Christmas is around the corner, and like many pet owners we want to treat our feline friends. With a huge range of products available, it’s time to ask an important question: what do the cats want? It sounds silly. We pick. Isn’t it about what we want?
I would argue not. There are cat toys out there designed to entertain the human. Toys with cheesy slogans, and novelty shapes to entertain the audience. In our experience, these are abandoned in the corner.
A cat toy needs to please the cat.
It’s a simple concept, but one which lots of people forget. What do we mean, please the cat? Cats are animals. A good toy should support their natural instincts.
This is why I’m interested in the toys from 4cats. From a human perspective, they are simply designed, but there looked to be lots for the cats. Every toy is available with two different fillings – Valerian, or 4catsnip catnip. This shows an awareness that every cat responds to different things, and seemed an encouraging start. 4cats definitely approach this with the cat in mind. Our resident felines, Maisie and Willow, put some toys to the test. I judged their favourites based on their behaviour, and how often they returned to the toy.
Basic Rustling Cushion
Paws-down Willow’s favourite. The design is appealing to humans with its beautiful fabric. The inside is filled with crunchy balls. Willow moulds it into different shapes, which makes it good for back-kicking. She also sinks her teeth into it. Willow is our resident hunter, and it is possible the crunchy sound simulates hunting. Willow is possessive over this cushion – she sees it as hers, and won’t let Maisie near. It stays in Willow’s favourite spot on the bed.
Premium Rustling Cushion
Both girls like the rustling cushion. It’s tough outer material gives them plenty to get their teeth and claws into. They also roll over the cushion. It is big enough that they can have a satisfying rub across it. The tassels on the ends have been popular. Both girls love the chase – string, ribbon, chaser-toys – and it was lovely the tassels allowed an extra degree of human interaction. The soft inside means the girls can doze on top of the cushion without being disturbed by any noises. We gave one of these to an elder neighbouring cat. Although slower in his play, he engaged with it in the same affectionate way.
Cuddle Fried Egg
Have your cat bring you a fried egg for breakfast! With added entertainment for humans, this is also a soft toy, with catnip in the centre. Maisie likes to fold it between her legs and front paws, and rolls around with it held in her paws.
Premium Cuddle Cushion
Maisie’s favourite is the smallest cushion. The catnip must be amazing – Maisie spent 20 minutes rolling and rubbing herself over this little cushion. This is the toy she returns to most, and the one she is most reluctant to share with Willow. The texture, which reminded me of breathable sports fabrics, allows for serious tooth-and-claw action.
Premium Cat Wrestler
Longer than the other toys, both girls use this to kick their back legs, while holding the toy still in their front paws. This is made of the same strong material as the rustling cushion. Combined with the ridges on the outside, this makes it great for cats to sink their claws and teeth into. The girls play with the tassels themselves, and we use them for chasing games.
I would recommend these based on our cats’ reactions. The girls seemed to like both middles. How do you know which middle you’re buying? Catnip products have green banding and details on the packaging,
while Valerian products have gold bandings. It is also spelled out on the packaging.
Disclaimer: Cat Toys were sent by 4cats in exchange for honest review. This does not affect the integrity of my review.