Question of the Day: Sunday, September 25

gilmargl

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Good afternoon, everybody! Sorry I'm late and thank you for reacting to my question of the day a week ago - your answers helped me to put on an extra layer of clothing and bear the cold. Unfortunately, my good intentions to save fuel have been thwarted: my son-in-law living upstairs feels the cold and, without much complaining, has finally installed three of 4 new radiators on my floor so, as far as he's concerned, there's now no real reason not to turn on the central heating. It's run on a thermostat outside and valves on all 10 radiators and, because the sun is shining brilliantly on the large windows, after getting the house back up to 22 ° C has switched itself off.

Today, your answers are not going to help me much - it's too late for that.

Have you ever bought a so-called cat activity "brain mover" or other toys for your cat(s) aimed at stimulating or improving their intelligence?
I, and my cats, find them a waste of time and money but that didn't stop me buying another one. (I was ordering cat food on-line, the filters for one of my water fountains were out-of-stock, the prices for cat toys were reduced and I purchased a toy with 4 exciting exercises for cats.)

Four cats watched me place their favourite treats under coloured knobs, in sliding trays and in drawers to be opened by pulling a cord or sliding a handle. But, left to their own devices, they managed to find so many treats that they were hardly hungry at bedtime. On close inspection there were still a few treats jammed in places seemingly impossible to get at, both coloured knobs had been used as playthings and were among the table-tennis and tennis balls which accumulate under tables and chairs.

The next morning even the treats jammed in inaccessible corners had gone. After feeding the cats, I put 2 treats in each of the 16 pockets - 8 per cat. I saw Woolly Bear fishing for treats but no-one else seemed to be interested. When I next picked up the toy - it was empty. So much for the instructions telling me how to train my cat to move the handle, pull the cord etc. What a waste of money and, instead of getting my senior and rather skinny cats to eat a bit more, I am encouraging the greediest and heaviest cat to put on more weight! And she doesn't even need to pick up and throw the toy to get at the goodies - her fat BLH paws seem to be made to get into the tiniest of spaces. I still have the original packaging - so the toy will be donated to the cat charity!

What's your experience with cat toys designed to challenge their ability and intelligence? My cats don't need to think, they just get on with it!
PS I dare not post a photo - I may be sued for negative campaigning!
 

Jem

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I've been gifted "fancy" toys for the kitties before, but I won't spend the money on such things. They don't keep interest in them much and besides, my cats don't need their brains stimulated and tested...they're already smart enough to trick and manipulate me! They much prefer the simple cat nip toys and balls/mice for self play or good wand toy session anyway.
I have wanted to get a cool cat tunnel for them though. They love to chase each other around the house and play "hide and seek" while at it, so I think a cat tunnel would be great for them.
 

denice

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Many years ago I bought a few of those toys and the cats were not amused. I agree a simple wand toy or catnip works just fine and they hold the cat's interest.

They really aren't toys but some cats benefit from bowls made to slow down their eating. Some cats eat too fast then it doesn't stay down. They are also good for helping a cat lose some extra weight.
 

MonaLyssa33

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I haven't bought any puzzle toys for my cats, but I have a few for my dogs. Poppy is more interested in the puzzles than Roo and is definitely more persistent in trying to figure it out. I have one of the hardest ones and she's managed to figure it out. I'm not sure my cats would be as interested in similar puzzles.
 

susanm9006

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I have bought several for Willow. Unfortunately my sweet girl isn’t really very smart and gave up on them both very quickly. One was a treat tower with three levels and to get the treat she needed to knock the treat down two levels before it would drop out. She tried it a few times, then almost tipped it over which was enough for her to say never again to that evil toy. The second puzzle was flat with levers and wheels she had to push with her paw to get the treat. She never could figure out how to get a single treat and just quit trying.

Lola,,who was then still living with my mom, got the cast off puzzles. She figured out the tree pretty quickly but also figured out that she could easily just knock it over and let the treats fall out and she chose this quick route most times. The flat treat puzzle took her maybe half an hour to figure out how to master it by turning a wheel or pushing the sliding doors. I still use it with her but she can empty it in a matter of minutes.

Both girls love a homemade treat puzzle that I created by cutting treat size holes in a water bottle. They need to roll it around to get the treats out and there seems to be just the right amount of challenge so that they have to work on it to get them out.
 

sivyaleah

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i "accidentally"allow a cricket or two to escape here and there while feeding my tarantuals for graycie to hunt down and eat :biggrin:live moving prey is best stimus around i think
Hahaha we are having a small cricket problem here. They are suddenly coming in from outside, lived here for 12 years never had this happen before.
But the girls are doing an excellent job of dispatching of them! They don't eat them, but sure are killing them!
 

game misconduct

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Hahaha we are having a small cricket problem here. They are suddenly coming in from outside, lived here for 12 years never had this happen before.
But the girls are doing an excellent job of dispatching of them! They don't eat them, but sure are killing them!
nothing like stepping on a soggy chewed up bug first thing in the morning :lol:
 

catloverfromwayback

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My two don’t even like wand toys. They will play with the ball I knitted for them, or the motorised mouse (which never really worked, but they will fling it around by its tail sometimes). Their favourites are the bands off yarn skeins.
 

