Sunday, January 30, 2011

Crazy Cluster Balls For Cats: Simple, Inexpensive Fun For Cats!

The Good: Bouncy, Easy to find, Easy to clean, Inexpensive, Cats actually play with!
The Bad: Surprisingly, none I can find.
The Basics: Easy to clean, easy to clean up after, engaging for cats and inexpensive, the Spotnips Crazy Cluster balls for cats are ideal cat toys!

For those who might not follow my regular pet reviews, I have two very different cats and I often discover quite a lot to say about each and every pet product I find. I also have pretty high critical standards and it takes a lot for me to recommend something absolutely. But, occasionally, I discover something that is so simple, there is not much to write about it and also so perfect that I can enthusiastically recommend it. That is precisely where I am with the Crazy Clusters balls for cats.

I have two cats, Brillo and Gollum. In the past few weeks, my obese Siamese, Brillo, has been slimmed down and is getting more exercise, thanks in no small part to the kitty laser we got for Christmas, which he is now eagerly using as much as Gollum. Gollum, our little black cat, has always had the hunter instincts and since I moved into my upstairs apartment with my two boys and my partner and her dog, Gollum has been the one who has dominated the cat toy chest. Brillo has been depressed and sleeping a lot lately, so I had minimal expectations for him when it has come to any cat toy.

During my brief tenure at Pet World, one of the responsibilities I had was cleaning the cat cages, in addition to the dog kennels. The one toy virtually every kitten we had in the store went nuts for was the Crazy Cluster balls from Spot’s Spotnips line. This is a ridiculously simple toy and they come in a two-pack, so when I picked them up for Brillo and Gollum, one pack satisfied the needs of both my cats. The Crazy Cluster ball is a little hard rubber ball, like the rubber bouncy balls one gets at an arcade or as part of a child’s toy assortment. The difference between these balls and standard rubber bouncy balls is that the ball is not a sphere. Instead, the ball has twelve smaller spheres embedded in the core, so the ball is covered with smaller balls which are about ¾ spheres. As such, each ball is like a 1” in diameter demented raspberry.

The Crazy Cluster balls then become fun for cats because the spheres on the ball’s surface cause them to bounce at irregular intervals and in irregular directions. The result is that when one throws the ball and it begins to bounce, it bounces in different directions, which hones the cat’s sense of reflex and keeps them moving in different directions. This keeps them spry, alert and their mind growing as they react to unpredictable stimuli. This makes it an ideal toy for kittens and young cats.

But the big surprise for me was how when Brillo slimmed down a little and became more used to being active from the cat laser, how quickly he gravitated toward playing with the Crazy Cluster balls. I’ll toss it or roll it and he’ll pounce and when he starts to bat it around, he reacts to the changing directions and he has become more active since this little 1” ball has entered his life. Or rather, they have entered his life: he makes no distinction between the Crazy Cluster that was supposed to be his and the one intended for his brother!

Crazy Cluster balls come in two-packs with different colors and I’ve noticed no difference in play between the yellow, purple (or, from my experiences at the store, the red and olive green ones!) or other colored Crazy Cluster cat balls.

These are rubber and are quite durable. In addition to the cats playing with them, here I’m so proud of how clean my cats are!, they hold up well under industrial cleaning settings. At the shop, all of our cat toys were cleaned daily with water and bleach and that did not denature the rubber in the Crazy Cluster balls. Instead, after months of use, your cats (like mine) are likely to enjoy the spontaneity and durability of these inexpensive toys.

They are, in every way I can find, a perfect toy for cats!

For other cat toy reviews, please check out my takes on:
Cosmic Pets Fatty Frog silky toy
Atomic Balls Glow-in-the-dark Crazy Cluster
Vroom Around The Room Cat Laser


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page for an organized listing by clicking here!

© 2011, 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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