I’m not lazy. I am perfectly happy tossing furry mousies, dangling fishing pole feathers and otherwise entertaining my four cats. But when I first saw the FroliCat FLIK, an electronic string flinging cat toy, I knew I had to try it.
The company sent me a sample, and after inserting 3 AA batteries, I turned it on and set it on the family room floor. The white disk-shaped object sat there like a non-functional Roomba, flicking a foot-long neon green string. A whirring mechanical noise accompanied each twitch.
The sound was a siren call to my kitties, and soon all four of my cats were mesmerized by the machine. Elsa Clair swatted first. A few misses and she pinned the string to the floor. A soft complaint emanated from the machine. When nothing exciting happened, Elsa Clair lifted her paw and the string whipped away.
Fascinated, Athena waited her turn -ÔÇô or maybe she waited until Elsa Clair’s back was turned ÔÇô- and then she pounced. Calvin watched, and Dawn was intrigued from a distance.
The toy was a hit, or at least a swat, for my kitties. I tried it in a few different places in the house, and it didn’t take long for the cats to come running as soon as they heard the characteristic whir.
- Attractive to cats. At least the kind of cat who likes strings; not all do. In my house, two played, one watched, and the fourth disappeared.
- Simple to use. There’s an On/Off switch appropriately labeled and easy to find.
- Elegant, modern design. I wouldn’t mind having one of these in my house. (It looks a lot better than the headless bunny stuffie, but you’d have to ask the dogs about that.)
- Batteries are simple to replace. The compartment is easy to open but feels secure when closed.
- Shuts off after 15 minutes. This not only saves batteries, but also made me feel confident in case I accidentally walk away -ÔÇô to rescue a chewed up stuffie, for example.
- Stays put. Small rubber circles on the bottom of the FLIK keep it in place, even on slippery floors.
- Easy to clean. A quick wipe of a damp cloth is all you need.
- Works best on hard floors. When I used it on carpet, my cats kept getting their sharp and pointy bits stuck in the rug when they slapped the string.
- Not all cats like string. As a result, this might not be the best toy if your kitty has different play preferences.
- Bigger cats beware. Though Elsa Clair and Athena grabbed the string in their mouths and attempted to drag the toy into their kitty lairs, neither was successful. My cats each weigh less than 10 pounds; I couldn’t predict what a heavier cat might be able to do. This is one reason never to leave a cat unattended with the toy; I could imagine some hapless feline dragging the toy down a set of stairs only to have gravity take over and deliver a clonk on the head.
I live with four cats (and three dogs). I have only two hands. If you do the math, you’ll understand why it might be hard to entertain and provide exercise and mental stimulation for my entire menagerie. In the past, I’ve resorted to all kinds of workarounds, like holding a cat fishing pole in each hand, with another one stuck in my back pocket while I kick a crinkle ball with my left foot. Trust me; it’s not a pretty sight.
A toy like the FroliCat FLIK is ideal to remedy this situation. It can entertain a couple of felines while I play with the others. It might also be handy if you need to keep a cat occupied and out from under foot while you’re busy doing something, like cooking a meal for your human family or cleaning up bits of disemboweled bunny stuffie that no dog will admit to knowing anything about.
And of course there’s the entertainment value: watching your cat as he or she tries to figure out where the string disappears to, and then pouncing on it when it flicks.
FroliCat FLIK by Radio Systems retails for $24.95 and is available at many pet supply stores.
Read more Catster reviews:
- Catster Reviews the Latch’NVent
- We Review Custom Cat Food Bowls From Personalise
- I Try a Subscription Box of Toys and Treats for My Cat
About the author: Susan C. Willett is a writer, photographer, and blogger whose award-winning original stories, photography, poetry, and humor can be found at Life With Dogs and Cats. A technophile who who admits to rhapsodizing over an excellent user interface, she lives in New Jersey with three dogs and four cats (all rescues) and at least a couple of humans — all of whom provide inspiration for her work and who are willing subjects in testing tech. Refusing to take sides in the interweb’s dogs vs. cats debate, Susan enjoys observing the interspecies interaction among the varied inhabitants of her home — like living in a reality TV show, only furrier. In addition to Life With Dogs and Cats, you can find more Lilah, Jasper, and Tucker (and the rest of the gang) on Haiku by DogÔäó, Haiku by CatÔäó, and Dogs and Cats Texting.