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470 of 499 people found the following review helpful
on January 18, 2011
We first purchased a "Da Bird" cat toy, based on its mention on the ASPCA website. Our cats loved the toy from the start: enough so that we purchased a second one along with some feather refills. The cats get a ton of enjoyment and exercise with these, and having two toys allowed us to play with both cats at once.

Unfortunately, during one session, a few weeks after buying them, my wife felt a burning/stinging on her hand where she was holding the wand. Upon closer inspection it was apparent that the wand, made of fiberglass, was damaged, and splintering at the "handle" end, leaving dozens of shards of fiberglass in the palm of her hand and fingertips. The shards are painful and tiny. Removal was only possible with tweezers and a flashlight; even then only a few of the largest shards could be pulled from her hand. She had to let the rest of them "work their way out" over the next few days.

Needless to say, we were alarmed by the hazard Da Bird was causing, not only to us but more seriously to our cats. -Our boy cat is especially fond of attacking the rigid wand end of `fishing pole' type cat toys. Had he gotten a paw or his mouth on the splintering fiberglass wand, he likely would have been in real pain and/or danger.

Doing a simple Google search of "Da Bird fiberglass splinters" we came across several product review sites and online cat forums where people had suffered from the fiberglass splinters, however these warnings were not known to us when buying the item online for the first time.

Given that Da Bird's manufacturer, Go Cat, prides itself on "Quality interactive cat toys handcrafted in the USA", my wife contacted them in early 2009, hoping that they might issue a warning to resellers of the toy, post a warning in the toy's packaging and change to a more safe and durable material to prevent serious injuries to cats.
In spite of (or perhaps because of) the skin injury mentioned, they never responded to our letter.

There are certainly other materials that could serve as the wand, without the fiberglass splinters included! The fact that GoCat hasn't improved the safety of the product after several years of this issue being known speaks poorly of the company and its leadership.

We still use the product (two of them, actually), but had to tape the ends with electrical tape in an effort to "seal off" the fiberglass shards that are exposed at the tip of every wand, (exposed even when the wand is not damaged). The manufacturer does put small rubber caps on the wand ends, but they aren't very secure and both of them fell off of the ends after a short while. We're also careful to keep the toys stowed away from the cats when not in use (BTW this also keeps toys interesting for cats: if they know a toy "lives" in a place they cannot normally access, they're a lot more excited when it comes out to play!)

One other tip for users: Our cats destroyed the feather ends pretty quickly so we've ordered a lot of refills - then a family member put an end to those purchases by making some cool, sturdy attachments out of scrap leather and fur from a fabric shop: we call them the "bat" and the "mouse", and we haven't had to order refills in a year!!
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139 of 145 people found the following review helpful
on May 9, 2007
Verified Purchase
Before introducing them to Da Bird, my two indoor cats were none too impressed with any of the myriad of cat toys I had purchased for them. In fact, they were much more enthralled by a plain old drawstring that I had removed from a pair of sweatpants than by any of the various mice, balls, or wand toys that I futilely dangled in front of them. Da Bird, however, has them in an absolute frenzy, so much so that they know it by name. If I even motion toward the living room, where we typically engage in our Da Bird sessions, the cats will come darting in immediately in eager anticipation. I don't know if it's the the colorful feathers, or the spiral flying motion, but something about Da Bird drives my cats wild. I never before had heard my cats growl or hiss, until the first time they each proudly captured the bird in their jaws. They will chase, chew, and bat at the thing until exhaustion, and not boredom, brings and end to the play time. Many thanks to the inventor of this toy, for it has allowed me to throw out my cluttered congeries of useless mice and balls, although I'm still hanging on to the sweatpants drawstring.

A note of caution...If you want each bird to last as long as possible, it's a good idea to stash the toy away after use. Otherwise, you may return to find a shabby, featherless, and rather un-aerodynamic object. Even with proper storage, I still replace the bird about once every 3 weeks or so due to wear. Also, I found that the string needs to be replaced every so often as well. Rather than purchase an entire new wand, I simply bought a spool of elastic stretchrite thread and replace it myself.
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80 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on January 25, 2005
This is ESSENTIAL for truly enjoying your cat(s) and having them truly enjoying themselves...it's a cat toy that they'll actually USE, not one that just looks good in the store and then collects dust as soon as you get it home.

I discovered it on the cats dot about dot com forum, and it's totally lived up to all the raves it got there. (BTW, that forum is an excellent resource for cat info in general, especially cat food information.)

The key with using DaBird is to occasionally let your cat capture the feather prey so it won't get frustrated and stop responding altogether.

Also it's good to make the cat STALK the DaBird...put the feathers behind something and just make noise with it, soon your cat will approach it on tiptoe, crouch, and spring. It's a beautiful sight to watch all the predatory instincts come out in your otherwise normally subdued domesticated kitty.

Using this toy say 15 minutes a day with your cat will provide it with plenty of exercise, mental as well as physical, and this in turn will keep your cat happier and less likely to vent its energy on your plants, rug, etc. It can also provide YOU with some exercise, too! Sure beats watching TV all the time...

