A Dish Poses Little Challenge. Make a DIY Hunter Feeder.

Cats in nature hunt daily for every meal. This keeps their skills sharp and efficient.

As we get ready for Maker Faire in New York City, September 21-22, 2013, there's lots of activity online around things you can make for your cat. That includes feeders that challenge your cat’s body and mind.

Try out this plan shared by our friend Marty at Urban Pet Haus. While he spends his days making thoughtful and beautifully crafted furniture and accessories for cats and dogs, he brought us this amazing plan for a DIY hunter feeder.

What You Need

2-foot square of 3/4-inch MDF
1/2-inch diameter wood dowels
Brad nails of finish nails
Wood glue
Router (for larger holes)
Jig saw
Hammer
Drill
1/2-inch drill bit
Eye and ear protection

How to Make it

1. Start by cutting your sheet of MDF in half. Stack the two halves on top of each other. Draw a shape on the top piece of MDF with a pencil. Clamp the two pieces together and use the jig saw to cut out the desired shape. 

DIY hunter feeder jigsaw

2. On one piece of the MDF, mark 1-inch inside the entire perimeter and cut it using the jig saw. This will be used to make a raised border that will help keep kibble in the feeder. 

DIY cat hunter feeder outer

3. Use the router to make larger holes about 1-1/2-inch in diameter and 1/4 - to 3/8-inch deep. It doesn’t have to be perfect. When kibble is placed in these holes, it makes it more challenging to get the food or treat.

DIY cat hunter feeder router

To make holes for your dowels, drill 1/2-inch diameter holes in the bottom MDF panel. Be careful not to go all the way through. Make sure to space them so it’s not too easy to get the food. 

DIY cat hunter feeder drill

4. Cut the ½-inch diameter dowels into varying lengths. Ours vary from 10- to 4-inches. This will make it even more challenging to get paws on beloved treats. While ours is unfinished, you can stain or paint the feeder with a non-toxic, water-based color. 

5. Run a bead of glue around the entire shape you cut the center out of onto the base and use brads or finishing nails to hold in place until the glue dries. 

6. Put a dab of wood glue on the bottom of the dowel and insert it into the holes in the base. You may want to tap with a rubber mallet. Repeat with the other lengths of dowels until all of the holes are filled. 

DIY cat hunter feeder overview

Optional: While our hunter feeder is unfinished, you can stain or paint it with a non-toxic, water-based color.

7. Set out the hunter feeder in your home. Sprinkle a few bits of kibble or treats within the protection of the dowels and let your cat get to work.

Have you put your spin on a hunter feeder for your cat? Share it with our Purina ONE® Cats community on Facebook. 

Or gather more inspiration for your own DIY projects for your cat on our Pinterest board.

For other ideas for bringing enrichment to your cat’s day, check out the Purina ONE® Cat Journal