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Old 08-23-2019, 09:36 AM
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My Cat and the Fan


Our cat Hermes is very clever, if not particularly smart (there's a subtle difference). He's our Engineer cat -- he's curious about how things work, and plays with them to find out their capabilities.


We gave him a balloon once, and he was in heaven. We've since given him several mylar balloons. He loves playing with them. He puts them in front of the fan, and they fly away. He puts them behind the fan, and they're drawn forward. He climbs up on the dividing wall and grasps the string halfway up, then jumps down with the shortened string, and can take the balloon through doorways it was previously too tall for. Or under the table. Or even under the ottoman. At night he'll bring it into the bedroom. Sometime I wake up in the morning and find it in the bathtub, behind the shower curtain. When he sees a new balloon, he gets excited. he's very careful with his toys -- He hasn't punctured one yet.

Lately he's been interested in the big fan we have cooling the living room. It sits on the floor, and can swivel up and down. Fortunately, there's a cage structure around it, with bars too close together to let his paw go through, or else he'd be in for a painful shock. He keeps looking at the fan, trying to figure it out. The spinning blades look weird, and it makes the air move. He's seen and played with tops, so his cat brain might have made the connection between fast rotary motion and the weird look of the moving fan blades. He keeps trying to reach them. He tilts the fan up and down. He likes lying behind the fan and having the air pulled over him.



I gotta get him some kind of cat toy to keep him amused. He already has one of those things with the rotating arm under the sheet. At night he drags this around the house. He has one of those "trackball" toys and a "busy box". I got him a rotating laser light toy, but he wasn't interested. I'm thinking of getting him a motorized "busy box" where toy mice or feathers leap out of openings in a box. Or a cat "Whack a mole" game that I've seen online.

Any ideas?
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:15 AM
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Not sure what you mean by a "trackball" toy - picture please?

I've seen "rat roller" pet toys that are simply a hollow plastic ball with a motorized, wheeled and weighted gizmo inside so the ball seems to roll of it's own accord in random directions.

I've also seen people tie a small furry toy to a slightly elastic string, loop the string over a pulley and attach the string to a small, padded, weighted and bell equipped bag on the other side. Their cats seemed to enjoy it.

It's not really intended as a pet safe toy and your cat may not care about it but my parent's Jack Russel terrier absolutely wanted to murder my tribble.
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Last edited by Alpha Twit; 08-23-2019 at 11:15 AM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 11:42 AM
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What cats like are these things: https://www.amazon.com/Nargos-Colorf.../dp/B01MCUS53B
https://www.inlongpet.com/products/s...with-feathers/

Also live mice.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:06 PM
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Another cat should do it.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:31 PM
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Seconded: Live mice. My cat caught and killed one, even though she'd never seen one before... and she's declawed. You might tie one to the end of her balloon string.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:56 PM
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How about a motorized mouse? Two or three of these should keep a cat occupied for awhile.

We have a remote-controlled rat that our dogs have found irresistible. We had to stop using it around one of our small spaniels, because it drove him nuts and the semi-hysterical barking was too much.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by DPRK View Post
The balls with feathers don't move by themselves. I need something he can interact with.

Regarding live mice, after looking at the price of cats toys and the price of live mice, my wife and I looked at each other and said "We could buy a LOT of mice for that price." But we dismissed it as a.) inhumane and b.) asking for trouble if our cats weren't efficient and missed some.

as for another cat, Hermes WAS the "other cat" we bought to keep Hestia company. But they don't get along at all. Our first cat pair, Midnight and Maggie, hated each other to the point of requiring separate littler boxes, but they eventually made up and used to sleep puddled together. But the best Hermes and Hestia get is an Armed Truce. It doesn't help that Hermes keeps forgetting that he's been fixed and keeps trying to mount Hestia.


