Well, I hear you, and I've decided to grant your wishes. I will be doing reviews of cat toys. No, no, don't thank me, it's not necessary. I saw the need, and being who I am, I felt I had to fill it.
Reviews on cat toys will cover several things:
1: Looks of the toy. (When necessary, a picture will be used so folks can see the toy for themselves)
2: Where the toy can be "Found." In the case of a handmade toy, I'll tell how I made it. If I got instructions on how to make it from someone else, they'll be credited, of course.
3: Price of the toy. In case of homemade toys, the cost of the things needed to make it.
4: Socialization. There are three types of social behaviors cat toys encourage.
A: Solitary play (Can be played with by the cat alone)Some toys, of course, will combine features of one or more.
B: Group activity. (Toys that more than one cat can play with at a time, allowing for cats to socialize with each other.
C: Cat and human bonding. (A toy that is meant to have a human playing with it too.)
5: Action style of toy.
A: Rolling toy. (Things that are put on the floor and roll, thus causing your cat to chase it. Think balls.)
B: Flying toys. (Toys that flutter about in the air, that cats must leap and grab for. Think wands, strings with toys attached.)
C: Resting toys (Toys that are unable to do much until the cat or a human manipulates them. Think fuzzy mice.)
6: Catnip enhanced. Yes, no, optional, or unknown, should cover this one. Some people don't like to give their cats too much 'nip.' I don't want to encourage folks to lead their kitties into a life of nipsniffing. I feel guilty enough that I do it for my own cats. Optional means that you have an option of putting catnip into the toy (some balls have holes for catnip to be sprinkled) Unknown is for toys that don't say they are treated. In the case of "unknown" I will try to find out myself if possible. If I cannot find out (I'm not always going to buy a couple of these so one can be ripped apart) I will give my opinion on if my cat acts high when using it.
I am "fortunate" to have three cats that are very different in their play styles, and I will be giving the opinion of each cat.
1: Chrissy. Chrissy does not play with toys. Chrissy just doesn't play, although she has ample oportunity. If I ever talk about how much Chrissy likes a toy, know that this toy is a miracle of a toy.
2: Goten. Goten is moderately playful, and fairly energentic. He is a "Mousing" cat, meaning he likes things that are on the ground. Goten will play "Fetch" with balls. Goten has been known to go for things in the air, but much prefers things on the ground. Despite his ways, Goten is pretty good at keeping toys in good shape and has never destroyed one with anything other than normal wear and tear.
3: Jesse. Jesse is a bird catcher. Jesse likes toys that flutter about in the air. He loves anything with feathers, as long as the feathers flutter in the air. Feathers just lying on the ground are a waste to him. Jesse is young, full of energy, and vicious with toys he likes. Jesse is a strong factor in how the value of a toy will be rated.
Ratings will work on a scale of 1-6, 1 being "low" and 6 being "high." Why six? Because six allows a half way point between, of 3. In the 1-5 scale, a half way point would be 2 1/2. I don't like to be bothered with trying to have a half a star graphic, and too many times in life I find myself rating things right down the middle.
All cat toys will be rated on the following catagories:
1: Value for the money. Taking in the price of the toy, how long it lasted, how much the cats enjoyed it, am I happy I bought it, those types of things.
2: Overall cat enjoyment. Again, I'll probably give an overall rating from each cat.
3: Rebuying chances. When this toy wears out/breaks/becomes unable to be used, am I likely to replace it?
4: Human amusement factor. How much fun is it to watch the cat play with the toy, or to play with the cat and the toy? Let's face it, we don't just buy cat toys for our cat, we buy them to watch our cat play with them.
5: Safety. (If I leave the cat and this toy unattended, do I feel the cat is in danger from playing with the toy?) I will also make note if there are things that can be done to make the toy safer. With some toys, the maker clearly states toys should never be used without the proper supervision, but I still don't like that. It's too easy to drop a toy and forget about it, because you become distracted. I try to find toys that are reasonably safe for the cat, even if there is no one supervising him/her.
Because Safety is a very important issue, I won't use the "Stars" to rate it, but instead use the "High danger, moderate danger, fairly safe, completely safe, instead. Again, due to the importance of this, I will write my reasons for giving it the rating. Each cat is different, and what I might find safe for my cat, you might reason is not so safe. I would hope that anyone who might look to these "reviews" as a guideline, would keep in mind that they are far better judges of their own cat than I am.
That should be it. Of course, I might modify this at any time, but it still should be pretty simple to follow.