Monday, March 25, 2013

So Harris Ate the Cat Catcher Toy

It was only a matter of time. The Cat Catcher's tail, eyes, and ears had disappeared a while ago. Its tiny, hairy mouse fit right inside his mouth, and he loved nothing more than clamping his jaws around it and hunkering down, growling.

Photo courtesy of Drs. Foster & Smith.

I thought I was keeping a close eye on him (I held the wand, which has a sturdy metal line, always keeping a little tension on the line) even as I played with another toy with Toffee. Harris could hang onto his mouse for upwards of 10 minutes, so it was pretty boring for the rest of us.

Possum joins me in supervising Harris with his Cat Catcher. 
Possum always crosses his paws, being a gentleman.

But, during a play session four days ago, the line suddenly went slack. I immediately grabbed Harris and extracted a sizable piece of the mouse's fur from his mouth. The only thing still attached to the line was a slender brass pin, which was the inner core of the mouse. Rewrapping the skin around that pin did not add up to an entire mouse, so I had to assume that Harris had eaten something. But the mouse had always been teeny-tiny, and it didn't seem like he'd had time to gulp down anything substantial before I pried the skin out of his mouth.

 Harris, a few minutes before the demise of his favorite toy. Note his "airplane ears."

Before panicking, I called the company. It took a while for a customer service person to get back to me, but she was informed and reassuring. The toy is made mostly of deer hair and leather, including the ears, eyes, and little tail, so it's digestible if it happens to be eaten. But it isn't supposed to be eaten, she reminded me. The toy is meant to be chased, not slowly dissolved in a cat's mouth.

I mentioned this to Harris, who disagrees.

The customer rep told me that the body of the mouse was made entirely of thin deerskin, with hair, wrapped by hand around the pin. So there was no "core" for Harris to eat, only more deerskin and hair. He must have eaten some of it, but she said it is digestible. 

She also told me that the tail had been attached with glue and a small plastic bead. I'd found that bead in the bedroom days ago, and wondered what it was. How nice that Harris hadn't eaten that on my watch. I'm still hoping the tail will turn up because I really did supervise the cats when they played with this toy. But I have to say that my husband was always very nervous about that mouse and he was right. (But he's also nervous about the cats eating feathers. So he just got lucky this time.)

Needless to say, I'm looking for a different, larger, sturdier replacement for that mouse, something like a rabbit's foot, I'm thinking. Harris will only get bigger and stronger, and that little mouse was no match for him.


  1. Lyra adores this toy (and she's a "picky player"). So do all the other cats I've gifted it to.

    Can't guarantee it will withstand the obvious determination displayed by Harris and Toffee, but it's been very sturdy in our house.

  2. Thanks, Dawn! I think I've seen that one at Cause to Paws, and I'll get one as soon as I see one.

  3. that is what happened to ours! I knew I found nothing but "felt" with a bead one one end after literally months of play. Apparently they skinned their own toy! Wonder where it ended up? Hmmm....


Spam goes right into the trash but I appreciate relevant comments from non-spammers (and I can always tell the difference). I do my best to follow up if you have a question. ALL spam, attempts to market other websites, and anything nasty or unintelligible gets deleted instantly. The cats and I thank you for reading — and please feel free to comment on what you read.