As you know from Allegra’s last post, she is most definitely not lacking for toys. Nevertheless, I was delighted when the folks at Play-n-Squeak products offered to send us a couple of their new Play Wand toys for Allegra to test. And Allegra was over the moon with excitement when the toys arrived.
These folks know cats. The press release announcing these toys was titled “The Tiger Inside: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Hunter” – a clever header for explaining that these toys are designed to encourage indoor cats to exercise their natural hunting instincts. For our indoor cats, who don’t have to worry about hunting down their dinner, toys take the place of prey, and the best toys are those that mimic prey behavior. The toys that do this best are interactive, fishing-pole type toys. They not only make it easy to encourage cats to play, but because they require a human on one end of the toy, they also strengthen the bond between cat and human.
The Play-n-Squeak wands incorporate everything kitties love in a toy. We tested the Tiger Teaser©. It consists of a nice, sturdy handle with an equally sturdy, thick rope attached to it. It has a feathery tuft at the top of the pole and a fuzzy mouse at the dangly end. Not only is the mouse stuffed with catnip, but it’s got some kind of electronic gadge inside that is motion-activated and meant to mimic the squeak of a real mouse. Even though it sounded more like a bird to me, it certainly got Allegra’s attention. The mouse squeaks each time it’s batted, and even when it’s just swung through the air or dragged along the floor and furniture. Allegra couldn’t decide what she liked better: the sqeaking mouse, or the feathery tuft at the top of the rod. I actually managed to exhaust her with this toy – not an easy feat.
When you play with your cat using an interactive toy, whether it’s the Play-n-Squeak or any number of other fishing pole toys on the market, try to imitate the hunt. Make it interesting for you cat. Drag the toy across the floor, up and down furniture, around corners, up and down stairs. Let your cat catch the toy occasionally to keep it fun for her. When you’re ready to end the play session, don’t stop abruptly, instead, slow the toy down, pretending it’s a wounded animal that is getting tired. Let your cat catch the toy one last time before you put it away. Never leave interactive toys out for your cat to play with on her own, they should only be used when you can supervise. Cats can easily get tangled up in the strings and ropes of these toys if they play on their own.
Allegra’s review: Weeee!!!!!! Super fun toy!!!!! Four paws up!!!
The Play-n-Squeak wands toys are available online or at pet retailers near you.