Monday, January 3, 2011

Despite Dismal Treat Experiences, Cosmic Cat Makes My Cats Happy With Fatty Frog.

The Good: Generally inexpensive, Cats play with it, Generally easy-to-clean
The Bad: My cats don't play with these terribly enthusiastically, Eyes may be pulled off easily.
The Basics: A perfectly average cat toy, the Fatty Frog two-pack is a soft, silky toy for cats that kittens seem to enjoy, but my cats were more lukewarm to.

Before the holidays last year, I took a job alongside my wife at Pet World caring for the animals in back so she could work out front with customers. Being in back with the animals, I looked at what the cats and dogs there played with most in order to guide my animal giftgiving for the holidays. Even as I picked up toys for my cats, I had neutral preconceptions as to how they might play with them (or not). There was no toy I was more dubious about than the Cosmic Cats Fatty Frog Silky Catnip Toy. The reasons I ultimately picked the pack up were that there were two toys (I have two cats) and the cats at work truly did play with them that much.

My hesitation at buying the Cosmic Cats Fatty Frog was based upon bad experiences with Cosmic Catnip treats (Shrimp & Lobster flavor reviewed here!). My cats, Brillo (an elderly and, until recently, unfortunately obese Siamese) and Gollum (a sleek, young black cat), had barely forgiven me for subjecting them to the treats that they loathed. So, figuring if the treats from the brand were reviled by the cats, the treats weren't likely to fare much better, it was only watching how the kittens played with the Fatty Frog toys at work that made me decide to buy these. After all, as my wife taught me, most kittens are not attracted to catnip (apparently something activates in cats around six months that makes them drawn to catnip), so seeing them play with these toys which trade on their inclusion of catnip in the toy, meant that they had to be REAL good. After a month of watching my boys pick toys out of their little toy chest to play with, I'm actually back to feeling pretty neutral about the Fatty Frog toys.

The Fatty Frog toys come in a two-pack and are made primarily of polyester, which explains the silky texture. The frog-shaped toy is four inches long, three and five-eighths inches wide and barely half an inch thick (most of the toy is actually closer to a quarter inch thick, so this is a pretty flat toy frog!). The frogs both have a neon green underbelly, but one silky Fatty Frog is green, while the other is a lighter yellow-green color. The plush (I use that term lightly as it is more lightly stuffed than most true plush toys) is shaped like a flattened frog with arms, legs, body and head with the appendages splayed out as if it had been run over by a steamroller. There are two tiny bead eyes sewn onto the top front of each Fatty Frog's face.

This is an exceptionally basic cat toy; cats bat it around with their forepaws and they chew on it. That's about it. The toy is soft, save the hard nodule of catnip in the back of the frog's head. The surprising aspect for me was that Brillo, who has been neutral to most cat toys until the last month, has been pulling out his Fatty Frog and batting it about about once every three days.

The problem, however, is that Brillo plays with it for about five minutes before letting it lay where it fell and wandering on to either another toy or to sleep. While I have successfully engaged him with the cat laser and the rubber Crazy Cluster balls, he does not stay engaged with this toy. Gollum, shockingly enough, have never been that into catnip and he seems to play with this toy only about once a week and then only for about five minutes. He, however, plays with his Fatty Frog more vigorously than Brillo does, actually clawing at the toy and chewing on it (he tends not to use the scratching posts we have around the house). This leads to the only other problem I can find with the Fatty Frog cat toys: the eyes may be torn or chewed off fairly easily. While I'm not worried about either of my boys cracking a tooth or choking on the tiny beads, the beads can be annoying to step on after they become detached. Ironically, Brillo played longer with one of the little beads (batting it around) after Gollum tore it off one day than he did with the toy while it was intact!

Working at Pet World, I learned that these may be cleaned easily enough by sending them through the washing machine, though that might make the catnip inside less potent. The ones we had at the store had been used for over two months without any rips or tears, so I imagine this is a very durable toy. In fact, the only ones I've seen ripped or torn were on my first day working at the store when I put one in with a Pomeranian (that's a little white yippy dog for those who are as ignorant to animals as I was when I started) who tore it apart with her teeth and nails. Otherwise, they are pretty durable.

Ultimately, though, I find these to be very average and my personal experience with my cats was far less impressive than the fun the kittens in captivity seemed to have with them. My "recommend" is a very weak one and came down to the fact that Brillo playing even for five minutes is better than him laying around for that amount of time and the Fatty Frog toys DID get him off his duff for that long, at the very least!

For other cat toys, please check out my reviews of:
Vroom Around The Room Cat Laser
Synergy Xtreme Catnip
Mews Ments Shimmer Krinkle Mouse


There’s more where that came from! For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

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

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