The other day the cats broke their Cat Attack toy - just snapped the wand off right at the base. This toy was battery operated so that the wand would swing around by itself for the cats to bat at. And while they liked it, it was by no means their favorite toy - it would hold their attention for a few minutes, and then they'd wander away.
So I got to thinking about all the cat toys I've bought over the years, both for these guys and other cats, and decided to do a little review. Here we go!
1. Cat Attack (see pic above)
Cost: Approximately twenty bucks when I bought it several years ago for Rocky, which was the most I'd ever spent on a cat toy.
Description: Battery operated. Round base with a wavy wand thing that would randomly wiggle around. Also came with a remote control so you could make it run around on smooth surfaces, i.e., the kitchen floor.
Did they play with it? Sometimes, more so when they were kittens. They preferred to have it placed on an elevated surface so they could leap for the wavy wand thing. Overall, mostly a "meh".
2. Cat Track Cat Toy
Cost: Around ten bucks.
Description: Basically a hollow round plastic tube with a ball inside and openings for inserting paws to bat the ball around.
Did they play with it? For about thirty seconds, until they realized they could not actually get the ball out of the tube, and then interest was lost.
3. Cat Play Cube
Cost: $3.88 at Walmart.
Description: Kind of a pop-up tent, for cats.
Did they play with it? All. the. time. They especially love for me to dangle a toy into one of the openings, so they can pounce on the cube and collapse it.
4. Pure Commotion
Cost: $24.99 at PetSmart, although I later found it on line at Walmart for $14.99. Figures.
Description: See picture above. Battery-operated and timer/speed controlled, with a feather that flings around.
Did they play with it? Little Girl enjoys it for brief periods; The Runt has been more or less ignoring it. And they knocked the wand off the base, so I glued it back on; then they knocked it off AGAIN, so I super-glued it on; then The Runt gave it a body check and knocked the wand off again, so I electrical-taped it back on. The wand is staying on for now.
5. Cat Dancer
Cost: Around three bucks.
Description: Piece of flexible wire with cardboard chew-things on each end.
Did they play with it? This is their absolute favorite toy. They LOVE for me to drag it around the house so they can chase it and pounce on it.
6. Piece of Yarn
Cost: Free, if you've got some yarn lying around.
Description: Yarn. duh.
Did they play with it? Oh, they love for me to drag a length of yarn around for them to chase, but after pulling several inches of it out of The Runt's mouth after he decided it would be a good idea to eat the yarn, I've been a little wary of this.
Wow, this is taking a while. Anybody still there? Hello?
7. Soda bottle tops, crumpled-up cigarette packs, etc. Aka: Stuff that's going in the garbage, with a quick fling past the cats first to see if they're interested.
Cost: Free, by the time it gets to the cats.
Description: Stuff that's going in the garbage, with a quick toss past the cats to see if they want to play with it.
Did they play with it? They'll play with anything, as long as it's moving. Once the movement stops, they're not interested.
8. Ba-Da-Beam laser toy
Cost: Around seventeen bucks, if I remember correctly.
Description: See pic above. Battery-operated toy emits a laser light beam that circles around for the cats to chase.
Did they play with it? Yes! This is one of their favorites. I set it so the light circles around on the wall, and they love to jump after it. And it has a timer, so if you forget to turn it off, the batteries don't run down.
9. Hand-held laser pointer.
Cost: Around five bucks.
Description: Laser pointer, like you'd use in the office.
Did they play with it? Oh, they love for me to go room to room in the apartment, shining the light around, so they can bounce off the walls, the furniture and each other trying to "catch" the light. A big success, if tiring (for me).
Cost: About twenty-five bucks
Description: This is a vertical toy that hangs from a doorknob. It has a motorized track with a string that runs around and around for the cats to bat at.
Did they play with it? I got this for them for Christmas, and right now, they think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread. They play with it and play with it, and I'm afraid that The Runt's gonna break it pretty soon because he's so rough with it. The only downside is that there's no timer; if you forget to turn it off before you leave the house, you're coming home to a dead battery.
11. Hartz Cat Activity Center
Cost: Around eight bucks
Description: Crinkly plastic mat with wand-type toys sticking out of it.
Did they play with it? Let's insert a big bronx cheer here. They totally ignored this thing.
12. Crackle Chute Play Tube
Cost: Eight Bucks
Description: Flexible tube made out of some type of crinkly material that sounds like plastic bags being scrunched up.
Did they play with it? Oh yeah, they like to ambush each other by waiting until one of them's in the tube and then pouncing. It's about four feet long, though, so it does take up quite a bit of room. But they enjoy it.
13. Motor Mouse
Cost: $18.00 plus tax
Description: Like the Cat Track Cat Toy (#2 above), but battery operated and with a mouse that runs around inside the tube (see pic above). The mouse is free-spinning, so they can play with it even when it's turned off.
Did they play with it? Oh, they were fascinated when I first brought this home, and I thought I had a huge hit on my hands, but then they lost interest. And that's when I finally figured it out: These guys only have an attention span of about three minutes; that's the longest amount of time they'll play with ANYTHING before giving in to their ennui.
Updated to add:
14. Undercover Mouse
Cost: $30.00 *gulp*
Description: A circular plastic mat with a battery-operated wand underneath that scurries about.
Did they play with it? Oh yeah, they like this one. For now, anyway.
So in conclusion (whew!), their favorites are the hand-held laser pointer and the Cat Dancer, because they can chase them all over the apartment (as long as I'm on the other end, of course.) They also love to pounce on the cat play cube, and play with the Fling-Ama. About the only thing they wouldn't play with at all was the Hartz Cat Activity Center. And again, keep in mind that their very short attention spans mean that NOTHING will hold their interest for very long.
If anybody has a cat toy that can hold the cat's attention for more time than it takes to poach an egg, let me know!
Oh, and if anybody's actually made it to the end of this thing, CONGRATULATIONS! You deserve a prize or something .......... wait! That's a great idea! The first person to make it to this part and leave a comment will get a fabulous! prize! (not a cat toy, I promise.) Yippee!