Of course I love all the wonderful handmade cat toys being featured this week, and I’m a huge fan of found/recycled object cat toys, but there are a handful of tried-and-true store-bought cat toys that are real Moderncat must-haves and I think every cat owner should know about them.
Right now, our #1 favorite toy is Da Bird Pole Cat Toy. It took me a really long time to finally purchase this one. I kept thinking “Oh, it’s just another stick with a feather on a string.” Let me tell you, it is NOT just another stick with a feather on a string! This bad boy is ENGINEERED like no other pole cat toy I’ve ever seen. The feathers connect to the string with a swivel attachment like a fishing lure. This causes the feathers to rotate when you sweep the toy through the air, mimicking a real bird in flight. It even makes a sound like flapping wings. There is also something absolutely perfect about the length and weight of both the pole and the string. I whisk the feathers through the air and then drag them across the floor and everyone goes nuts. This is definitely one of the best interactive toys out there.
Our second favorite is the Cat Dancer. The simplicity of this cat toy is what makes it so brilliant. Made of spring steel wire with tiny bits of cardboard rolled up and attached to the ends, when held just right, the Cat Dancer behaves exactly like a bug flying through the air. Drag it along the floor and it looks like a scampering mouse. This toy elicits stalking, pouncing, chasing, and lots of leaping, especially from Ando who can reach heights of four feet or more when he’s really wound up.
Yeowww Catnip Stinkies Sardines
If your cat is a catnip freak, then these little toys will send him over the top. Yeowww Catnip Stinkies Sardines are stuffed full of 100% organic catnip leaves, but I think they are also treated with some kind of super potent catnip spray or something because they are really stinky. The pet store usually keeps them in a sealed container to keep them extra fresh. They are just the right size for kitty to get a good grip, sink his teeth in, and give a nice strong bunny kick to send them flying across the floor. I buy these on a regular basis because they get so trashed from the constant rubbing and drooling.
Laser Toy (A.K.A. Red Dot)
Laser cat toys provide great entertainment and excellent exercise for cats of all shapes and sizes. I like to shine the light back and forth along the floor then up the wall and across the ceiling. It’s hysterical to watch them track it around the room. “Red Dot” is definitely Simba’s favorite activity. Everyone else enjoys it, too, although if we play several nights in a row, it gets boring, so I sometimes put the laser toy away for a few days until it’s new and interesting again. There are many different styles of laser toys to choose from, but you have to be careful with all of them, never to shine the light directly into your cats eyes.
And last, but not least, we have the Fling-ama-String. I finally broke down and bought one of these today so I could see if the cats really would like it as much as I thought they would, and WOW!! It’s a huge hit! They have been playing for hours! Everyone is fascinated by it. The boys mostly lie down in front of it and lazilly try to catch the string as it zips around on the elastic band. Simba stands in front of it and is surprised every time the string flips around and hits her on the head. Flora has been watching it from afar because the boys are hogging it. It’s definitely a unique invention created by people who truly understand what cats like.