Dirk’s unusual game with Peek-a-Bird

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

We all know that cats don’t always do what we want or expect them to do. For me, that’s part of what I like about them: they are not as docile or obedient as some other pets. They very much have a mind of their own and can be very particular about things.

Dirk is – frankly – pretty docile but even he doesn’t always do what I want him to do or play with a toy quite the way it was intended… PetSafe’s Peek-a-Bird is one such example.

The Peek-a-Bird has openings on either side and when switched on a feather appears randomly from either side so your cat can chase it. Sometimes it appears on the same side twice in a row so it is not possible for your cat to predict on which side the feather will appear next. The feather moves around for a bit before retreating to entice your cat to hunt for it.

A play session lasts for 10 minutes after which the toy switches off automatically. You can also activate and ‘all day’ mode. The toy then switches on for 10 minutes at a time every two hours. Even better: it also switches on when the sensor picks up movement from your cat. Basically, your cat will have a toy that switches on whenever they want to play! I absolutely love that idea.

As I said, though, Dirk had other ideas of how to play with the toy!

When switched on, Dirk keeps watching it and also tries to bite the feather, but he does not chase the feather much. However, as soon as the bird switches off he wants to play with the bird itself. He does sometimes try and get the feather out of the toy when it’s switched off, but his main focus is giving the bird a good kicking.

He’ll kick it around the floor or the rug and also seems to like kicking it back and forth with me. Should perhaps not have been too much of a surprise as he is named after a football player 😉

But in any case, that is not what I expected him to do at all. When the Peek-a-Bird is on the floor somewhere he’ll walk over to it when he wants to play with me and starts pushing or kicking it towards me.

Peek-a-Bird also comes with a spare feather in case the first one becomes too damaged to play with. Knowing most cats are mad about feathers (Dirk is too with some of his other toys) it’s good that PetSafe included a spare one. However, it would be even better if they start selling extra spare feathers as I can imagine some cats will quickly go through both.

My guess is that cats will either love Peek-a-Bird or ignore it and whether or not your cat will like it may be difficult to predict. I’d recommend it to owners of kittens or cats that enjoy hide-and-seek style games.

Dirk and the new 4Cats Cuddly Cushion

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

Dirk couldn’t be happier because 4Cats has a new Cuddle Cushion!

You may have read the review about Dirk’s first cuddle cushion: he went absolutely mad. He loves this new one at least as much as the previous version, perhaps even more.

So what’s new about this Cuddle Cushion? 4Cats uses a different fabric for the new cushions. The fabric is soft but also a bit of texture to it. The previous one was soft and smooth and Dirk mainly cuddled with that cushion. With the new one he still cuddles a lot – he loves rubbing his face in it. He now also quite likes kicking this toy which he didn’t really do with the previous one. Rather than animal print these new cushions come in 4 different colours.

Those are the details, but I know you want to see Dirk in action 😉

Did I tell you he goes mad for it?
Part of it is undoubtedly the catnip effect as 4Cats use catnip of excellent quality. He rolls around with all through the living room and kicks it a lot.
Don’t try and take this cushion away from him – he’ll hold on to it with all his might! Use other toys to play tug-of-war 😉

Rolling and kicking are just two of Dirk’s favourite things to do with the cushion. The others are rubbing and licking/biting it. I have to admit he does this a lot. I think it looks super cute. It also makes this toy a bit different from other toys as Dirk doesn’t usually cuddle with his toys. The 4Cats Cuddle Cushions are an exception.
Even though these Cuddle Cushions are quite small cats of all ages will probably like them. Initially I thought it would be best for kittens, but I’ve since given several of my cat sitting clients’ cats a Cuddle Cushion and it triggers similar cuddle&rubbing behaviour in those other cats too. Fun to watch and I’m absolutely certain it will make your cat feel happy too 🙂

Get your 4Cats Cuddle Cushion in the Katzenworld shop.

Dirk and the Neko Flies Kragonfly

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

Dirk loves fishing rod style toys. Visitors are always surprised how fast he runs when they see him chasing these toys 🙂

Up until now feather toys were his favourites, but there’s competition: Neko Flies insects. Dirk has a Kragonfly but there’s a whole series! I’m sure he’d love all of them and swapping attachments is a great idea to keep your cat interested for longer. Definitely worth checking out a few of the others (though the spider is not for me…)

Kragonfly 1

I was initially a bit worried Dirk might not like this new toy. It is fairly small – though bigger than an actual insect 😉 – and doesn’t make much noise when you let it fly. Admittedly, our cats might pick up on a sound it makes that we humans can’t hear.

I needn’t have worried. Like most cats Dirk loves chasing real flies or ladybugs (as well as digital ones on a tablet…).
Obviously when it you move the Kragonfly the air moves and Dirk’s whiskers were alerted immediately!

The Neko Flies Kragonfly is delicate, but well-made. Dirk pounces it, bites it, drags it across the room and it still isn’t broken.
One of the things I love doing is incorporating Dirk’s climbing towers when we play with this toy. Fishing rod style / flying toys are perfect for this! Dirk runs after it, jumps up for it and now also climbs up to reach it. It’s fun for both of us 🙂

What better way to finish an insect hunting session than chilling with it in your hammock?

Dirk chasing yet another fake rodent

* Originally written by me for katzenworld.co.uk

Dirk and I previously reviewed Frolicat’s Cheese toy which Dirk loves playing with. This time Dirk and I played with Frolicat’s Rolorat: a robotic rat.

This toy will appeal to cats that are triggered by chasing laser lights and cats that enjoy playing with moving toys will also like this. When you switch the rat on its eyes light up and the tail starts moving. Then the rat starts rolling around the room occasionally stopping to move the tail and flicker the light in its eyes.

Dirk was properly intrigued by this moving toy though he mainly stuck to observing it when it was switched on. He’s not keen on laser light toys so that didn’t trigger him to play with it. He kept a close eye on it though! As soon as I switch it off he starts playing with it.

I guess kittens will love chasing this toy around the room when it is switched on. More mature cats, like Dirk, might play with it more when it is off. Dirk quite likes kicking it, jumping on top of it from a hidden position and pouncing or biting the tail.

An unintended game that Dirk enjoys as well is when I hold the rat up by its tail – it has a pretty long tail – and swing it around or drag it across the floor. He’s always up for a game of chase!

Kitten owners: I definitely recommend this one! It will provide hours of entertainment for you and your kitty 🙂