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Panic Mouse Undercover Mouse
Our cat Bobbie never comes out of the house since we life in an apartment and the street in front of the house is one of the busiest of town. So no way I'm letting him outside. It does mean that we need to keep him entertained with toys like mice but he sometimes need more challenging toys to keep him motivated. He has to use his hunting instinct and this game is perfect for that.
A cat is still an animal with some basic needs like hunting and if he can't do that he will go mental. If a cat gets bored he can act weird with screaming a lot but also being aggressive and that's something we don't want! So being scared of what he can do at night while we are sleeping we bought him the Panic Mouse Undercover Mouse.
We took a risk with that toy because it cost around 20 pounds and you never know if he's going to like the toy or not. Sometimes it's really a big chance he's not going to like it and we didn't wanted to waste the money. But we felt confident about this one because it looked and sounded good after reading some reviews.
Panic Mouse Undercover Mouse has the purpose to intrigue the hunter and predator instinct of the cat. The toy itself is really simple with a yellow cover and underneath is like a plastic stick with a ball that moves around under the cover. It pokes under the cover. You have the middle that holds everything together and underneath is the battery compartment where you put in three AA that keeps the toy moving!
You can adjust the speed of the toy which you have a few controls. You have slow, medium, fast and random. In the beginning I started with slow just to see how he would react but it went a little too slow I think so I quickly went to medium and that's where he really started to engage. It really looks so stupid because the ball underneath it doesn't move all the time so sometimes he's just staring at it stupidly to wait when it's going to move again.
The toy has been very successful and he really gets engaged with the toy and can play for like an hour with it. He jumps up and runs towards and sometimes even hides behind the couch and it's really fun to see. The toy comes for 20 pounds so we took a little risk but it definitely paid off.
A few weeks ago I started looking for Xmas gifts for my boys (cats) and came across this toy called Panic Mouse Undercover Mouse. It was inspired by cats love of chasing feet under the bedclothes and after watching a video on youtube of some cats going crazy for it I decided to get one for my two. I bought mine from Amazon for £19.99 with £3.80 p & p which seemed reasonable.
When the item arrived a few days later I excitedly opened it. The box has a picture of the toy on it and a cartoon mouse peeking about behind things but little attention was paid to that if I'm honest! The toy comes in pieces with a circular section that goes under the yellow cloth, the cloth itself, a long piece of plastic with a ball and a strip of rubber on the end and a cap that holds the cloth onto the circular section. It is very simple to put together and basically the long piece of plastic slots onto the circular section, the cloth is then popped on top and the cap twists on top of that to hold it all together. Underneath there is a battery compartment where you need to fit 3 AA batteries. That's it, it's ready to go! Once put together I think it is about 50 cm diameter so you need that much room plus more for your cat to play around the edge.
On top, on the control section that you can see in the picture above there are 4 settings. One button in the middle controls the settings and you have to go through all 4 to get from "slow" to turning it off which is a bit of a pain if I'm honest but not a huge problem. The settings are slow, medium, fast and random. I'm not sure what the point of the random setting is because they all behave in a random manner.
I placed this on the floor with just me in the room first. I turned it on by pressing the button and the first thing I noticed was the noise. It whirrs alot so if you've got a nervous cat like one of mine they might be a bit wary of the noise to begin with. It also makes a swishing noise as the plastic rod and rubber strip move around under the yellow top cloth because it is made of a kind of thin canvas material which can easily be wiped down. I wanted to check the plastic rod and the rubber "mouse" didn't hurt before I let my boys near this so I turned it on and let it hit my hand. It isn't hard and it doesn't hurt and if they were to stop it with their paw or sniff it with their little noses it either clicks over and over because it's been stopped or changes direction and goes the other way.
Satisfied this was safe for my babies I let them into the room. One of my boys is a bit shy and the noise immediately had him running for cover but not for long! Once his brother moved in close for a good look he followed suit. My more extroverted lad immediately sat right at the edge of the toy and watched the "mouse" moving around underneath, I had it on slow speed to get them used to it first and he started pawing the ball and rubber strip, trying to lift the cloth with paws and teeth and circling the toy with great enthusiasm. My other lad just watches it and still does even weeks later but it still entertains him!
On the video on youtube the cats are going crazy for this but my two are 15 and suss toys out very quickly so they are a bit more sedate in their antics. One of my lads likes to watch this as it whirrs round and round then changes direction, then stops in place for a while, then does little side to side movements and jumps on it a few times before retreating under a chair and watching it from a distance with huge, intent eyes so he's happy. He also likes to investigate it once it's turned off too to see if he can kill the "mouse" when it's not moving around! The end of the rubber strip peeks out from under the cloth so it looks like a tail which is amusing for them!
My other lad watches from a distance and will sometimes sit close to the toy but he doesn't try and jump on it, still it keeps his eyes sharp and stops him getting bored.
I use this as a distraction sometimes if I'm busy and my boys are bored. One of my lads is a Mum's lad and wants to chat and play all the time but sometimes Mum is busy doing things and that makes him bored but if I turn this on and leave him with it he's fine and occupied until I've stopped doing whatever it is I'm doing. As soon as he hears the whirring he's there in a flash!
Although this was meant for Xmas my two have kept it out since we got it and they will get other gifts on the day. It's a very entertaining toy especially for cats that don't go far outside like my two. Younger cats will probably leap about and go mad for this, I'm sure mine would have done in their youth but it's good for any cat that is still capable of playing a bit. You have to choose the speed that suits your particular cat and we use all of them at times but mostly the slow speed. The intelligent sensor that dictates where the "mouse" goes is random on all settings and the fast setting is very fast!
One gripe is not being able to turn it off without going through all the settings and I'd like a remote control so I can turn it on and off and change settings from a distance so my boys don't know for sure how it happened! The other thing is the noise and some cats won't like this but will probably get used to it but if you try and watch T.V with this on it makes it difficult to hear!
Overall it's been a success and my two love watching their "mouse" under the material, it's not a bad price for what it is and it isn't going to hurt them although I would say always supervise cats with this toy as it has a motor. The cloth can be wiped down if it gets dirty and the rubber strip isn't hard, it's bendy. The plastic rod, ball and centrepiece are solid so try not to encourage your cats onto these bits but my two showed no interest in the hard bits anyway. If your cat doesn't like it as it is you could always attach a feather or piece of ribbon to the end of the "mouse" so they can see it better but make sure it's securely attached if you do.
Throughly recommended especially for cats prone to boredom and I'm taking away one star for my gripes but it's still a hit!