House cats are easily bored. You would be too if you roamed around the same apartment all day (and all night) for your entire life. Without a stimulating environment, naturally curious cats can develop behavioral problems like anxiety and aggression.

To combat this, innovative cat-lover Ben Millam set up a food puzzle that requires his cat, Monkey, to actually hunt around the house for something to eat (rather than just passively and automatically receiving it every day). Millam's almost Rube Goldberg-style machine rewards Monkey with kibble every time a small plastic ball is placed inside it. This makes Monkey "hunt" for her food, without the mess of actually having to hide it. Millam places the balls around the house, and when Monkey finds them, the cat plops them into the feeding apparatus to receive a handful of food. (Wonder if it'd work with kitty popsicles?)

Maybe my jerk of a cat wouldn’t be so quick to turn her nose up when I accidentally buy pâté instead of gravy-covered morsels if she actually had to put some work into her meals.

[h/t: Digg]