Monday, January 6, 2014

New Year, New Toy! - Original Hagen Catit Design Senses Play Circuit Review

Happy 2014!!!  This is Rino's first time ringing in the New Year!

For the new year, Frog Prince and I finally decided to splurge on some new toys for him in the hopes that he will spend less time wandering around the kitchen counter when we're not looking...

Being heavy Amazon users, we naturally gravitated there as the first place to shop.  This particular toy caught my eye because of the amplitude of good reviews and the hilarious thumbnail photo (those kittens looked BEYOND excited and I couldn't help but wish Rino the same joy).

I thought this toy was perrrrfect for satisfying Rino's passion of chasing ping pong balls around until they just eventually all disappeared under the couch.  So we decided to take a gamble and here is what we thought about the product so far (on a scale of 5):

  • Price Point - 4 out of 5
    • Amazon sold it for $10.99.  Good price for the quality but could be slightly cheaper for simple plastic and a non-automatic toy. 

  • Packaging - 4.5 out of 5
    • The product itself was only 1.4 pounds which was great, easy to handle.  The box was very easy to open yet felt very durable.  All the pieces were organized well and easy to find within the box.  I loved the visuals and descriptions about the product as they were detailed yet straightforward.  An assembly manual was also included.  The only minor thing was that the number of different language translations cluttered the box and the manual a bit.  


  • Design - 5 out of 5
    • The plastic material felt fairly sturdy and it didn't have the strong plastic toy smell.  The little ball was the perfect size and the colors used were designed for a cat.  It rolled around the tracks very smoothly but occasionally it would get stuck in the tunnel and stop.  Not sure if that was intended but the ball stopping actually stimulated Rino more as he only attacks his prey when it's at a complete stand-still...  The sound the toy made when the ball was rolling around wasn't too noisy - just enough to get Rino's attention. The fact that there are small rubber stoppers on the bottom was also a plus so the toy didn't move around and scratch up my hardwood floors.  The material also seems easy to clean which is always good.

  • Assembly and Safety - 4.5 out of 5
    • The toy was very easy to assemble (didn't need to look at the manual).  I loved the safety mechanisms - each piece had locks on both sides to keep the tracks connected and each tunnel cover slides to lock in place.  Some pieces were slightly more difficult to slide together and lock but they didn't feel breakable when adding more force.  The locks were also fairly easy to unlock for disassembling.  The flexibility to assemble the track in a variety of ways was innovative - it feels like a different toy with a different assembly and can conform to my cat's playing style.  Not to mention it can be expanded simply by adding another set of tracks.

  • Cat-likeability - 4 out of 5
    • Rino fell in love at first sight.  It kept him stimulated and very active.  The only disappointment so far was that it didn't grab Rino's attention as much as I would've liked it to.  He really only gets interested when I move the ball around to spark his curiosity.  Although, personally, I was looking for a more independent toy for Rino to exhaust his energy when I'm not around so the rating is slightly skewed based on that.  I'm optimistic that he'll gain a liking and eventually play with it on his own as well.

  • Durability - 5 out of 5
    • Based on the way Rino played with it, I am quite impressed with the durability so far.  He is now about 11 pounds at 9 months and plays pretty aggressively.  He pounced at the ball, scratched the tunnels, occasionally clawed and hooked onto the tunnel resulting in the entire track being lifted and dropped back onto the ground, bit at the ball, and sat on the tracks to stalk the ball.  After all that, I inspected the toy and it was barely scuffed up.  Not once was I nervous that the tracks or tunnel covers would come apart neither.  

Overall we give this product a 4.5 out of 5!  Rino is crossing his paws that he'll get another set for his birthday in April so his play circuit can get expanded for more fun!

Hopefully you found this review helpful.  Share with me, what is your pet's favorite new toy for the new year?

Thanks for reading,
- Awkward Penguin

As a reference, here's a video of Rino playing with the toy!  Sorry for the poor quality...


  1. I'm glad he likes it! It's always a gamble to see how long it will keep their interest lol. I bought one that is kind of similar, but less intricate. Just a ball that stays on a track in a circle and all of the cats that I've had have loved it. I think they do need a little push every once in a while with the ball, but once you get it going they remember how fun it is lol. Good luck!

  2. Thank you Sarah! That's very reassuring. I appreciate it!