Almost a year ago, I reported that Chloe was enjoying her new felted wool ball — and that it was a perfect travel toy, because it won’t harm hotel walls and doesn’t make noise when it bounces and ricochets. More recently, I told you that my love was fading, because Chloe had learned to settle down with her felt ball toys and chew off bits of the wool she’d managed to tease off the surface.
Then I went to the BlogPaws pet bloggers’ conference and met the owner of PurrfectPlay.com (Pam Wheelock, who describes herself as “head honcho, cat soother & dog walker”). I’d mentioned PurrfectPlay.com’s felted balls in my first post, because it was the only felted toy ball I could find on line, but I’d never given a PurrfectPlay.com ball to Chloe. We’d been buying felt balls made by A Cheerful Pet, which are carried in our local high-end pet shops.
I told Pam that Chloe loved her felt balls, but I’d retired them from play because she was ingesting too much felt. She handed me a PurrfectPlay.com ball, refused my cash, and told me to try it out on Chloe.
I’m not a felting expert, so all I can tell you from personal experience is that the felt balls sold by A Cheerful Pet are engagingly colorful (PurrfectPlay.com uses dye-free wool, which has a brown-to-beige appeal of its own) and they’re a bit squishier than the PurrfectPlay.com balls. The stiffness and solidity of the PurrfectPlay.com balls make all the difference: No matter how hard she’s tried, Chloe has not been able to pull any of the ball’s wool off its surface to chew. (Should she succeed, the ball comes with a cotton cover and instructions telling you how to use it and your washing machine/dryer to restore the ball to smoothness.)
Even though it’s heavier and less squishy than A Cheerful Pet’s product, the PurrfectPlay.com felt ball is still soft enough to be quiet and safe for walls and furniture. And Chloe loves it. It’s the one toy that she’s deeply reluctant to drop, even in the face of top-quality treats. She’s a fairly big small dog (about the size of a Jack Russell Terrier or a Boston Terrier), and she’s happy with a 2″ diameter ball.