Category: cat toys

Floppy Fish II: The Floppening

I promised an update on Buddy and his new Floppy Fish toy, confident he would get over his trepidation and start playing with it eventually. More than half a dozen attempts later I’ve succeeded only in making him more skittish.

Our readers will recall Buddy got his first look at his new toy last week, and he was terrified of it.

He stepped back warily as I flipped the on switch and placed the flopping fish on the floor. When it stopped thrashing — which it does after a few seconds to save battery life, relying on a motion sensor to tell it to move again — Buddy slowly, cautiously edged his way over.

With a wary eye on the toy fish, Buddy gave it a nudge with his paw, then jumped back as it sprang to life again, making a mechanical SWISH-SWISH sound as it thrashed.

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I tried to get him interested in the fish the next day and again the following night. It was late. Buddy hopped up to the coffee table and padded over to me, nuzzling me with his cheeks in hello.

He’s relaxed, I thought. Good opportunity to try the fish again!

I should have kept the power off. He wasn’t playing with the fish, but he wasn’t hissing at it or running away.

Stupidly I allowed impatience to get the better of me. I switched it on, and he freaked out and ran away. After that he wouldn’t even go near the thing even as it sat dormant. He probably thinks it’s like Ssscat, the motion-triggered compressed air spray that startles cats to keep them off kitchen counter tops, tables and other surfaces.

Come to think of it, maybe I can find a use for the fish yet. If I want to protect a fragile item on a flat surface, all I need to do is place the fish in front of it and Bud will never go near the thing. 🙂


Cat Toy Review: Floppy Fish

The toy: Floppy Fish, a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery powered soft toy fish that flops around to simulate the behavior of real fish and trigger cats’ predatory instincts.

Price: Between $15 and $25 online and in pet stores. The toy is sold as Floppy Fish, Flippity Fish, Floppy Fishy, Fish Cat Kicker and other names. Some come with catnip and a pouch inside the fish for “infusing” the toy with the ‘nip.

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The cat: Buddy

The result: After charging the fish with its included charging cable, I located the on switch and set the fish on the floor, where it started doing its flopping thing.

A cautious but curious Buddy approached. I could see the gears turning in his head: “What is this thing? Is it for me? It must be. Big Buddy placed it on the floor and called to me, and now he’s looking expectantly at me.

But…it’s scary! Look at it flipping and flopping! That’s terrifying! Oh man. I don’t like the sound it’s making. Look, it’s getting closer! Run!

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Okay. Safe distance. It’s stopped flopping. Now I can approach, give it a sniff, maybe slap it with my paw and…

It’s moving again!!! RUN!!!

Is this what salmon is like? I don’t think I can ever eat fish again. Who knew they were such terrifying monsters?

I have to hide. It should be all right if I come out in an hour, right?”

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Verdict: This is obviously a well-received cat toy, as it’s got positive ratings online and there are plenty of Youtube videos showing cats having fun with it. It’s lithium-ion rechargeable, so you won’t have to buy separate batteries, and it’s motion-activated with an off timer so the battery won’t drain during periods of inactivity. Overall it looks and feels pretty durable.

However, if your cat is incredibly brave and daring a big wimp, it may not be the toy for him or her. Bud’s 0 for 3 so far on attempted play sessions.

Buddy may yet come around and relax enough around the fish to play with it. If he does, I’ll update this post accordingly.

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Buddy’s Letter To Santa Claws: A Very Roomba Christmas

Dear Santa Claws,

Hi, this is Buddy the Good Boy from New York!

Please help me, Santa! For the past four years I’ve been asking my Big Buddy for a Roomba for Christmas, and every Christmas morning I have been disappointed when there is no Roomba beneath the tree. 😦

What is a Roomba? I’m glad you asked! A Roomba is a round robot made for cats, so we can have fun riding around the house! You just sit on top of it, and it moves all over the place! There are lots of videos on the MewTube showing cats having fun on their Roombas.

I am such a good boy. I finish my food most of the time, I only scratch the couch a little bit, and I haven’t destroyed anything valuable in almost three months! And if Big Buddy told you about the time I puked on his my bed, well that was an accident, okay? I usually puke on the carpet like a civilized cat.

Please, Santa, the only thing I want this year is a Roomba!

Your friend,

Buddy

PS: Look at how much fun it is!

Patient Cat Watches Grandma Mend His Beloved Toy

Sometimes cats do things that remind us they’re essentially furry little wise-beyond-their-years toddlers.

I love this story about a four-year-old cat named Lucas and his favorite toy in the whole world, a stuffed leopard he’s been cuddling and playing with since he was a kitten.

“I got the toy from my local zoo, along with a few other stuffed animals,” Alana, Lucas’ human servant, told The Dodo. “He usually leaves my stuffed animals alone, but he wouldn’t leave this one alone.”

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As any cat servant knows, our felines are pretty rough on toys, especially if cats knead on them and drag them around the house.

“He’s had this toy for probably four years, and it ripped because of wear and tear,” Alana said. “My grandma moved in with us last year, and really loves Lucas. [She] saw that his favorite toy was ripped, so she sewed it back together for him.”

As you can see from the photos, little Lucas was curious and entranced by his grandma’s patch job, happily purring as she handed it back to him almost as good as new.

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Buddy’s favorite toy is a small stuffed bird from a wand toy.

He still likes “hunting” it, then laying back and batting it around after he catches it. (And I use the word “catch” loosely. He likes hunting games because his instincts drive him to stalk and pounce, but he doesn’t know what to do once he catches up with his “prey.”)

He drags it around when we’re not playing with it, and sometimes I find it near his food bowls.

Like Lucas’ leopard, Buddy’s bird is ripped, worn and often soggy with cat saliva. What’s your cat’s favorite toy?

Tiny Tents: Finally Something Cats Like More Than Boxes

Go to any store that sells camping gear and you’ll see display tents — tiny versions of the real thing, so customers can see exactly what they’re buying.

A few people, mostly employees at various sports and camping supply stories, got their hands on display tents, brought them home for their cats to use, and a trend was born when they began posting photos of their camping kitties online.

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Miniature tents at a sporting goods store. Credit: Arkenzi/Reddit

The hashtag #tinytents turns up Instagram photos of cats lazing in their own tents. They’re apparently even more appealing to them than boxes, according to some cat servants whose felines are taken with the miniature camping shelters.

Because the tents are just smaller versions of real models, they’ve got all the bells and whistles, including bug netting, awnings, tie-back doors and zip-up windows. (There’s also a company that markets them at cat owners for $59.99, but you can find them for 20 bucks on TinyTent.com.)

I think I’m going to have to get one of these for Bud!

Click the thumbnails below for larger versions of the photos: