Review: Cat Toys From The Natural Pet Company
I don’t know about you, but I have one email account that gets some crazy emails. Thanks to everything from the latest spam scheme to emails intended for another Amanda Maurer (my maiden name), my mailbox fills up pretty quickly, so I sometimes dismiss emails rather quickly.
That said, when I got an email from the folks at the Natural Pet Company, I gave it a second look. They were wondering if CG and Ellie would like to try out some new cat toys they had made. I decided to order them to give them a shot, and full disclosure: I paid for the toys. I feel it was only right to pay for them, as it would prevent me (and our kitties!) from being biased in a review.
You have to admire the origins of these toys. Two guys in the UK decided to start the Natural Pet Company after realizing that the cat toy market is dominated by big brands and many of the toys available are made of plastics or synthetic materials.
They were inspired to start the company after making some simple cat toys at home. Initially, they handmade the toys, but when the orders kept coming in, they decided to look into other production options.*
Currently, they have three products for sale**: a Cat Toys Megapack, a 4 oz. bag of natural catnip, and a feather wand toy. They have plans to expand their cat line and start other pet lines in the future.
So what did we order?
- A wand toy: A fabric mouse — with feather tail — attached to a wooden handle via an elastic cord.
- A mouse toy: This mouse is made of wrapped twine; there’s a rattler inside.
- Three woven wicker balls: Inside each one is a small bell. There are several ribbons attached to the ends of each.
Once our package arrived, we placed everything (box included) on the floor to see what CG and Ellie would go for first. Not a surprise (sorry, guys!) the box was the runaway hit. Both inspected it to no end. CG climbed in and claimed it his own. Ellie started pawing at one of the box flaps, and enjoyed gnawing on it. At that point, Matt and I decided to encourage them to play with the toys.
First up, the wand toy: CG really dug it right away. He’s a big fan of feathers, so he’d grab the toy, pull it toward him and start grooming it. Unfortunately, the cord wasn’t knotted at the end, so the cord soon slipped out of the wooden handle. We then spent the next few minutes fixing it, while CG watched us impatiently. Ellie was curious about the wand toy, but preferred some of the other toys a bit more. She was a bigger fan of the wicker balls and twine mouse. We’d toss them around the house, and she’d wobble after them, sometimes hitting them back to us.
Since then, a few weeks have gone by, and I’ve been watching the cats to see how they feel about the toys. CG will still play with the wand toy (when we’re on the other end of it), but interestingly, Ellie still really likes the twine mouse. We have it in our living room, and every time she walks past it, I swear she gives it a smack. It’s not totally unusual — of the two, she’s more likely to play on her own — but I’m glad to see that the mouse has been a continued source of interest and entertainment.
So what’s my (and the cats’) ultimate opinion? I have to give these guys credit because they’re entering a tough market. Not because of the large pet companies that dominate the space, but because cats are picky as they come, which can make it a challenge to please them. That said, a variety pack of toys is a smart way to go, as a cat is likely to enjoy at least one thing in the pack. That said, is it worth it?
I think it depends. If you’re just starting to build your cat’s collection of toys, this would be a great start. The toys are lovely, and probably the best quality of toys I’ve ever purchased in a variety pack. If you’re a veteran cat owner, odds are you already have similar products in your home.
Thanks to everyone at The Natural Pet Company for reaching out!
*The NPC team settled on outsourcing to China. I mention this because it’s clear that the NPC team takes pride that their crafts are handmade (just check out the toys’ Amazon page). I agree that being handmade is nice; but I think it also matters whose hands are making the products. For me, this creates a disconnect between the original creator and final product. I realize some of you may not care about this, but others of you may. Given this is a review, I feel it’s important to be transparent, and I hope you can respect that.
**At the time they approached me, only the toy pack and cat nip were products available to try.