OPINION: My cat is too strong; pet toys need to be more durable

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These claws could kill a man — or a multicolored ribbon. (Photo illustration by Dene Dryden)

There is nothing that makes me happier than coming home with a brand-new toy for my cat and watching him run up to me in his own four-legged version of excitement.

There’s a drawback, though —I know in my heart that the more excited he is about a toy, the sooner I am going to have to replace it.

While I watch him fly through the house, dragging his feather boa, I can see the future mess I will have to clean up as the feathers gently float to the ground after him. He will also chew off all of the remaining feathers he can until there is nothing left, along with all of the elastic strings on his other toys.

The power of my furry friend to bite and kick his toys is something that pet toy companies seem to either severely underestimate, or just ignore entirely. My cat is stronger than his cat toys, always.

I imagine I spend around $100 on toys for my pet every year. Most of that is from his birthday, Christmas presents and sometimes a Halloween costume. That number may seem high, especially since, according to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, most pet owners only spend about $30 on cat toys. Still, my cat deserves the best.

Not only are the toys themselves expensive, but they are not durable enough for the price. My cat ruins his toys in a matter of days, sometimes a matter of seconds. Seriously, he bit off the solid plastic handle of his brand new toy two minutes after I started playing with him.

There is also a problem with cat trees being horribly put together. Unless I spend more than $100 or so on the tree alone, it usually comes apart in the same amount of time as the other toys.

Pet toys being so weak may be a way for companies to make more money off of pet owners, but we are milked for all we are worth in every other area — food, vet bills and more. It would be nice to be able to have our adorable pet’s toys last for more than a week or two.

Regardless, I will never stop buying toys for my pet — most likely something the companies are depending on. However, it would be nice to trust that there is at least one toy out there that would last through my cat’s torment and not break the bank in the process.

The pets of college students like me, whether they’re cats, dogs, birds or anything else, are not just animals. They are family to come home to, best friends and confidants, spoiled-rotten children who make it up to us by helping with anxiety and depression. They distract us from problems in our lives by just being cute.

Please, for the love and enjoyment of all our pets, make these toys and trees more suited for our insanely strong animals. Pet owners deserve it, and so do our pets.

Alycea Hammond is a Collegian staff writer and a sophomore in English. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to opinion@kstatecollegian.com.

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