Kat0121

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They aren't big on toys. Wand toys are their favorite but they get bored of them quickly. I bought them one of those puzzle toys that you put treats in and they have to figure out how to maneuver the treat out with their paw. I showed them how to do it and they just expected ME to do it. I was supposed to get the treats out and then hand them over. It got returned. :rolleyes2: :lol:
 

MoochNNoodles

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I’ve definitely wasted some money on toys over the years but I’ve never gotten a puzzle type toy. I might have when my girls were younger but Mooch barely plays at all now. She watched a fly walking on the ground in front of her the other day. She will sometimes slobber up a Yeoww toy; but that’s it.
 

Boris Diamond

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My cats like wand toys, but that is about it. I did take a chance and bought a puzzle toy. It had been reduced to half price, $10, so I suspected it had not found great acceptance among cats. But the idea was good and I thought I might give it a try. The cats would sniff at the treats that were inside, but I never got them interested in solving the puzzle, even on the easiest of three settings. I should have known better. But I can donate it to the rescue's thrift shop.:thumbsup:
 

catloverfromwayback

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They aren't big on toys. Wand toys are their favorite but they get bored of them quickly. I bought them one of those puzzle toys that you put treats in and they have to figure out how to maneuver the treat out with their paw. I showed them how to do it and they just expected ME to do it. I was supposed to get the treats out and then hand them over. It got returned. :rolleyes2: :lol:
That’s like Daisy was when I bought one of those puzzle feeders that’s like a big tray with spikes. They’re supposed to hook the food out with their paws. Nope. She was all ”I can’t fit my face in there”. 😿
 

silent meowlook

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One of the best activity toys I ever got my cat, Rusty (euthanized in 2017 due to kidney failure) (Best cat who thought I was great) Any way, I miss him so much still.

Okay, Rusty was a newly rescue cat I had obtained from a place I was working when he was brought in for euthanasia. He was only 3 years old but was peeing in the sink. He had urinary issues which resolved with treatment. Anyway, he had his own bedroom where I kept his litter pan and food and water, and cat tree and little flying ace outfit I never made him wear. He would have though. So, I decide to get him one of those automatic litter boxes of the 2003 model. I got the deluxe. If you are not familiar, it is a litter box with a built-in rake and a motion activated sensor. So, when the cat walks into the litter box they trigger the light. Then about 5 minutes later the rake runs across the litter box picking up any litter clumps and disposes it into a receptacle that is located on one end.

I set up this litter box and Rusty is fascinated by it already. As soon as I do, he goes running into it to check it out. When he is satisfied that it isn't a threat, he goes to his food dish to eat. A couple of minutes later the rake runs across the litter and Rusty jumps over there and watches it, completely perplexed. He studies it as it moves and when it is done, he jumps in the litter box to check it out and see what happened. Satisfied that it must have been a freak thing, he goes back to eating. Then of course a few minutes the rake goes across the litter again and he races over there to investigate. This goes on for hours. He was such a wonderful sweet cat.

Rusty and Cheetah.jpg
 

Winchester

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We have/had a few "interesting" toys for the cats:

A one-gallon fish aquarium, complete with fake fishies and plants and even a pump to move the fishies around. It uses distilled water only. Amber loved that thing.

A huge mobile that we hang from the ceiling light in the kitchen. As it moves in the air, they're supposed to chase it. And by huge, I mean huge. The thing is gigantic. We can't keep it up all the time.

We have a DeliDome that I used to load up with treats. Set the timer and a ball filled with treats would shoot out at times during the day. The kids would chase the ball and the treats would fall out for them. Banshee got to the point where she'd know when the ball was coming out and she'd lay by the DeliDome. It gave them, well her, something to do during the day when we were at work.

Various wand-type toys. Da Bird is still the favorite with all the girls.

And, of course, the little treat machine that looked like a gum ball machine. BooBoo loved it; he would turn the knob, the treats would fall out....and Banshee would steal them. Boo had great paw-ceps!!

2009BBTreats.jpg
 

misty8723

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nothing like stepping on a soggy chewed up bug first thing in the morning :lol:
I found two bugs yesterday morning when I looked behing the bed to see what Cricket was up to. Both dead, one more recent than the other.
Austin is very good at catching flys when they get in (if I don't get them first because he's more than likely to eat them.)
The funniest thing (although it wasn't funny at the time) was when Austin was rooting around over by the water fountain in the bedroom. He came flying over to the bed, jumped up, and dropped a palmetto bug between us. I said you never saw two fat old fools move that fast. Of course I praised him after I got rid of the bug.
 
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