Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The Cat Toy Dilema

Finding a cat toy that is both appealing and safe would be a great discovery.

I am a sucker when it comes to giving presents to my cats. I search for them with a passion that would rival the quest for the Holy Grail. After searching the Internet I found a whale shaped cardboard toy that featured an area that was designed to provide hours of happy scratching and even a place to stretch out to take a nap. What appealed to me especially is that a portion of the proceeds were donated to an animal charity. What a win-win situation I thought.

I carefully stashed it away in the hall closet to save for Christmas. My cats were on it like white on rice. Opening the bi-fold mirrored closet door, they found it and dragged it out into the middle of the living room. For 15 minutes they played with it like it was a million dollar treat.

Then it sat there, dejected, rejected and unused. They may have thought that it might make a good foot rest for humans.

Two other toys arrived that I thought would be appealing and enticing. One was a pink mouse on wheels. Pull the tail and the little critter runs across the floor inviting kitties to stalk them. After a few luke warm chases, this mouse is now resting on its back, wheels in the air like a dead thing. The other was a mouse attached to a wire, connected to a weight loaded base. Cats are supposed to play with this mouse while the base revolves making the toy more compelling. Yeh right sure. This toy has been relegated to a huge pile of useless toys in our bedroom.

My friend brought my kitties a gift, pictured above. They loved it. All of them seemed to be attracted to it. Lucyfur, my mackerel tabby domestic spay, upon finding it, grabbed it out of my hand, growling and hissing at the other cats, claiming it as her prey, warning them not to approach her or the feathery object attached to the plastic wand with a string.
With one swift move she detached the toy from the wand scurrying under the bed making fearsome sounds. The toy has since disappeared . . . hopefully someone will be find it and resurrect it from its hiding place.

What kinds of safe toys continue to attract your cat's attention for a reasonable amount of time? I want to keep my threesome happy .
It seems to be my primary mission in life, lately.


jmuhj said...

Actually, I've heard it's helpful to rotate toys, putting away played-with ones and bringing out different ones (but not all the time -- even kids get bored with play 24/7!)

Our favorite toys are DaBird, the safe laser pointers, and, of course, the ever-popular catnip mousies, froggies, birdies and more...Sparkle balls are high on the hit parade, too.

Pamie said...

I love the description of the cattoyina "dead bug" pose!

Ah, the quest for the perfect toy is always a fun challenge, daunting at best...

I like the sound of the Sparkle Ball. I noticed that Missy loved the sparkly bows on the Christmas gifts this year...

PerfectTosca said...

I never got the point. No matter what I buy my cats, they hide it, lose it, or stick it in the water dish. Then they go play with the paper towel roll and used Q Tips from the waste basket.

Rani said...

I am the friend who provided that cat toy. My Ragamuffin, Baby, thinks it is the Primo Best Cat-toy in the World. He goes through them much like LucyFur did although he doesn't annihilate them quite as fast. Thankfully, they cost $1 each and we can afford it, but still!

Hubby bought 4 or 5 of these last week and put the bag on my dresser. Baby found the bag, dug one out, carried it (still attached to the cardboard, as in that photo) across the house and plunked it under the Christmas tree and then sat down, Sphinxlike, next to it. He was declaring "THIS is where you put Christmas presents.. and this is MY Christmas present... and I will guard it with my LIFE!"

We took it away and hid it but he kept finding it and dragging it back. When I took down the Christmas tree, he was then willing to just PLAY with the cat-toy.

In our house, neither Baby nor Rao can really be bothered with toys that someone else isn't moving. Catnip mousies? PTUII... no interest. Sparkle balls? *yawn* Baby will play fetch with a whiffle ball but prefers the feather wand. Rao will chase a laser pointer, but Baby tracks the hand of the person holding it. "If you're willing to do THAT, can I interest you in a feather wand?"

We are here to provide love, food, water, care, and of course... entertainment!


sharonleelmt said...

My little guy Saki, is a 9 month old wild thing that we rescued from outside. Although he is grateful and gives us love on his terms, he still has that wild streak that loves to seek, pounce, wrestle, beat up and kill! Yes, he is a lover all right.

So after many dollars spent on various cat toys that only end up in either a toy box or in the belly of my over-zealous cat, I have come to realize that the all mighty cardboard box, taken apart and made into a tee-pee type structure, filled with brown paper balled up for rolling around in and hiding, is the best TOY for my favorite boy Saki. I came to this discovery when he recieved a Christmas toy in the mail from a was a little chew toy that her husband makes for their cat. Well, after hours of only playing with the BOX and the PAPER that the toy came in, he turned to the toy, devoured it and attempted to injest. I had to run around and catch him and pull it from his mouth. After taking the homemade TOY away from him, he pounced back on the box and paper wrapping, with much joy in his leap. That is when I realized I can save a whole lot of money by giving him a new box as needed!

He loves to play hid-n-seek, or better known around here as hide-n-SAKI, so for him to be able to run through a tunnel that we made out of CARDBOARD into his tent that we made out yes, more CARDBOARD, filled with paper, he is a happy cat...and we all know that a happy cat makes for a much rested and happy mommy!

PS....his other favorite toy..PING PONG balls. He loves the way they easily roll across the tile, and they are light, so they take flight when he whacks it with his paw. Go figure.

Donna said...

How'd you ever get them to pose? Mine won't come close for a split second!

sheba said...

The expensive toy are paper grocery bags, small cardboard boxes an a small wadded up paper ball. Cats are fascinated with empty paper bags because they can run in and out making the bags slide across the floor. There double fun if you have more than one cat in the home.You can start the game with a small wadded up paper and tossing it in the bag.
With the small box they seems to enjoy going in and out and exploring it then finally squeezing their bodies in a ball and sleeping it it.