Monday, October 26, 2009

Cat-Aerobics, and a Bolt Update

Yes, even cats need some aerobic exercise. Exercising your cat keeps him fit, not to mention out of trouble! Cats who don't get exercise can get bored and develop bad habits. Even though we don't have dogs, and are pretty much bona fide cat people, we watch The Dog Whisperer, and his credo is "exercise, discipline, and affection" in that order. The exercise is important because it provides a natural energy drain. In the wild, dogs and cats would be hunting to live, and that would take up a lot of their time and energy. Domesticated animals don't need to hunt to live, so, unless we provide them some exercise opportunities, they build up a lot of energy that needs to be dissipated somehow. If it is not dissipated through exercise, it is often dissipated through other means, and those means may be undesirable.

This is why we are on a quest for toys that really engage our cats and get them moving. We've reviewed several here already. Another that we recently found is the Cat-Aerobics "Action Toy" and step-by-step aerobics program. Yep, that's what it says on the package! The package contains a toy that is somewhat similar to the Cat Dancer (see our previous blog entry), but improved upon. That is saying a lot.

We were astounded by how our cats reacted to the Cat Dancer. It is such a simple thing: a piece of baling wire with cardboard rolls attached at the ends. Ivan and Boo went nuts over it and even asked us (in their inimitable feline way) to get it out each day. Now they do that with the Cat-Aerobics toy, but even more! Why? Because the makers of the Cat-Aerobics toy have, as mentioned, improved upon the Cat Dancer theme by enhancing it. They've added a wooden handle for the human on one end, and a colorful lure on the other end for the finicky feline.

Also included in the Cat-Aerobics package is a booklet entitled CAT-Aerobics EXERCISE PROGRAM Instructions. This little booklet contains some good ideas for exercising your cat, some as simple as scratching him under the chin to more complex movements of the toy that cause him to jump into the air.

Ivan and Boo went nuts over this toy the moment it came out of the package. They turn into panting maniacs when we drag this toy around the room. The rubber, critter-like lure on the end seems to be the big attraction. Congratulations, SunRae Products, for improving on what we thought was the ultimate cat toy!

We bought this product ourselves and did not receive a review sample from the manufacturer.


After three months of fun, the Bolt laser toy decided to stop working in automatic mode last week. We searched the web for a FAQ that might tell us how to fix it, but instead we found the manufacturer's site and checked the on-line product user guide, which indicated that they would repair or replace a defective Bolt within one year of purchase. Here's the text from the user guide:

If you have questions about BOLT™ or any of our products, please call us toll free at (888) 726-MEOW (6369) to speak with one of our knowledgeable cat-loving staff. If there is ever a problem, FroliCat will replace or repair your BOLT interactive laser toy for one year. Just call our toll-free number.

We called the number, and as we are on the West Coast, and they are in Chicago, and it was late in our business day, we got voice mail for "Sarah". We left Sarah a message, explaining that we'd purchased the Bolt about three months ago, and it suddenly stopped working in auto-mode. We told her we had the receipt for purchase, and we wondered what we needed to do to get the item repaired or replaced, and we left our call-back number. Sarah's greeting indicated that we would be called back on the next business day. The next business day was Friday. We did not receive a call back. Today, the third business day after we left our message, we still have not had a response.

If the Bolt web site had not indicated they would repair or replace, and if Sarah's voice mail had not indicated that we would be contacted on the next business day, perhaps we would not be so disappointed in this crummy customer service. Maye we should have told them that we have a cat product review blog and had already given the Bolt a glowing review. But we didn't. Since then, because the cats have really missed their Bolt in auto mode, we bought a new one. They are $19.99 at PetSmart. That's a bit pricey to last only three months! FroliCat, if you read this review and are interested in repairing or replacing the defective Bolt (or simply refunding us the cost of the replacement we bought ourselves), drop us a line.


Aelurophile (cat fancier) said...

To date we have heard nothing from Frolicat.

Fur-Kid said...

Hi Aelurophile,

My kitty boyz, Kit'n and Boo, have loooooved their CAT-Aerobics toy for 6 years now. I have always seen the toy in pet stores, so when the wire gave out recently (from soooo much use) I thought I would just pop in and buy another. But that was not the case, CAT-Aerobics is nowhere to be found. It's almost as if it never existed except for a few pictures on the web and your blog. Do you by chance have any idea what happened to this wonderful toy? Incase I don't check back on this blog right away, please email me at Thanks so much!!

Alysoun Mahoney said...

Much like Fur-Kid, I have a cat who is totally dependent on a CAT-Aerobics toy we have had for several years. She is very nervous and tends to hide under beds and in closets - but she always comes running from wherever she is when I swish that toy around. The handle fell off some time ago, and the koosh ball is getting kind of flat - so I want to buy a replacement. Also like Fur-Kid, though, I have been surprised at how difficult it is to find that toy now. Do you know where to get it, or do you know of places that might help us to make it ourselves? (The biggest challenge will be fastening the koosh ball securely to the wire.) Thanks!

Melanie Cr said...

I have searched and searched for a replacement for this toy. Others clearly want it, too, as one went up on eBay in June and was snatched up. I am going to switch my focus to looking for something like the koosh on the original toy (Ivan, the pica kitty, chewed much of the rubber fringe off so it's not as attractive any longer). If I find anything I'll post it here.