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This blue plastic ball has proved to be one of our cats' favourite toys. Even though there are two in a pack, it doesn't stop the felines from squabbling over them. It also works on a principle designed for feline minds: when it rolls, food falls out.
This is a hollow, plastic, ball, about the size of a tennis ball. It has eight holes on each half, four large and four small. The holes are adjustable so you can make as easy or hard to break into as you like, and set it to different sizes for different types of food. It can take almost any dried food or treat. The small holes are open/close while the larger ones have more settings. You adjust the hole size by turning the ball, which is in two halves that can move against each other and have several clickable settings. The ball itself is hardwearing and durable. It's even survived being dropped off a bookcase and downstairs by our most determined (read greedy) cat.
To refill the ball there is a twist and lock cap on the bottom, which you remove to fill the ball with dried treats. Once it is mostly full you relock the cap. I prefer half-filling ours, since that way it can make a tempting rattle when it rolls. I do have the problem that I tend to forget to close the holes when I am filling the ball, so a few treats always end up on the floor - for two minutes before the cats get there.
Then you put the ball down and let the cats chase it to get the food out, or just push it slowly along with their nose and hold their mouth open so the food falls in. I don't think one of ours got the idea these were supposed to be about exercise. If the cats prefer to chase them, be warned this is not always a quiet cat toy, especially if they manage to knock the ball down the stairs. One word of warning: these balls are robust but if your cat is a feline of size, smart and food-motivated (e.g. our half-Maine Coon) they may be strong enough to pry the holes wider, clicking the ball onto the next setting to make the food fall out more easily.
As a cat toy these are great, but from an owner's point of view they come with two problems, both underfoot. If the cat chases the ball but doesn't eat the kibble you have a lot of cleaning up to o after it, and second, the ball itself can be a bit of a trip hazard. It is large enough to fall over, stepping on it can dislodge your footing, and you can't ask a cat to put its toy away when they've finished with it. Since it is large and blue it is normally easy to see, except on blue carpet at night...
Still the only opinion that really matters is the cats, and they love it. Even if the same dried food is available on a plate, they tend to empty the ball first, and they can play with these for hours. The best thing is that while most cat toys lose their appeal, these ones have been firm favourites for nearly a year.
The cat food balls are not expensive and can be bought in pairs from most pet stores or online. We got ours at Pets at Home.
I'd give these five stars as a cat entertainment toy with long lasting appeal. I just wish the moggies would clean up after themselves!
I have four cats. Dude is 9, Geezer is 8, Asbo is almost 4 and Dexter is just a year old and each one of them has their own routines, things they like and things they don't like. One thing they all have in common is their love of treats. I try not to hand them out willy nilly because they are not good for your cat but I do like to give them treats and I like to make it into a game for them to earn their treats.
I buy all different kinds of treats from tins of tuna, smoked haddock to packet treats such as Dreamies and Whiskas Temptations and the last two make life a little more fun for them all because I hide them around their toys and they have to find the treat to eat it, sometimes I put more than one is a more difficult spot and other times they will only find one, but it makes life a little more interesting for them and sometimes I move them about the house. Cats often get bored if they have nothing to do or play with to keep them occupied and I am forever looking for ways to amuse my boys.
Dexter, the baby of the group loves to play hide and seek the treat and to add to his fun I bought 'Slimcat treat ball' online when purchasing some fish food for my aquarium. A great toy to keep boredom at bay and as part of a slimming programme for your cat. Suitable for all types of popular dry food or cat snacks.
The SlimCat Treat Ball is available online at most pet stores and places like Amazon and it comes in a variety of colours from pink and blue to green and red and costs anywhere between £2.99 and £4.99 depending on where you buy it from. I bought a blue one for £3.89 and it comes packaged in a cardboard wrapper with a picture of a cat looking temptingly at the Treat Ball which is clearly visible in the middle in a specially cut away section and it tells you that the product is made by Multivet and that it is a food distributor along with some instructions on how to use it.
To look at this treat ball simply looks like a plastic ball your cat would push around and chase as it rolls away, it is almost tennis ball sized but very lightweight and it is sold as being a unique movement therapy to help keeps you cat(s) in shape by making exercise fun (I think I need one as human).
It's a really simple device to use too which is brilliant because there is nothing worse than getting a product home and then you discover that you need to be a member of mensa to figure it out because it either has no instructions or the ones you have bear no resemblance to the product you have in front of you. On one end of the ball is an opening which you twist open, this then allows you fill the Treat Ball with treats for your cats, now it is quite a spacious ball and having filled it up once and realising I could get a whole bag of treats inside it without a problem, I now stick to a tablespoon full or fill it with dry cat food, namely biscuits instead. Once you have put in your cats food or treat allowance you simply put the lid back on and click it shut. Then on the side of the ball is another opener, this time it is for your cats food or treat to be released and you can decide how much to open this little hole depending on how easy you want to make the task in hand. When I bought this, the first few times of encouraging the cats to use it, I left the hole open as wide as it would go so that they became interested in it, then as time has gone on I closed the hole more and more to make it a little more difficult for them. There is also a lock on one side of the ball to ensure you cat doesn't simply run it into the wall at speed to crack it open, which is exactly what Asbo tried to do and succeeded until I found the lock - clever little things these fur balls are.
Then once you are ready to go, roll it across the floor to show them the treats come out and pretty quickly they are rolling it around themselves, knowing they will be rewarded for doing so and you have to roll it fully in order for the treat to be released and the more they roll it the more they get. So by chasing the ball around they also get a bit of a work out and are rewarded foe doing so and one thing I do notice is that once the ball is empty it still gets played with in the hope that more treats will be released to them.
I think this is a great toy and treat for my boys and they love playing with it. For the price I paid it is definitely worth it and they show no signs of becoming bored of it because they know that if they play with it they get treats and biscuits and naturally the more they play with it the more they get.
A great toy to keep boredom at bay and as part of a slimming programme for your cat. Suitable for all types of popular dry food or cat snacks.