I'd give this TEN stars if I could!
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2006
Verified Purchase
mousie loves birdies! she likes to watch them at the feeder. oh, she'll chase balls and pounce on fuzzy rodent toys, but birds are where it's at!

i can't really add anything to all the other glowing reviews of this product. just look at the customer photos of the cats playing; how can you resist?

but, i want to add a note about the size of this toy. if you have a small apartment, or crowded furniture, you may want to get the 3-sectional rod and use only one or two pieces, instead of the original 1-piece rod, which is 3 feet long. and/or roll up the string (which is also nearly 3 feet long). otherwise, you may not have room to use it.

although you can dangle it like most teasers, the true beauty of it is when you make it 'fly.' you'll need about 12 feet to swing it in an arc. i use mine by standing on the second step up, and swinging it between two opposing doorways. making it fly in a circle is difficult, because the rod and sting are so long. again, you can use the shorter sectional rod, or roll up the string a bit.

lastly, don't settle for cheap imitations. it's not just a bunch of feathers on a string. there's a swivel-attachment, and two wing feathers positioned in such a way as to make it spin as it flies. a regular soft-feather cluster may flutter, but the spinning motion is closer to looking and sounding like a bird flapping.

if you don't have wing feathers to use for repairs to this toy, you may want to splurge on a couple replacements, or the two-in-one deal where you get the toy and 2 replacement birds for 12 dollars. again, slapping some feathers on a string doesn't give you the same results as this carefully designed and constructed "lure."
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on April 16, 2011
Da Bird is my cats' absolute favorite interactive toy. I've bought quite a few of them over the years, including the version with the 2-piece rod that pulls apart. I find it comes apart by accident too easily. I had to glue and duct-tape it and finally gave up on it. Get the Da Bird with the one-piece rod instead and you and your cat will be much happier with it!
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
There once was a cat named Tapeworm McRabies.

Tapers liked being inside because it was warm and the people fed him and gave him many nice cat beds to ignore and a very expensive chair that he liked to sleep on.

However, it was also pretty boring inside; although the scratching post and the scratching couch weren't half bad, the other indoor toys consisted primarily of laughable little balls with bells in them, mice that didn't move by themselves, and a red dot the people would shine around...sometimes he chased that, but not ever catching it made it grow old fast. So instead, Tapers would spend most of the day outside, harassing the local lizard population and ensuring that his people would buy the neighbors a new screen door in the near future. When he wasn't allowed outside, he would meow and pout by knocking things on the floor to show his displeasure until the people agreed that they also would be happier to let him outside.

One day the female person was watching the moving picture box called "GetdownfromtheTV!" like she too often did and saw a terribly named show called "My Cat from Hell." Tapers would NEVER appear on a show like that he knew...he didn't know why she watched it. But right after, she went to the "Badcatgetawayfromthecomputer!" and said something about getting a new toy like the one she'd seen on GetdownfromtheTV! Tapers didn't think too much of it...she had lots of toys.

A week later though she came out into the living room while Tapers was sleeping on the most expensive chair in the house, stretched out and comfy. He slitted his eyes at the intrusion as it became apparent she wanted to talk to him. And then he saw IT.

BIRD! Bird in the house! Hunt. Kill. Wait...it kept jumping up and down and over his head, flapping and flapping as it whirled around the living room madly. Tapers jumped up and crouched and leapt again. Sometimes it would almost seem to hover right over his head and then pop up just as he sprung for it. He stood up, just in time for it to zip over his head and oops! Over he went while the female and male laughed incessantly not seeming to notice THE BIRD intruding on the house!

Finally he caught it and grinned his "I just caught a bird grin" as he started to stalk off to play with it in private and maybe have a nice pre-dinner snack. But it was still alive! Tugging at his mouth! Then the male crouched down and made him let go...that was just mean!

But there it was again...he chased it and caught it again and again and again until he was breathless. Finally the humans gave him a treat and he slunk back to jump up on the nice hand sewn leather and solid wood chair and went to sleep....

The next day it happened again...and the day after that, each time while one of the humans stood nearby with a weird pole in hand, laughing. But Tapers enjoyed it...outdoors was still a far more fun place to go when not sleeping or eating...but indoors wasn't so bad either...not so long as it was infested with birds.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on January 4, 2014
Verified Purchase
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my cat managed to squeeze himself through the closet and chew up Da bird. He was chewing up the feathers and accidentally swallowed the metal piece that connects the string with the birdie. I took him to the Vet (wtf with pet X-rays! they r so expensive!!!) Fingers crossed for him to overcome this!!!!!!

DO NOT BUY THIS TOY!!! IT IS DANGEROUS!!!!!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2005
This toy looks very simple, but the way the feathers are arranged allows the "bird" to twirl in the air in a way that really drives my cats crazy - they just want to try to grab it out of the air. When it lands they run over to try to get it. It's great exercise for them, and for me. I've used replacement feather "birds" that aren't the real deal, and somehow they just don't spin right in the air. The real deal is cheap enough, just go for it! You won't be disappointed.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on April 2, 2011
This was a big hit with our cats, but fiberglass splinters have been embedded in our hands after only three sessions. It was impossible to get out all of the slivers. The company really needs to revisit their design.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 14, 2011
Verified Purchase
My 2 year old kitties go nuts immediately. I've never seen them "flying" like this. I am not sure what makes DaBird so special, but they both LOVE it! One cat hissed at the "bird" several times after she catches it. Also you may not believe but they started to recognize the word "DaBird" and when I ask them if they want to play DaBird, they get excited and start meowing!

Our bird last only a week. We're getting into expensive habit but if you want your cat fly, get DaBird.
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