The secret to wooing your finicky cat is this scratch toy

By Claudia Fisher
June 14, 2019 10:34 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Credit: Getty

I love cats and I do not care who knows it. My friends tried to caution me away from talking about my own precious furball, Luna, on my first date with my now boyfriend, but I ignored them because, you know what? I want nothing to do with cat haters, and I’ll shout my feline allegiance from the rooftops. Obviously I love puppies and dogs too because I’m not a monster, but kittens are my favorite baby animals of all time, and you can judge me all you want for being a cat lady. Actually, if you’re reading this, you’re probably not judging me because I’m assuming you have a cat or at least are interested in acquiring one. So, let me tell you about Luna and the only toy she likes.

Luna is the quintessential scaredy cat. Footsteps send her reeling into my closet; loud sneezes, she’s diving under the bed. Fishing rod toys with dangling feathers? Her eyes get wide and she bolts. When she’s not terrified of items other cats seem to enjoy, she’s indifferent. I’ve spent hundreds of dollars on basic products and intricate toys just to leave things like “cat caves” accumulating dust in a corner and feathered flyers dangling as if they’re some strange attempt at home decor.

The only thing Luna actually, actively uses is this interactive scratcher ($13; Every time she’s done using the litter box, she beelines to the scratcher and furiously claws away in what I’m assuming is her version of hand washing. In the middle of the night, I hear her clawing her little heart out, tearing the corrugated center to shreds (I have to stockpile replacements pads). The scratcher is how she spends most of her time, really.

Credit: Walmart

Buy It! Morovilla Turbo Interactive Scratcher Cat Toy, $13;

Luna is far from the only enigmatic feline to absolutely love her Turbo Scratcher. For one, the cat toy has an average rating of 4.7 stars on Walmart, with one reviewers — who has 17 indoor rescue cats — even calling it, “without a doubt, one of the BEST cat toys ever invented!!!” Maybe the embedded catnip has them all hooked, but cats everywhere really do seem to love the toy.

In addition to the glowing Walmart reviews, cardboard cat scratchers like this (with a toy ball around the plastic edge) are featured prominently throughout cat expert Beth Stern’s Instagram — which, if you don’t know, is a gem of an account dedicated to the hundreds of cats and kittens she and husband Howard foster.

I’ve tried other scratch pad designs with Luna — like towers and massaging beds — but this is the only one she ever actually used. Maybe she likes feeling grounded on a sturdy floorboard instead of pawing at a teetering post, but all I know for sure is that speculating her reasons makes no difference to what she uses and doesn’t.

And $13 (plus replacement pads at $4 a pop) is definitely worth it to ensure my equally skittish and apathetic furbaby is getting enough mental and physical activity in her indoor life.