Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Design Failure

I'm always on the search for affordable, functional, and stylish cat goods.  I thought this scratcher might fit the bill, but as it turns out, it seriously fails in the "functional" department.

Nearly every time it's climbed, it falls.  And when Bean tried scratching it,  down it went.

I suppose it still provides some fun when turned on its side, but so does the box it came in.

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37 comments:

  1. My parents had a similar functionality failure. Daddy taped/glued weight inside the bottom to keep it upright.

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  2. Oh that's too bad, I was going to ask you where you got it, seems like my kitty would love something she could stretch and scratch on that's not furniture!

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  3. My problem solving brain immediately tried to come up with a fix... but short of gluing it to some weighted base....

    I'm constantly flabberghasted by what my cats like to play with. A consistent favorite (among all three) is a electric plug protector for childproofing. They all carry and bat it around; and when I throw it away after having stepped on it too many times, another will show up!

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  4. My cat's favourite toy is my hair tries. Many hours of fun and I find them in his water dish all the time.

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    1. Careful w/those. If he swallows one it could be VERY bad news.

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  5. We have the same scratcher with the same problem! Ours didn't come with a cool box either. We haven't solved the problem yet, so I'll be interested to see what everyone suggests!

    Linda

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  6. Oh, yes, and once something has fallen on them, they seem to be afraid of it forever!

    Rosemary K., Mpls, MN

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  7. How cute is Audrey looking up to Charlene like she's a big sister?! She must think Bean is just the coolest big kitty ever!!!

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  8. I'm laughing at "But so does the box it came in."

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  9. I think the IBKC should be paid to test out cat products because who else but Charlene and the babies to give something a good test run and decide if it's good or not.

    Of course, nothing beats an empty box in our house.

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    1. I second that suggestion! An active kitten like Miss Audrey would be an especially good tester. She'd put any toy through its paces!

      I concur with the folks who suggested weighting the bottom. Seems like the company that made it should have thought of that, but what can you do?!

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  10. Oh they are so cute together-Miss Audrey and Miss Bean! The only thing I can think of is somehow attaching it to a heavy weighted base...but then you miss out on the whole interior option of the thing.

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  11. We often wonder if those that create cat stuff actually HAVE cats. But hey - the kitten in the cone is pretty cute too :)

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  12. It needs something like a weighted ball inserted in the base to make it more like a giant Weeble (they wobble but they don't fall down). Or you can just embrace the knocked-over nature of it and call it a "cat-o-copia." :-)

    Tina & The Kittyboyz

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    1. Kodiak and Kenai's momMarch 19, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      Cat-o-copia. Hee!

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  13. With big Maine Coone cats you need a big scratching post. We solved the problem by making our own.

    Most big-box home improvement stores have a selection of pre-cut wood (and some even cut it for you). Or ask your favorite handyperson for scrap lumber.

    Get a 4x4 post as tall as your window sill. Hammer on two squares of 2x4 plywood -- one cat-butt sized for the top & a large one for the base. Staple old carpet scraps to the wood. Get the cheapest, scratchiest hemp rope you can and wind it around the post & staple it. Sprinkle with catnip & place by window closest to bird-feeder.

    Tah-dah! Our cats have yet to knock over or destroy the post (except for the rope).

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion :) One question, if you don't mind, how do you get it so that their claws don't get caught in the staples when scratching? (sorry if this is a silly question)

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    2. Their claws may get caught once or twice, but that's okay because their claws are retractable! The cats will work around it. My cats used to claw up trees and trees have knots to work around. The cats will adapt. If the staples come loose, tap them back in with a hammer, or remove it and re-staple.

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  14. I just moved so my kitties are in heaven with all the boxes to play with. They will be sad when I'm all done unpacking! I agree with the other commenters. Most scratchers have a wide base that prevents tipping, attaching this one to create the correct balance would fix it! Of course then it'd be less attractive!

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  15. On it's side it makes a great kitten hiding spot!
    I'd hot glue that sucker to a thin board then tell the manufacturer to pay me for fixing their design, ha! MOL

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  16. is it me or is Miss Bean getting errr... "round" these days.

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  17. So my first thought was "Is Audrey following Bean in there?" Is there room for both?

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  18. Yes - either suspend a very heavy weight inside or glue to a square piece of 3/4" plywood that has a bigger footprint than the cone. Alternatively, you could suspend it from something (sturdy bookshelf, windowsill, birdfeeder, take your pick), maybe 4-6" off the ground, and turn it into a swinging scratching post.

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  19. Perhaps you can attach it to a weighted square base....

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  20. One of my cats will only use a cone rope scratcher and it took forever to find a replacement for the one she scratched thru; the one I found was similar to this except mine has a 12"X12" carpeted, plastic base attached to it so it doesn't fall over. If you can figure out how to attach the bottom of the cone to a base, you can have something usable.

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    1. Use L - brackets to attach the base to the cone. You can find them in any hardware store and some Kmart-type stores. They are often used to hold up small shelves.
      -anonymous michigander

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  21. I agree with an earlier post that suggests IBKC should get a contract to test cat toys. It would be profitable for any cat toy maker to look into this idea. And oh little Audrey! You are so adorable with all those tabby spots. I am smitten! Miss Charlene, the Queen of Butterbean, you are looking wonderful yourself!

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  22. That is a kitten-sized scratching post--and where is the base! Bean needs an Ultimate Scratching Post :)

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  23. I suspect that Audrey wishes that the cone could be turned into a giant megaphone. Then she could WAAAAAHH! into it all the time. Don't get me wrong, I love the yelly monkey-kittens something fierce, but you know if they could amplify their meow-yelling, they would. ;)

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  24. I love how we keep seeing a cat butt sticking out of this thing. ROFL! :D Sorry it's not more functional! It's made for some adorable photos!

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  25. The last two photos: "Monkey" see, "Monkey" do.

    A recently purchased water bowl fountain was a failure at our house. Two out of three kitties were terrified of it.

    Maru in Japan always has the coolest new cat items.

    Andrea in Calif (prayers continue for Wylla)

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  26. This scratcher might be ok for kittens if weighted, but it's too short for an adult cat to stretch/scratch on. I keep trying to find time to build my own, but with no other hands to help me I'm stuck. Can't do everything alone :) Like Andrea, continuing prayer for Wylla.

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  27. I was given the SmartCat ultimate scratcher as a gift (they sell it on amazon and other places) It's very sturdy (and tall) and won't tip over. I think it's worth it's price. The only thing is that it is woven sisal not rope sisal and cats can be very picky about their preferred scratching textures.

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  28. Weights firmly sewn to the outside of the base? I think you can get heavy rubber rings that can go around the outer edge of the base. Stack up a few of those and they might be enough to prevent tipping.

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  29. Oh but it is soooooooooo much fun for playing "hide and seek" as in that 1st picture ? No ? :-))))

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  30. I think the tower needs a stabilizing base. I would try gluing the tower to a square of heavy cardboard or plywood that is slightly bigger than the bottom of the tower - I would try a hot glue gun & if that didn't work then I'd carpentry glue that is calked on and provides a heavy bead inside and outside of the cone. Of course the adhesive would have to be non toxic to kitties. I'm sure any Home Depot place could steer you towards the right stuff.

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