“ Brand: Sisal / Type: Cat Toys „
Many regular readers of my reviews will be aware by now that I have a rather elderly feline at home who is very much settled into her retirement and unfortunately has various health problems. Last year, she had a bit of a rough time of it between one ailment and another, and required rather major surgery around September time last year. Since making a good recovery (much to my delight), my old mog has been thoroughly spoiled and completely pampered, such as she deserves.
Last Christmas time, I decided to buy her a festive stocking and fill it with a variety of treats and toys to entertain her. Whilst I always place some sort of small gift under the Christmas tree for her, last year I really felt she deserved to be spoiled, and as there was more than one occasion during the past year that I thought I was going to lose her, I found myself wanting to spoil her even more than usual.
In the end, she ended up with a ridiculous amount of toys and treats under the tree - probably enough to entertain a nursery full of young kittens, but nothing is too much trouble for my precious puss and she has thoroughly enjoyed playing with her little toys when the mood takes her... which admittedly, isn't as often as it once was! She is getting to be a lazy old lady so anything that helps to encourage a little 'play time' and exercise is very welcome in my book.
One proven favourite among the selection of assorted mice and toy balls has been the "Sisal Rattle Ball with Feathers" which I purchased from a "Pet Care" stall at a local market last December. I have seen the Sisal Balls on sale in two different (independent) pet shops recently, and I also know that you can purchase them online from a variety of retailers, so I'd say they are quite easy to come by. As @ July 2012, you can purchase a pack containing two of the balls online at www.zooplus.co.uk for a discounted price of £1.59 (plus postage costs) which I think offers reasonable value. I paid around £1 for one ball at my local market.
The ball is fairly simplistic in its design, I must admit. Comprising of a completely round ball, the outside is covered in a stiff 'twine' type of fibre which is the sisal. When the ball is shaken, or rolled across the floor by either human or feline, it produces a soft 'rattling' noise thanks to the small rattle contained in the centre of the ball. The sisal material on the outside of the ball not only protects the internal rattle, which may otherwise become exposed as a result of the sisal twine becoming frayed and eventually loosening, but it also acts as the ideal sharpener for those pointy claws, giving it an added appeal to my feline friend. The ball is quite small, being slightly larger than an average golf ball.
There is a further attraction to be found by way of a little 'tail' of red coloured sisal twine that protrudes neatly from the round ball, which has a colourful feather design situated at the end. I say has, but should really change that to HAD, as my girl cheerfully chased her sisal ball up and down our extremely long hallway for a few months before the end of the feather broke off and she ran off with it in her mouth before eventually depositing it down the side of her bed. All that remains of the feather at the end of the little (frayed around the edges) red 'tail' nowadays is a small, but brightly coloured turquoise feather 'stump'.
You could argue then that the sisal rattle ball is perhaps not the most robust cat toy that has ever graced our cat's 'toy box' but to be fair the sisal twine that is kind of 'wound' round the outside of the ball has remained stuck down and sturdy, even though the little ball is played with regularly. There is very little in the way of wear and tear to the sisal too, with even 'fraying' of the twine-like rope being very minimal. Also, the lack of ornamental feather at the end of the little 'tail' has not taken anything from my girl's enjoyment from playing with the toy. She still regularly 'knocks' it over the carpet with her paw, jauntily chasing it to her hearts content for a few moments before becoming bored and retreating to her padded bed and sighing into a deep slumber. So, even though it is perhaps looking a little worse for wear compared to when it was first purchased, it has remained a firm favourite among my girl's toys and will do so until it either falls apart or she starts to ignore it.
Younger cats and kitties would no doubt use the sisal rattle ball much more than my girl, but this is down to the age of my feline friend as she is approaching her 20th year and so has little time for pastimes and hobbies that don't include sleeping happily on a plumped-up cushion or curling on my lap for a snooze and a cuddle! She will have a little play once a day or so, and the sisal ball has regularly featured in her play time, with or without its attractive feathered 'tail' so I am happy enough with the purchase I made. I think it WOULD probably appeal to younger cats and kittens a little more, but this could be said of any other cat toy, so I won't be deducting any marks from the product rating for this point.
Overall, I am happy with my purchase and think the sisal rattle ball has withstood wear and tear fairly well, with the sisal 'twine' surrounding the ball remaining intact and secure. I think the low cost of the toy makes it reasonable value and would highly recommend it for your feline friends.
2 play balls 6 cm each.