It’s true. The Cat Connection sells cat toys made with real fur and other animal materials. In fact, our all-time best seller, Rosie Rat, is made almost entirely of natural materials sourced directly from animals. We recognize the complicated ethical questions that such a toy posses – questions related not only to animal welfare, but also to sustainability, responsible sourcing and the realities of living with an animal with biological needs much different than our own.
That said, whatever the personal aversion to a toy such as Rosie Rat may be, the reality is that all felines are obligate carnivores, meaning that they eat meat, meat and only meat. No grains, no vegetables, no fruits – only meat (including organs, fur, feathers, bones, etc. if they had their way). While it may be depressing to think of the animals being used to produce your cat’s food, it is absolutely essential for the cat’s well being. It is, in fact, the price of sharing your life with a cat.
Many argue that this is fine for food, but that toys are non-essential and should therefore be made with other materials. Ignoring the fact that toys are essential to feline health, the Cat Connection maintains the strictest standards for what we sell, requiring that all products – food, toys, litter, etc. – support the biological realities of the domestic cat. These toys, though perhaps gruesome to us, are perfect for a feline. Not only do these toys activate the cat’s prey drive through multiple sensory channels, but the materials they are made of are much safer than the materials used to make most cat toys – wire, safety pins, fabric, plastic, etc. Add to this the fact that most of these toys are produced by hand in the United States using responsibly sourced, local materials, well… they have few, if any, marks against them.
If you would prefer to buy your cats toys that are not made of animal materials, that is completely fine and we do understand. The point of this explanation is not to change your mind, but rather to assure you that the Cat Connection carefully weighs the pros and cons of toys made with fur, feathers and hide, as we do with all of our products. We understand that a percentage of our customers will not purchase these toys and that we may even lose a few as a result, but have decided that it is worth it to offer such perfect toys to our customer base as a whole. To us, these toys meet the high standards we have set to appropriately address the biological needs of a cat, and that is sufficient.