Cats seem to lord it over anything smaller than themselves. They kill mice, eat flies and even kill rats and rabbits. Cats are tough for their size. This seems to be true all the way up to the big cats.
So you find a toy that moves on its own, a wind up toy, and you think its perfect for the cat. It’s smaller than the cat so there’s no chance that the toy should scare the cat.
You finally get the toy home and in the same room as your cat. You wind up the toy and let it go. And off goes your cat. In the opposite direction. Your tough feline is terrified of this little thing that moves.
Fine. Years later you find an even smaller and even quieter wind up toy that is soft and furry and looks like a mouse. This time it will be different you think.
You get the toy and your cat in the same room again. You wind up the toy and your cat is off again. Again in the opposite direction. Your feline is a big chicken.
As near as I can tell all cats run away from all wind up toys. I’ve known different owners to have the same problem with wind up toys.
Maybe wind up toys sound too much like hissing or growling. Or maybe they sound like a cat’s mortal enemy – the vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaners and wind up toys both sound like white noise to me, something that is calming in humans (at low volumes). We must be fundamentally wired differently for sound.
My new black cat, Bast, needed toys so I bought her a mouse with feathers that is on a spring attached to a suction cup. I attached the toy so the suction cup was on my fridge door and the spring and mouse stuck straight out sideways.
I’d envisioned Bast batting away at the mouse with the toy going side to side or up and down or even in a circular motion. Well Bast was attracted to the toy just as I hoped. It’s just that she went for the suction cup.
How dare you defy gravity said my cat the engineer. I must chew at the suction cup till I find its gravity defying trick. It took about a minute for Bast to get it off the fridge. I must have suction cupped it about twenty times to the fridge – always with the same result. Bast would chew at the suction cup till it came off and lay on the floor.
The last time, she must have chewed at the suction cup as the toy lay on the floor. There is a gouge bitten out of the suction cup and now it won’t work anymore. I hope you had fun making garbage, Bast.
From my experience the toys that cats like the most have a bit of catnip on them. Perhaps if the mouse part had catnip, Bast would have played with that end and would still be enjoying her toy. Even if catnip toys aren’t that interesting to cats, they’ll at least attempt to play with the toy.
Now I’ve got a great idea. I’ll put catnip on a windup toy…