Thursday, March 19, 2009

Animal Testing

Over the course of months I've been doing a little research and animal testing of my own to find the right size, shape, and color that cats will find more appealing. I guess this prolonged toy testing is also a sign that our recession is getting worse. I made a few Cat Bombs in different colors — yellow, blue, red, and orange and gave to a few people to road-test.

According to Cornell Center for Materials Research most people think that dogs and cats see only gray, but that's more urban legend than fact. To perceive daylight spectrum colors, one uses optical cells referred to as "cones." Humans and other primates have 3 cones — red, green, and blue, these colors also compose the colors projected from monitors and TV screens, while dogs and cats only have 2: — blue and green. Orange and red appear brown or to cats.

Cat's eyes are designed primarily to detect motion, especially in darkness. Cats don't really see in the dark — and their eyes don't glow either. Their eyes have a reflective membrane called the tapetum lucidum which reflect light back passing over the cones. This allows their eyes magnify available light, even in the almost complete darkness.

This is Ann Richards, she noticed the blue Cat Bomb right away. She prefers the ring at the end of the toy and attacks it with gusto. It was almost impossible to pry it free from her grip.

Aung San Suu Kyi didn't care much for the red Cat Bomb. I even dangled it in front of her face. Usually she prefers chasing plastic bottle caps around the floor.

But notice what happens when Suu Kyi is presented with the blue one. She rolls around and chews at it like a ferocious wild animal. Cats tend to like toys that dangle and roll, but cat owners like toys that they can find and retrieve easily from odd places such as behind the fridge or under the couch. Bright colors benefit both.

Cat Bomb is not treated with any kind of catnip spray. It's made from 100% cotton and stuffed with loose wool. I’ve found that this 3” proto-mouse shape is more appealing to a cat than a ball. It fits perfectly in their mouths — and of course what cat doesn’t like string? The tail is about 2’ long and weighted with a crochet loop at the end, the perfect length for psyching-out a cat with a fake throw. The next toy to test is the Cat Dumpling.

No comments: