupa Batman and Squirtle.
Chalupa is very cute and 3, Squirtle is very handsome and 4. Both were adopted in Texas – Chalupa from a little Mom & Pop pet store who had, at one point, a bunch of kittens from the Houston Humane Society and Squirtle from the Houston SPCA directly a few months later.
You may see that Squirtle is missing his right front leg. According to the SPCA, he’d been picked up as an injured stray, and after an attempt to save the leg, in the end, it had to be amputated. He does pretty OK for himself, to be honest, but he’s a big cat with shorter legs, so I have to try and keep him from turning into this:
The thing with Squirtle is that he likes to eat. A lot. I presume that comes from him living out in the wilderness eating berries for the first year or so of his life. Anyway, he and Chalupa have very different eating habits – Chalupa will pick throughout the day, whereas Squirtle will eat all his food and then demand to be fed every single time you pass his food dish. (Berries must not have much nutritional value.)
Because Squirtle was putting on weight from eating out of Chalupa’s dish, I had to think of a new way to allow both cats to eat and still maintain a healthy weight. With Squirtle only having the one front leg, too much weight could have negative effects on his joints in the future.
So, on to my solution!
While scouring Amazon for neat pet products, I came across Outward Hound’s Triple Treater Totter.
It’s actually a dog treat dispenser, however, it works very well to keep Squirtle from binging on too much food. Chalupa is quite curious, (as my mother says, “He gets into things.”) so I thought this might be something that could give him a bit of stimulation and enrichment. He’s very particular about toys, so he’ll only really play with one specific toy that isn’t a feather dancer or a laser; any others he almost immediately loses interest in. Otherwise, he runs back and forth through the house, doing kitty parkour off the furniture and harassing Squirtle.
The three arms work on a ball-joint style pivot point on the green stand, so the dog (or cat, in this case,) can eat the treats out of the cups. There is a triangular cap in the center, where small kibble-sized treats can be stored. As the arms are pulled down, the treats roll down the arms and through a hole in the cup. Due to the size of the dispensing holes and the storage area, small to mid-sized round training treats or kibbles will fit.
I picked this up to give it a shot, in the hopes that Chalupa would easily figure out how to work his new feeder, which, to my delight, he did!
As it turns out, the Treater Totter is great for dispensing cat kibbles. Chalupa immediately learned that he could swivel the cups with his paw so once he’d emptied one, he’d just spin it to another cup. Within a day or so, he figured out that he could pull more kibbles down with his paw and by pushing the cup down so they roll into it. If he’s not confident enough to stick his face in the cup itself, he’ll scoop kibbles out and onto the floor (to my dismay, hence the newspaper placemat,) and eat them that way.
Chalupa Batman has been using the Treater Totter now for almost a year and the results have been remarkably positive. He’s able to eat his kibbles at his leisure, without Squirtle flying in and inhaling his food, and Squirtle, since he can’t physically move the cups, has learned to leave it alone. (Sometimes, if the cups are full, he will try to nibble, but usually he’s chased away.) I’ve also been able to get Squirtle down to a healthy weight, due to him eating proper portions.
- Encourages enrichment/puzzle solving
- Holds 1 cup of cat kibbles (1/4 in each cup and 1/4 cup internally)
- Made with food-safe plastic (BPA, PVC, and phthalate free)
- Allows for free-feeding while also monitoring healhy portions
- Quiet (Mine squeaks, which I don’t mind, because then I can hear when he’s using it, but others I’ve seen have been silent.)
- Can only house small/medium sized kibbles/training treats
- Pet may figure it out too quickly (if used for a game/toy)
- Somewhat difficult to clean – you’ll need a bottle brush that will fit inside the dispensing holes to clean inside the arms (I haven’t put it in the dishwasher)
I’ve really only used dry kibbles/treats in the Treater Totter. (One exception is Blue Buffalo’s Kitty Yums, which are semi-soft, but dry.) I wouldn’t suggest using wet food or moist treats as they may be messy and also could create a blockage at the dispensing holes.
All in all, I would definitely recommend the Outward Hound Triple Treater Totter both as a treat dispenser and as a feeder. Although it’s marketed for dogs, it’s great for cats as well.
Here are some treats that have worked well in the Treater Totter:
I’m always looking out for neat pet stuff for the cats, so check back for more product reviews!