Reviewed by Bec Wong
I’m a cat person through and through. This means I’ve spent hours telling my cats how beautiful they are, read every cat book I can get my hands on and spent probably in the region of hundreds of pounds on all kinds of cat products in a bid to surprise, engage and keep my cat entertained. So when the Peek-a-Bird cat toy arrived for my beloved 14 year old ‘naughty Tortie’ cat to try out, I made some judgements about it. Including the fact that my now mature and sensible cat would not bat an eyelid or a paw at this. So upon inspection the box informed me that it is a ‘motion-activated cat toy with an irresistible feather teaser.’ The idea of the motion sensor, I thought was brilliant and she hasn’t had a cat toy that would be activated in a my absence before. The item itself is a rather sleek looking white plastic bird shape, it needs three AA sized batteries to work (not included) and comes with a spare feather.
To turn it on there is a button on the top of the item. The instructions indicate that by pressing the button for 1 second, the toy will run for 10 minutes. However, I found that 1 second wasn’t long enough to turn it on and found that the toy only responded after about 3 second. It then beeps once to indicate it is on. The toy then made a series of tweeting sounds and the feather started to randomly peek out of 2 holes on either side of the bird where the wings would be; dancing around between them. The tweeting sound was great at catching my cats attention. Here curiosity was peeked immediately and she cautiously approached the bird. After observing it for a minute she then regressed into a kitten; batting the feather with her paw and rolling around on the floor around it and trying to catch the feather in her mouth. It was so lovely to see her playing with it in this way as she normally quite a cool customer when it comes to cat toys. To turn it off before the 10 minutes was up, I kept my finger on the button for a couple of second and heard 2 beeps. It then stopped.
The other mode is ‘play all day’ meaning that after the initial 10 minutes play the bird will come to life every 2 hours for 10 minutes and then also whenever the motion sensor is activated by the cat. For this I kept my finger on the button until I heard 3 beeps after the initial 1. This is a great idea, to ease any ‘out of the house’ guilt universally felt by us cat owners, no matter how short our spells away from the house are. Knowing that something that is fun and encourages playfulness for our cat and will intermittently come to life and entertain them, would ease the mind of any cat lover. From the cats perceptive I think it also adds to their curiosity, as I find my cats quickly lose interest with predictable toys. So the fact that this can encourage play and engagement when we are away is a great idea.
When I tried it on the all day play mode however, my cat was less enthralled by it once it re-activated. I found when she was already engaged in doing something else such as sleeping or enjoying cuddles she would just ignore it.
The Peek-a-Bird Cat toy retails at £29.99 and can be purchased at https://store.intl.petsafe.net/en-gb/petsafe-peek-a-bird-electronic-cat-toy. I’d say for this price it would be a special buy as I do think it’s on the expensive side, so maybe good as a Christmas present for an older or for multiple cats. It would however, be a great buy for kittens. I do think the motion sensor is a great idea and I like the simple design and sounds effects are great for getting my cats attention. I would say it’s a 4/5 because I do thinks it’s on the pricey side and I can appreciate that all cat toy purchases are a gamble given their nature.
This product can be purchased from PetSafe here.