By "trackball" I mean something like this:

https://www.amazon.com/Bergan-Turbo-...09864556&psc=1


Among the kind of toys I'[ve been considering are these:

https://www.amazon.com/PetFusion-INT...15RQXVEEBJ25CN

https://www.amazon.com/Catit-Senses-...FNY5K856JTSK3D

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07Q1FYGJZ...xpY2s9dHJ1ZQ==


https://www.amazon.com/PAWABOO-Teasi...VWWQR9KZFCA0RA
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:07 PM
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Not sure what you mean by a "trackball" toy - picture please?
Picture

video

ETA: Ah, ninja'ed again.

Last edited by Tamerlane; 08-23-2019 at 01:11 PM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:37 PM
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I like This one for trackball play. It's got a little more variety to it than the boring ol' circular ones
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:18 PM
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Re. mice: to be clear, in my experience they are not something you buy. They show up, by themselves, whether you like it or not!

The balls you can toss in front of the cat, also the cat is often eager enough to bat the things around on her own.

I have never really considered electronic toys for cats before. IME they like to "interact" with empty cardboard boxes, crumpled-up foil, bits of string or ribbon that you drag in front of them, certain stuffed toys, balls as already mentioned, etc. The same principles should apply, though: the point of the feathered balls is that cats apparently really like feathers, so a motorized cat toy with feathers could be something to try. The only trouble I foresee is that the cats will quickly rip the feathers out, so there should be some way to replace the business end of the toy.

Last edited by DPRK; 08-23-2019 at 02:19 PM.
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Old 08-23-2019, 02:35 PM
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I love engineer cats. One of mine is. Shortly after we got them, he jumped up on the handrail going down to the basement and rode it down. My husband and I saw it--it was great. The kind of thing that smart people take a video of and post it on YouTube and get lotsa likes. (We have a video camera. It's never aimed at the right place.)

For the next several days, we watched to see if it happened again, and it didn't. But this cat would go and sit at the spot where he jumped on, and study the thing. Like, how did it happen? He would go up on his hind paws, sniff, look at it critically, touch it with a paw. Then go down a couple of steps and study it again. He did this for several days but if he ever rode it again, we didn't see it. And now he's probably too big.

This same cat has secret hiding places. I suspect he's getting into the basement's drop ceiling, but I cannot figure out where he's going in. He disappears for several hours and then returns, all dusty and cobwebby.
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Old 08-23-2019, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
I love engineer cats. One of mine is. Shortly after we got them, he jumped up on the handrail going down to the basement and rode it down. My husband and I saw it--it was great. The kind of thing that smart people take a video of and post it on YouTube and get lotsa likes. (We have a video camera. It's never aimed at the right place.)

For the next several days, we watched to see if it happened again, and it didn't. But this cat would go and sit at the spot where he jumped on, and study the thing. Like, how did it happen? He would go up on his hind paws, sniff, look at it critically, touch it with a paw. Then go down a couple of steps and study it again. He did this for several days but if he ever rode it again, we didn't see it. And now he's probably too big.

This same cat has secret hiding places. I suspect he's getting into the basement's drop ceiling, but I cannot figure out where he's going in. He disappears for several hours and then returns, all dusty and cobwebby.
Maggie, our second cat, was not otherwise an Engineer Cat, but she was a Nana -- our daughter MilliCal was her kitten, and she took on the duty of protecting her.

One form this took was that she slept in her crib with her. Although she never did anything to harm or endanger her, we didn't think this was a good idea. So we put a "lid" on the crib (a specially-made one that fit on the top like a tent, with a zippered opening).

Maggie STILL got in. We never did figure out how. If we zippered the top completely closed, she wouldn't be in there, but if we left even a small opening, she'd get in. If she couldn't get in, she slept at the base of the crib.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:19 PM
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Maggie STILL got in. We never did figure out how. If we zippered the top completely closed, she wouldn't be in there, but if we left even a small opening, she'd get in. If she couldn't get in, she slept at the base of the crib.

