Tuesday, July 19, 2011

"I'll Take Utterly Worthless Cat Toys For $3.00, Alex!" Kong Crinkle Ball With Feathers Fails!

The Good: Made of natural materials?
The Bad: Everything: My cats will NOT play with this!
The Basics: Kong Naturals Crinkle Ball With Feathers are one more thing for pet owners to step on in the dark, because cats won't play with them!

When it comes to pet products, sometimes we have to write in a direction fashion for no other reason than a product is so simple and the experience we have with it is so simple that there is simply nothing more to elaborate on. I thought I had hit the limit of how short a review I could write with the Mews Ments Krinkle Mouse Toy (reviewed here!), a toy my cats actually played with and enjoyed, but I find myself with an even more stark review of the Kong Naturals Crinkle Ball With Feathers. How much is there one can truly write about a cat toy that two cats detest to the point that they never - not ONCE! - have played with these like they play with every other toy they have.

I have two cats: Brillo and Gollum. Brillo is an older Siamese and Gollum is a spry little black cat. Brillo will play with toys from time to time and he likes things with catnip. Gollum will play with virtually anything and he chases and retrieves all manner of cat toys I have to throw for him. That is, until the Kong Naturals Crinkle Ball With Feathers. My wife, who worked at a pet store, was asked by the store's manager to see if these were worth stocking in the store, so we received a package (one pair) of the Crinkle Ball with feathers toys to test on our cats. Needless to say, the store is not stocking them now.

The Kong Naturals Crinkle Ball With Feathers is a pair of fabric balls with a tail made out of feathers. The ball is a soft sphere one and a half inches in diameter. It is stuffed with buckwheat and catnip (according to the package, which also claims that this has an irresistible scent, texture and sound that cats cannot resist). The ball, which is a cotton most analogous to an old teddy bear, is pulled tightly around the stuffing, so when one pushes on it or squeezes the ball, it makes a crinkling sound, like the sound of a plastic bag being wadded up. The back of the ball has a bundle of feathers sewn into the ball. There are approximately a dozen four inch long feathers protruding from the back of the Crinkle Ball. The balls we got - they come two to a pack, wired to a cardboard backing board - were red and blue (each one a solid color).

So, I did exactly what I do with any new toys my wife brings home for our animals: I called my boys (the cats) to me and showed them the toys. I figured they could choose which one they wanted and because Brillo had a birthday recently (he's eight years old now!) I let him pick. He declined to show any interest in either. At that point, I did exactly what one is supposed to do with these: I squeezed them so they made their crinkling sound. The sound was comparable to bags (which my cats love!) and the Krinkle Shimmer Mouse they have to play with. And yet, neither cat showed any interest in these. I thought that was odd, so I thought I'd do a little test. I squeezed one ball again and tossed it; Gollum did not go after it. I took the other ball and let Brillo smell it.

This test was the dealbreaker. Brillo has battled catnip addictions throughout his life and he has a little pillow filled with catnip my mother bought at a charity event which he will suck on and play with whenever I take it off the shelf for him. I call it his stoner pillow. Brillo is a catnip fiend. Whatever amount of catnip there is in the Kong Naturals Crinkle Ball With Feathers, Brillo did not smell or taste it enough to ever play with this again.

Neither cat has ever played with, fetched, or shown any other interest in the Kong Naturals Crinkle Ball With Feathers since we first got them a month and a half ago! They have sat in a pile of toys that are near their food and the cats have, in fact, picked around the feathers to get to the toys they actually want to play with. This is a stunning disappointment. And now, as I pen the last lines of this review, I tried one last time to play with Gollum with one of these. I squeezed the ball, teased him with the feathers on it and he looked up, but the moment I tossed it or let it go, he gave the cat equivalent of a shrug and went back to laying at my feet.

This is an utter failure for a cat toy and I've yet to find a cat who actually plays with them. (Note: I have a similar one of these that my cats do play with!).

For other cat toys, please visit my reviews of:
Cosmic Catnip Fatty Frog
Vroom Around The Room Cat Laser
Spotnips Crazy Cluster glow-in-the-dark ball


For other pet product reviews, please visit my index page on the subject by clicking here!

© 2011, 2009 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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