Like so many other animals, my three cats and poodle-retriever mix go bonkers for a laser pen. It seems they can't get enough of that ever-elusive red dot, so my wrist and patience seem to give out a lot quicker than their determination to "catch" that pesky light. That's why I had such high hopes for this seemingly no-fail toy—the BOLT by FroliCat, a battery-powered laser toy that promises to take over laser dot duties from weary (read: lazy) pet owners. I couldn't wait to receive it!
Review: BOLT Interactive Laser Pet Toy
Upon opening the box, I instantly liked its super space-agey look, which reminded me of the EVE hover robot from WALL-E. After inserting the required four double-A batteries, I set it on the piano bench, hit the BOLT's on button, and waited for the furballs to notice the laser dot that was being thrown on the ground, back and forth, in an elliptical pattern. And notice they did…but not the red dot. They were far more interested in the mechanical whirring noises coming from the BOLT. These distracting sounds as well as the source light (reflected off a little mirror from the BOLT's "head") kept their attention fixed on the toy itself rather than the dot. I tried my best to direct their attention toward the dot by pointing to the floor, walking over to it and flailing, encouraging them to "Go get it!"—the same words I use when I manually control a laser pen for them.
When they finally did notice the dot, they simply eyed it without taking immediate action. Eventually, Molly (7) pounced a couple of times, but then stopped and walked away. Riley (8) never got up from him lying position and if the dot came close to him, he lazily swatted it. That was the extent of his interest. All the while, however, they kept looking up at the "robot,"—as if aware that it was the dot's puppet master! Murphy (9), pictured above, never pounced, but remained mesmerized by the gizmo's buzzing. My pup, Annie (1), appeared the most interested initially, but her interest waned after approximately five minutes. I suspect that it was because of the predictability of the laser's movements. Although the light moved back and forth in erratic stops and starts, it never seemed to divert from the same elliptical path. Perhaps the movements were too robotic and un-lifelike to be any fun? There's a lever on the top of the BOLT that allows you to change the angle of the mirror, lowering or raising the dot if you want to project it onto the wall or ceiling. I tried this, but it didn't liven things up any. My furry friends had spoken, so I turned off the BOLT. Of course, this is just my experience, and judging from the positive Amazon reviews (and the company's cute video montage of a bunch of critters seemingly having a blast with it), your kitty or pup may end up taking a liking to it more than my finicky furballs did.