The folks who created the Mousr thought of just about everything: This mouse-shaped, smartphone-controlled cat toy zips around like the real thing, has a replaceable tail and can even right itself if it gets stuck. However, there's one thing it can't control: Finicky felines.
Shaped like its namesake — but a bit larger than the rodent — the Mousr has a small head with infrared sensors connected to a body with two large wheels. At the back is a tail, whose end can be swapped for either a wire with a feathery appendage or a string with a small pouch of catnip at the end.
The Mousr's battery is good for about 15 to 20 minutes of play, depending on how aggressively you move it. When it comes time to recharge it, you put it inside a cute little "house" that connects via USB to a power source.
Once you connect the Mousr to its smartphone app (Android and iOS) via Bluetooth, you can either drive it manually, or start one of three automated programs. In either mode, you can adjust the speed at which the Mousr moves, as well as how it flicks its tail. It's all very easy to learn, and the app has a small tutorial to help guide newbies.
Using the manual controls, the Mousr was incredibly easy to zip around. I especially liked that, if it got stuck, it would try to extricate itself. For example, if it gets turned upside down, the button to flick its tail is used to flip the Mousr right-side up.
The Auto-play programs (of which there are three) can be customized for energetic or more lethargic cats. Start up one of these programs, and the Mousr will move about on its own.
Unfortunately, neither of my cats — an 11-year-old and a 4-year-old — were terribly interested in the Mousr. The most they showed was a passive curiosity as it zipped across the floor. Neither the manual mode nor the Auto-play programs captured their attention as much as the real thing.
At one point, the younger of my two cats would prance back and forth across my living room, chasing and being chased by the Mousr, but this lasted no more than a few minutes before he went back to licking himself.
The Mousr does everything its creators set out to do, and it does it well. The robot is fun and easy to control, you can swap out its tails, and it can even zip around on its own. Whether your cats will appreciate all this is another matter. Ultimately, mine were more intrigued by a piece of string than by this $149 toy. But, if you’ve got the cheddar, it might be worth a try.