The Five-a-Day Felix Plan

The Five-a-Day Felix Plan

Whilst our new year’s resolutions to lose weight and exercise more might be a distant memory, scientists are now urging the UK’s cat owners to consider their feline friends and help them beat the festive bulge.

A diet and lifestyle plan designed purr-fectly for cats, promises to produce results in as little as three weeks to help the UK’s mollycoddled moggies pounce back into shape in time for summer.

The Big Bang Fair has partnered with International Cat Care to highlight the science behind feline feeding and encourage cat lovers to try out the plan themselves.

In “The Five a Day Felix Plan”, scientists Dr. Sarah Ellis and Dr Lizzie Rowe recommend:

  1. Five portions a day - In order to mimic the cat’s natural feeding habit of eating little and often owners should divide their cats’ daily food ration into a minimum of five portions, which should be fed throughout the 24-hour period.
  2. Change the location of their food - Placing a portion of food in a different location to the last will enable cats to engage their senses in searching for the food.
  3. Night-time feeding - A great thing about puzzle feeders is that they can be filled with food ready to be left for a cat during the night or when you’re out of the house.
  4. Water - It’s important to provide cats with fresh water every day, especially if you choose to feed only dry food. Cats also prefer to drink away from their food.
  5. Puzzle Feeders:

Toilet Roll Pyramid (Dry Food)
This puzzle feeder requires around 10 rolls of toilet roll stuck into a pyramid shape using tape. It allows your cat to use its paws to fish out the food from inside the feeder.
Bottle Puzzle Feeder (Dry Food)
This simple puzzle feeder just requires holes being made into the plastic bottle for your cat’s food to come out.
Multifaceted Puzzle Feeder (Wet & Dry Food)
This requires a shoebox and yoghurt pots. This gives your cat the chance to fish out its food using its mouth, tongue and paws.

Using puzzle feeders – feeding stations that encourage cats to “work out” in return for their daily food portions - the plan challenges cats’ mental and physical abilities to reduce fat and help address behavioural issues, such as neediness and anxiety.

Dr. Sarah Ellis, Feline Behaviour Specialist, advised:

“The way we feed our cats generally does not match the lifestyle they were designed for. Cats have undergone little in the way of selective breeding during the domestication process and therefore have an instinctive need to hunt.

“This modern lifestyle of feeding large meals straight from a packet into a bowl, often alongside little opportunity for play or exploration could be dangerous to pets, but by making a few simple changes to the way we feed them, we can help our cats to live longer, healthier and happier lives. The plan, based on scientific evidence, helps every cat owner mimic the conditions cats would usually contend with to get their food.”

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, organisers of The Big Bang Fair, said:

“Innovations in science and engineering shape our world, making a real difference to our lives and this plan shows how they also play an important part in animal welfare.

“The Big Bang Fair gives young people the opportunity to discover the vast number of career opportunities available to them if they continue to study maths and science.

Some may be inspired by veterinary science or the (pet) food industry, for others it might be smart phone technology, renewable energy or explosive experiments that grab their attention – whatever it is they’ll leave with a good understanding of where STEM subjects can take them in the future.”

Cat owner, Tim Lloyd, 35, from Surrey, tried out “The Five a Day Felix Plan” and commented:  

“I’ve had my cat Colin on the plan for three weeks now and while I’ve not seen miracles, he is definitely more lively, inquisitive and healthy.”

“The Five a Day Felix Plan” and instructions on how to create puzzle feeders at home are available to download from thebigbangfair.co.uk.

Read the full report >>

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair takes place from the 14-17 March 2018 at the NEC in Birmingham. For more information, visit www.thebigbangfair.co.uk

Notes for editors

[1] For the full plan please contact the media contacts or visit thebigbangfair.co.uk

About The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair

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