New Products: Fun and Practical


Dusty, who is pretty mellow anyhow, models the Calming Collar.

From time to time I receive products for review by my four feline testers, who examine them with the utmost scientific accuracy. Most of these came courtesy of supporters of the Cat Writers’ Association conference in November. The cats been putting in extra napping hours due to the long, cold winter, hence the backlog, but I recently roused them and told them it was time to get back on the job.

I must admit I was dismayed to see that so many of the products were made in China, whose track record on safety is not exactly stellar. I’m going to make it a point to keep my eyes open for good USA-made products in the future. I do know the Mouse Factory has a great selection of handmade toys that are carried by vendors at cat shows; we have several that have held up well. If you come across any others, let me know.

“Calm Me Down” Calming Collars are chock full of wonderful smelling herbs, and made in the USA. A recent scientific study showed that lavender and chamomile are indeed calming and these smell so good that I’d be tempted to wear one myself. They are a tad bulky for cats, but the collar didn’t seem to bother Pulitzer, who’s rather ADHD or Dusty, who is modeling for the photo. Calming Collars also makes a “Good to Go” version to help with motion sickness. Each collar is hand crafted and filled with a measured amount of herbs. “Too Cool” has polymer crystals that turn into a cooling gel and expand when soaked briefly in water, but contain no herbs.

The directions that go with the Fun Kitty Eggercizer treat ball by Premier assume that it takes some figuring out on the part of the cat to get the treats from the ball. The holes are large (but can be adjusted) and the treats/kibble falls out readily, especially the smaller ones. My four got rather competitive and quickly caught on so I adjusted the Eggerciser to just one hole.

Sticky Paws is celebrating its 15thanniversary. The company has come along way from the narrow sticky strips that made it famous. The strips have expanded to large sheets (9-x-12-inch), plus the product comes in a tape-like dispenser. Sticky Paws also makes a cardboard scratcher and offers the Healthy Paws electronic pet massager. My gang loves cardboard scratchers, but they were a bit leery about the massager; in fact, it sent Mollie running. Sticky Paws also has a nice scratcher mat that can be draped over a sofa arm or placed on a cushion; the textured back keeps it from slipping around.

Theres always something new to check out.

The Litter Lifter scoop comes in three sizes and is specially designed to minimize dust. With its vertical rather than horizontal tines, it uses the principal of a peaked roof that prevents water from collecting on a flat surface. The largest one makes scooping easy and gets all the little crumbs that would otherwise take a lot of extra scooping.

I thought the Kong Moppy Ball and Kong Kickeroo would be a big success, but thus far they haven’t generated much interest. The Moppy ball seems to be the right size to bat and carry around, and the Kickeroo is ideal to grab and bunny kick; perhaps they’re not infused with enough catnip. Often my gang will discover and latch on to toys after they’re been hanging around for a while.

 Pledge Fabric Sweeper is a good product in principle, but it could be improved. When the sweeper is moved across the fabric, two rough-textured rollers pull the pet hair into the receptacle. When it’s full or when the rollers stop picking up pet hair, throw it away. The plastic cover to the receptacle is flimsy and bends easily. If the plastic was sturdier and the cover was removable to dispose of the pet hair, the sweeper would last longer. But, alas, if that were the case, the manufacturer would sell fewer of them.

Hot Cat Catnip Toy, described as the gourmet toy for finicky felines, contains a ½ cup of uber fragrant certified organic #1 catnip stuffed into a rainbow sausage. These toys are handcrafted in Oregon – not China – and pack a fragrant punch.

Pawbreakers, the Catnip Candy for Cats, disappeared immediately. Somewhere. Made of catnip, beeswax and yeast culture, it looks like a giant green gumball.

Cats Rule Freshen Up Your Litter Box Odor Eliminating Scented Gel is a disc that contains a non-toxic gel formula. It’s stuck onto the litter box or any location that needs to be refreshed and lasts 30 days. Do not consider this an alternative to cleaning the litter box!

Fat Cat catnip toys, if I remember, originally featured the likes of Bill Clinton and other political figures. The toys still bear cartoonish characters and pack energetic fun. Amid all the toys in our kitty play zone, the small triangle has gotten a real work out. Although the catnip stuffed inside the toy is grown in the USA, the toy is printed and made in China.

Have you discovered anything new that your cat is crazy about? Let me know.

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About ExclusivelyCats
Sally Bahner is an expert in all aspects of cat care: Writer, consultant, speaker, instructor.

4 Responses to New Products: Fun and Practical

  1. I love the litter lifter and make most my own catnip toys from old cashmere sweaters (I like to recycle). The calming collar has several issues. As a former educator of aromtherapy, the herbs lavender and camomile can calm but the calming agents are in the essential oil which quickly evaporates quickly rendering it ineffective with a short shelf life. Plus and you couldn’ t get my cats to wear anything so bulky. Please note: many people and their pets who suffer from hayfever, are often allergic to camomile.

    • exclusivelycats says:

      Thanks for your input, Layla. Since it’s Earth Day, I was thinking of making some catnip toys from scrap fabric hanging around — can’t say I have any cashmere sweaters . As I mentioned, yes, the collar is rather bulky and I would not recommend wearing it constantly. The manufacturer does advise storing the collar in a plastic bag when it’s not being worn. That definitely maintains the potency of the herbs. Good to know about the allergy factor.

  2. I’m glad that your cats were successful with the Eggercizer Treat Ball…I originally purchased this for our adopted senior Siamese, but she never showed an interest in balls…of any sort.

    I’ll keep it tucked away for the day when we have a younger “tiger” in the tank!

    Great blog…I’m please to have found you!

    @Cat_Talk_101

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