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In my house is a 12-pound orange tabby who we sometimes (affectionately) call “Chaos.” Our cat, whose real name is Peaty, is a little over a year old, with the boundless energy of feline youth. I’m constantly on the hunt for ways to keep him entertained and out of trouble. So when I got the chance to test the Potaroma Catnip Wall Toy that recently captivated the cats of TikTok, I leaped at the opportunity.
The Potaroma Catnip Wall Toy is part enrichment toy and part treat, featuring four rotating balls of catnip, silvervine, and something called “cat sugar” mounted to a plastic base. It’s recommended for cats three months and up, and, in some cases, cats are lining up for a chance to lick, bite, scratch, or rub their furry cheeks against the toy.
On Amazon, it has more than 1,000 reviews and a four-star rating. But does the Potaroma Catnip Wall Toy live up to its hype and viral status? And what exactly is cat sugar anyway?
Catnip, Silvervine, and Cat Sugar
The Potaroma Catnip Wall Toy includes four substances for cats: silvervine, catnip, silvervine fruit, and cat sugar.
Most people are familiar with catnip and the energy or stupor that many cats experience after exposure. You may, however, be less familiar with silvervine or with cat sugar.
Silvervine: An Alternative to Catnip
Like catnip, silvervine is a plant that often elicits a response in felines. Native to Japan and Korea, silvervine often appears in cat toys in that part of the world.
In a 2017 study published in the BMC Veterinary Research journal, researchers presented 100 cats (and nine tigers) with catnip, silvervine, and a few other substances known or believed to stimulate cats.
Only two-thirds of the study’s cats responded to catnip, but 80% reacted to silvervine. In fact, 75% of the cats that didn’t react to catnip did respond to silvervine, indicating that it is an effective alternative to the more traditional plant.
Cat Sugar: Next-Level Cat Energy
Potaroma’s cat sugar is made of catnip, maltose, and isinglass, among other things. While cats can’t taste sweets and they don’t need high levels of carbohydrates in their diets, small amounts are okay in moderation.
According to Potaroma’s packaging, the cat sugar offers balanced nutrition and helps to improve cats’ eyesight, stimulate drinking of water, and move hairballs along. Isinglass, which comes from fish, is particularly noted for its beneficial properties.
Unboxing the Catnip Wall Toy
The Potaroma Catnip Wall Toy comes in a small box with the silvervine, catnip, and silvervine fruit balls already attached. The cat sugar is in a separate package. Just open the pack, remove the backing, and stick the cat sugar to the base.
The toy is intended to be mounted and comes with sticky pads ready to go. However, a small card in the packaging warns that the adhesive is strong and may cause damage if you try to remove it.
Not wanting to risk it, I opted to use the clear “residue-free” replacement pads that Potaroma includes. It was challenging to peel off the paper backing, but they stick well; I haven’t had any issues with the toy coming loose, even on my textured walls.
Some cat owners skip the mounting altogether and simply set the toy on the floor.
Potaroma recommends limiting time with the balls to help maintain cats’ interest and keep the balls fresh. To that end, the toy comes with a plastic lid for each ball, allowing you to cover them up as needed.
As with all cat toys, monitoring cats’ play is key to keeping them safe.
Peaty’s Response to the Catnip Wall Toy
Peaty was really into the cat sugar.
When I tried to cover the sugar to see what he did with the catnip and silvervine, he grabbed at my hands with a wild look in his eyes. About 15 minutes later, he was running around the house in full crazy cat mode, chasing his shadow and also nothing at all, but having fun doing it.
Peaty’s response to the other three balls was a bit more subdued. When the cat sugar wasn’t available (even after he attempted to bite the lid off), he rubbed his cheeks on the catnip and silvervine balls a few times, flopped about, and then wandered away.
Peaty, I’m learning, is just not that into catnip or silvervine. Even so, we’ll occasionally catch him rubbing his cheeks on the toy.
Unfortunately, the cat sugar he loved is already gone. The sticky back isn’t very strong (something that a handful of Amazon reviewers confirmed), and the dome of cat sugar snapped from its base after it fell on the floor just a few days after we put the toy up.
Given Peaty’s leisurely enjoyment of the toy, I usually leave the lids off the balls. Wiping them down with a damp paper towel seems to help revitalize their scent and get his attention again, even if it’s only for a moment.
So Is the Potaroma Catnip Wall Toy Worth It?Find on Amazon
The answer is maybe. Cats are, after all, fickle creatures. As I found with Peaty, you won’t get a TikTok-worthy response out of every cat.
The good news is that Potaroma offers a money-back guarantee. If you or your cats are unhappy with the product, they promise to refund your purchase price.
The majority of reviews are positive, though. Many cat parents report that their feline friends loved the toy, while others liked the opportunity to test out different kinds of stimulants. And if that’s not enough motivation to try it out, there’s always TikTok.