Cat Enrichment Project for Kids: DIY Treat Toy Puzzle

Cats need outlets for play and exercise to stay happy and healthy. Keep your cat active and fulfilled with this easy homemade toy that dispenses treats.

Welcoming a kitten or cat into your home is a big deal and a major responsibility. Cats are not toys that can be turned on whenever you want to play or ignored when you don’t feel like taking care of them. Your cat depends on you to feed her, play with her, clean up after her, and provide plenty of cozy napping spots. It is important that you put yourself in your cat’s paws so that you are aware of what she needs and can make sure she is healthy and purring with contentment. But it’s worth it for your furry friend.

Illustration © Ryan Wheatcroft, excerpted from A Kid’s Guide to Cats

One of the best gifts you can give your cat is to not treat him like a little person or a funny-looking dog. Cats think, act, and behave differently than humans and dogs. It’s important to treat your cat like the fine, furry feline he is! Unlike dogs, cats are not born pleasers. Cats are observational learners. They pay close attention to sights, sounds, smells, and household routines. That explains why they come racing into the kitchen when they hear a can being opened but stay nestled on the sofa when your cell phone rings.

Cats — especially those that are indoor-only — can become bored and destructive if not provided with outlets for play and exercise. Keep your cat active and fulfilled with a homemade toy that dispenses treats! Just remember that if you love to give treats or are using them to train your cat, reduce her meal portions somewhat so she isn’t getting too many calories. Treats should make up no more than 10 percent of your cat’s daily food intake.

DIY Treat Puzzle Toy

Photo © jumnong/ (cat) and Mars Vilaubi (treat toy), excerpted from A Kid’s Guide to Cats


  • Toilet paper tube
  • Scissors
  • Small cat treats


Cut two or three holes along the length of the tube, making them just a little bit bigger than the treats.

This will allow treats to fall out when your cat paws at the tube or tosses it in the air. Decorate the tube with a funny cat face or however you want.

Fold down the sides of one end of the tube to close it. Drop a few cat treats into the tube and fold the other end shut.

Text excerpted from A Kid’s Guide to Cats © Arden Moore.

arden moore

Arden Moore

About the Author

Arden Moore is the author of more than two dozen books on cats and dogs, including A Kid’s Guide to CatsA Kid’s Guide to DogsThe Cat Behavior Answer BookThe Dog Behavior Answer Book, and Real Food for Dogs. She hosts the Arden Moore's Four Legged Life Show, a nationally syndicated weekly radio show and the award-winning Oh! Behave Show on Pet Life Radio. She travels North America teaching veterinarian-approved pet first aid and pet behavior classes with her dog, Kona, and cat, Casey. She has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows and is an in-demand speaker at pet conferences. Learn more by visiting her at and listen to her shows at

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