Reviewed by Deborah Banasko
Before reviewing the PetSafe Frolicat Automatic Laser Light (cat toy) I feel that I should add a little background to the “tester”. She’s a three year old rescue cat called Cleo, who had a pretty awful start in life and but is now happy and adored by my three children. She is scared of life outside our home and only goes out if there isn’t a person in sight or sound to be heard, so her level of exercise is minimal. I am desperate for her to lose some weight as she is a little chubby.
We have tried a variety of cat toys but, so far, she’s only shown interest in her scratching post and small pieces of my children’s Lego.
The PetSafe Frolicat laser light arrived in a compact little box and I was surprised at how small and light it was. It takes up very little space, being slightly smaller than a side plate. The design is a cross between a dome and a disc, with two ears on the top so that the laser opening looks like a little tail at the back. I doubt that it would fool any cat into believing that it’s a mouse, so it’s more for our benefit really.
Initially we struggled to get it to work as there was a tiny piece of paper (possibly from the packaging) inside, but as soon as that was removed it burst into life.
Once the batteries are inserted (you will need 3 AA sized) you simply press the button underneath and the zip toy will roll around the floor randomly for 10 minutes, emitting a single red laser beam. You can press the button again to switch it off sooner, should you wish.
We decided to introduce the toy to Cleo when she least expected it; we placed it in front of her, switched it on and watched it (and her) come to life. Her ears instantly perked up in curiosity and pretty soon she was following the laser beam animatedly with her eyes wide, and ears stood to attention. It was lovely to see her so fascinated and desperate to catch the light dot. She didn’t move a great deal at first, she was more keen to watch it and slap/trap the light when it approached her in a feeble method of attack. She is very lazy, but also the slight sound of the motor possibly made her a little apprehensive. I would imagine a normal cat to be leaping around instantly. However there was some pouncing, change of direction and bottom shaking involved… and at one stage she did shock us (and herself) and run around to the other side of the toy so this without doubt got her attention.
After a few “plays” she got used to the toy and really had a good jump around, so it’s certainly achieving what I hoped; she’s entertained and burning some calories. She likes a good play in the morning now and later on in the afternoon.
This is actually a really cool device as it changes direction randomly, spinning and whirling so that the light is constantly moving. However there is a pause between movements so that when “caught” it remains for a few seconds… so there is some reward for your cat. If it bumps into a wall it will still move away from the wall again, and if stuck under the sofa it will eventually work it’s way out.
It got a little stuck on a a door gripper so I had to move it away but that’s to be expected. The movement was smooth along the carpet and it does slowly progress through the room whilst twisting and turning so that even the laziest cat will have to move a little at some point.
The red laser itself is really bright and easy to see even in a well lit room. From a visual safety point of view the laser stops at around 30cm from the toy and it is angled downwards, so I felt safe allowing my children to watch Cleo play with me as they are aware that they must not look directly into the laser beam.
I love the 10 minute play feature as I can leave Cleo to play if I go upstairs but know that batteries won’t get wasted if I forget about it for a while. It also it gives your cat a break as I’d hate to think my cat was stuck playing for an hour unable to draw her eyes away.
I’m unable to comment on the battery life fully as we have only had this a few days, but given the switch off feature I don’t think it would be an issue.
Whilst I cannot say whether this product will assist with her weight loss, it will certainly keep her entertained and moving which I am delighted about. When you have had an active outdoor cat in the past you do worry about boredom when puss sleeps most of the day and moves only to look for a cuddle. I’m just pleased that I have found something else to keep her happy and entertained, and to be honest it makes the kids and I laugh watching her!
I would award this product 5 stars out of 5 as there really is nothing negative to add; the price point is fair given the features, my cat loves it and it doesn’t take up much space in the house. It’s a real hit and a toy to last.
You can purchase this product from Petsafe here.