With my cats being a central part of my life, I am always looking for products that will make them happier, allow us to interact more, and are durable enough to be used again and again. Samson loves to try new things, and the stream of foster kittens I have every summer allows me to see how products hold up with multiple cats. One of the greatest risks is buying something, only to bring it home and have your cat totally ignore it. The most expensive product are those that aren’t used, or break the first time they are used. With cat toys, I have experienced both.
Last year Samson and I got a toy from Kung Fu Kitty. It is one of Samson’s favorites, and since I knew that I was going to make Samson a model and therapy cat, I wanted to work one on one with him on a regular basis. The cat wand toys are perfect for that.
Samson had 4 types of cat wand toys last year while he was still a kitten. He was keen on getting his claws on them at any instance. These are the ones we tried out:
- Feather & web mesh toys on sale at Petsmart
- A Jackson Galaxy toy with a laser pointer
- An expensive toy from Big Lots
- Kung Fu kitty’s Majestic Crane toy.
Supposedly the products by Jackson Galaxy Toys are made with the cat’s natural instinct in mind. PetSmart’s products are made of feathers, enhancing their appeal. Out of the four, Kung Fu kitty’s Crane and the cheaper toy from Big Lots (spoiler alert: because the Big Lots toy was so simple, Sam didn’t play with it as much, but it only took 1 play session for him to break the Jackson Galaxy toy) are the only ones still intact.
1. Two Feather Wand Toys from PetSmart
The two feather wands I got at PetSmart have only a few of the original feathers still on it, and the mesh fingers on them are tangled beyond straightening out. But they were a lot of fun when Samson first got them, and we have easily gotten our money’s worth out of playing with them. They pose the larger question – do you want your cat toys to last more than one season? If you have just one cat, when they grow up they quit playing as much and may simply have discarded their toys along the way. Then again, because I have foster kittens each year, I would like to have toys that stay around more than one season and can be played with multiple seasons.
2. The Jackson Galaxy Wand Toy with a laser pointer
The Jackson Galaxy toy had all the bells and whistles. It had a laser pointer attached, and a wand that telescoped out but then could be retracted to fit nicely into a smaller space. This is a great feature. Then the end has a metal clip that you could exchange toys on. It looked like a great toy, practical, yet one that both I and Samson would get use out of. To my shock, the first time playing with the toy, one of Samson’s brothers bit the cord in two. The cord was thinner than that of the other cat wands. It immediately retracted into the body of the cat wand toy. I couldn’t even get the cord out to re-attach an end. Perhaps someone craftier could have figured a way to fix the toy, but I couldn’t come up with a way. The retracting cat wand on a toy that broke just made it expensive and impractical. The laser pointer still works.
3. The Big Lots Wand Toy
This toy was only $3. It has a simple stuffed mouse attached to a stick. I would get this toy if you aren’t sure your cat would like wand toys, so you want to try out a wand without a financial output. It is a great toy for 1 or 2 uses, but Samson quickly got bored with it.
4. Kung Fu Kitty Wand Toys
Which brings me to the Kung Fu Kitty toy. I knew it was awesome, because Samson played with it in the SuperZoo booth last year. That means he liked the toy so much that he forgot about all the noise, distractions and visual overload to focus on the toy and actually play. Samson continued to play with this toy for the full year. Long after the other cat wand toys hit the dust. The fur on it is in a little more disarray, but it still has all its feathers.
Kung Fu Kitty’s toys have realistic faux fur. The wand is 24 inches, and the cord is 20 inches. They have a Kung Fu Clip which allows you to replace a worn out end or just switch to another end. Using the same cat wand toy for multiple ends means less clutter, less cost and less waste. They are all made in the United States.
This year at SuperZoo, Samson and I stopped by Kung Fu Kitty again. Now that Samson is an adult cat, we opted for a toy that has catnip in it.
The parts are made of plastic, which minimizes the chance that Samson will chip his tooth. The sturdy construction also guarantees that he will enjoy the toy for longer hours.
In summary, I recommend using wand toys to get a more intimate relationship with your cat, and getting them used to interacting with you. A wand toy is another tool that will help to make your cat come up to you and look forward to interacting with you. You will be rewarded for the time you spend playing with your cat by a closer relationship, and more joy for both of you.