Cats are liquid
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:19 PM
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Maggie STILL got in. We never did figure out how. If we zippered the top completely closed, she wouldn't be in there, but if we left even a small opening, she'd get in. If she couldn't get in, she slept at the base of the crib.
(Some) cats know what they are doing and can open things like refrigerators, doors, drawers, and, apparently, zippers.
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Old 08-23-2019, 04:27 PM
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It's not really intended as a pet safe toy and your cat may not care about it but my parent's Jack Russel terrier absolutely wanted to murder my tribble.
They're selling replicas now?

A bookshop I used to patronize in college had some actual tribbles from Star Trek that they were selling (this was like 45 years ago), but they were kinda dirty looking, and I was a starving student, so I passed. Now I really wish I'd bought one.
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Old 08-23-2019, 05:18 PM
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This is one of the worse ideas for a cat toy ever, don't read this post and do not act on this advice.

Many cats love to play with string. Many cats have met an early demise due to eating string while playing with it and getting all their inside stuff tangled up, so never leave string where cats can play with it unsupervised. (That is actually good advice, pay attention to that part.)

Bead chain, such as is used for light switches can be a very acceptable replacement for string and cats don't get it stuck on their tongue and swallow it. Bead chain also makes a fun noise while being dragged about on solid floors. It can be picked up and dropped over and over. It can even be dragged into the bathroom for the extra reverb during times when humans are trying to sleep. Bonus points for leaving the chain in the bathroom for a sleepy human to step on.

Its also a whole lot of fun to drag the chain into the bedroom and start repeatedly picking it up and dropping it over and over and OVER at the crack of dawn.

If you are foolish enough to buy bead chain for your cats, they seem to like the length to be 12-18 inches. That's long enough to play with, but not too heavy to drag into the bedroom at 0 dark thirty.
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Old 08-24-2019, 08:38 AM
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Take 50 boxes and put them in a room, then let the cat go nuts trying to figure out which one to hide in.
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Old 08-24-2019, 11:25 AM
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I got one of these motorized mouse toys for a friend's cat, who seems to like it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IP4MXUW
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Old 08-24-2019, 03:08 PM
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They're selling replicas now?
Of course it's a replica. I could never afford a real tribble. It's not just the import license and the food costs associated with them. Those are significant but predictable expenses. Avoiding or buying off those Klingon death squads though, that gets pricey.
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Old 08-25-2019, 04:49 PM
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I got one of these motorized mouse toys for a friend's cat, who seems to like it.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01IP4MXUW
That's one of the ones I linked to in post #7. I might get that for Hermes, especially if you recommend it.

I love the totally bewildered expression on the kitten's face in the picture.
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Old 08-25-2019, 05:23 PM
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Bear, my male doesn't like toys. But he watches every thing I do. Recently he's tried to figure out how the kitchen sink makes the lovely stream of water come out. He is just fascinated by it. I'm sure a kichen flood is in my future.
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Old 08-26-2019, 06:45 PM
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That's one of the ones I linked to in post #7. I might get that for Hermes, especially if you recommend it.
I just asked the owner of the cat for whom I bought it. He says the cat still finds it endlessly fascinating. He has had it for about a year.
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:55 PM
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I read this aloud to my cat (severely paraphrased) as she was perched nearby, and as she was looking at me, she surreptitiously glanced at the desktop fan spinning away next to us, swung her eyes back to my level gaze and said "MEOW".
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Old 08-26-2019, 11:56 PM
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And yes, my cat is paraphrased. She's quite small. Seriously. She's a runt. 4lbs of adult squirrel.
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Old 08-30-2019, 05:39 PM
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Where is a picture of Hermes?
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Old 08-30-2019, 07:21 PM
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I read this aloud to my cat (severely paraphrased) as she was perched nearby, and as she was looking at me, she surreptitiously glanced at the desktop fan spinning away next to us, swung her eyes back to my level gaze and said "MEOW".
When me and the Siamese have our nightly discussion about politics I'm gonna throw in the fan question. This should be enlightening. I'll report back.
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