Cats love laser toys. There's something about that little red dot on the wall that drives them nuts. They just have to capture it. Their eyes will follow it wherever it goes, across the floor, up the wall, or soaring on the ceiling until it get close enough that they can pounce. You would think they would eventually get frustrated and give up but they never seem to tire of chasing that little red dot. Unfortunately, even the best cat parents in the world get tired of holding down the button on a laser toy for hours at a time to entertain their kitties. Now, mom and dad can take a break. The Bolt from FroliCat is an automatic laser toy that will keep your cats entertained for 15 minutes at a time.
The FroliCat Bolt
The FroliCat Bolt is about 8" tall and about 2 inches or so wide. It uses 4 AA batteries which go in a compartment in the bottom of the toy. The batteries are not included. The Bolt functions in Automatic or Manual Mode.
- Set the Bolt on a table and turn it on. Adjust the mirror so that the laser light reflects on the area you select on the floor, wall or ceiling. The little red dot will travel a wider path when the Bolt is up off the floor. You can also set the Bolt directly on the floor and adjust the mirror again to keep the little red dot where it's easier to reach. In either location, the red dot will move around, up and down with your cat bouncing behind as he tries to capture and swat the little red light as it makes crazy random light patterns on a variety of surfaces.
Since Play time is a special time with my cats, I was afraid that using the Bolt on Automatic mode would diminish that playtime with mommy since I wasn't actually holding the toy as I do with the little light that I carry in my pocket for them. I needn't have worried, they still connect the Bolt with me because I'm the one that sets it up and turns it on for them. If I set it up for them in the kitchen when I cook dinner, they are still with me when they play and they seem fine with that.
- Turn on the Bolt and then hold down the power button for 3 seconds to activate the Manual Mode. Even though you will still be guiding the little red light around the room, you no longer need to hold down a button to keep the light active as you would with a typical laser toy. Just aim it where you want and create your own light patterns for your cats to chase. It will automatically turn off after 15 minutes. If you want to stop before the 15 minutes elapses, just press the power button again and it will shut off.
If you have a cat who is a little on the tubby side like Thumper, the Bolt can be a great tool to get your cat to exercise and trim down a bit while having a great time. As with any laser light, you should exercise caution so that the light doesn't shine in the eyes of people or pets. The Bolt is available from the PetSafe Store online for about $20. Amazon has it for about $18 and Petco and Bed Bath and Beyond both sell it for about $20.
As much as my cats, Thumper and Kara, love the Bolt, there is another FroliCat toy which might be their favorite toy of all time.
The Doorway Dangli
The Doorway Dangli is actually a simple idea that has been perfectly designed to turn any inside doorway into a cat play zone. The Dangli comes with a doorway hanger which is a wire hanger with protective caps on the ends that fits around the top of the door frame on either side of the doorway. An elastic bungee cord hooks around the hanger with a toggle latch for adjusting the length of the cord. At the end of the cord is the Twist 'n Treat treat dispenser with a fuzzy tail to get your cat's attention just like real prey. A break-a-way safety catch on the cord will pull free if your cat becomes entangled in the cord. The treat dispenser is top rack dishwasher safe for easy cleaning.
The treat dispenser is soft flexible blue plastic that won't damage doors or walls as it swings back and forth. It unscrews to reveal a compartment where you can insert treats or dry kibble. How tight you screw the parts back together determines how easy it is for your cat to release the treats. The idea is that they will learn to play energetically to be rewarded by the treats that will fall out. My cats had other ideas.
I started out by setting up the Dangli so that the treat compartment was a couple of feet off the floor so they would have to work a bit to get the treats. It took Thumper about 30 seconds to shake free some treats and he was bored. He wasn't going to work for treats. This was going to be a bit harder than I thought. I tried lowering the treat dispenser until the furry tail piece was only a couple of inches off the floor. Now I had their attention and they at least batted it around a bit but it was obvious that treats were not going to work for these 2 lazy bums. I dumped the treats out and wrapped some high octane catnip in a tissue and coiled it around inside the treat dispenser and then screwed the parts together as tight as they would go. I also dipped the furry tail piece in the catnip for good measure. That did the trick. They attacked the Dangli like maniacs. When they got tired, they would lie on their backs on the floor under the Dangli and keep batting it back and forth. The Doorway Dangli was a huge hit at last.
My first observation is that even with 2 rambunctious cats batting it and hanging on it, the Dangli stayed securely on the top of the door frame. The fuzzy tail is also securely attached to the treat dispenser and is not coming loose any time soon.
My second observation is that it's probably not a good idea to put the Doorway Dangli on the door to your bedroom, which I did. When I went to bed, I pulled the cord and the Dangli's treat dispenser up on a nearby cabinet so the cats couldn't play with it at night and disturb me. Then I pulled the door shut all but about 5 inches or so to keep the light out of the room. Bad idea! Thumper waited until I was settled in bed and parked himself in front of the bedroom door where the Dangli should have been. With his head turned to face me, he stood up on his back legs and gave the door a big push to open it all the way so the light was coming into the room. After making sure I got the message he left.
I'm the parent and I refused to be bullied by a cat. I did the same thing with the Dangli the next night and again the third night. Unfortunately Thumper was just as determined and opened the door each time and then stomped off. I admit it. I was weak. I gave in after the third night and left the Dangli down where they could play with it. Thumper never opened that door again and he and his sister play very quietly with the Dangli so they won't wake me at night. They really like their Doorway Dangli.