Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon
My Rating: 5 out of 5
Hexbug Cat Toy (Nano Nitro) Product Overview
The Hexbug Cat Toy is a cool set of automated vibrating bugs for entertaining your cat. These bugs are designed to work on hard surfaces like wood floors or tile. The bugs are essentially a counterweight with some flimsy little rubber legs and as the counterweight rotates it makes the bugs bounce erratically across the floor.
This results in an unpredictable path of movement which is ideal for entertaining your feline friends. While you can buy all sorts of Hexbug toys this particular set is a package of 5 and comes in a variety of different colors.
All of the bugs have the exact same functionality, the only difference is the specific color. If you order them from Amazon you’re likely to get a random variety of colors as opposed to the specific colors right on the box, but I’ll freely admit that the color really shouldn’t have any impact on your cat’s ability to play with the toys.
My General Take:
My personal opinion, as someone who has a home that is all wood floor or tile, is that these are amazing cat toys. There’s a few reasons for this.
They provide randomness. A lot of hands off or automated cat toys perform the exact same action over and over resulting in a very predictable pattern that your cat tends to get bored of incredibly quickly.
When your cat gets bored your cat ignores the toy. While you can of course rotate new toys in a cycle to maintain interest it is far easier to provide a toy that has randomness built right in!
Another major perk is the fact that they are almost completely automated. If you have an open space you can flip them on then they’ll bounce around while your cat bats them all over the place. They are designed to right themselves when knocked over sideways or even upside down so that your cat won’t end up bored after one or two quick swipes at them.
On top of that each Hexbug Cat Toy has proven very durable. They’ve taken a solid beating from both of my cats and kept on ticking. Check out my full video review below if you’re interested.
I will admit there are a few items worth noting from a negative standpoint. First and foremost the Hexbugs are pretty small. This means that your cat can easily pick them up and start chewing on them and potentially tear them to shreds or eat them. I’d be less concerned for the toy itself and more concerned that your cat would accidentally eat part of the toy (especially the battery) that could cause some serious illness.
I’d recommend you keep an eye on your cat while they play with the Hexbugs. The only other item I’d call out is that if you have a house that isn’t some form of hard or solid floor (tile or wood) then these bugs will not work at all. I repeat, if your house is fully carpeted you’ll need to find an alternative. A large plastic tray of some sort will work fine so long as it has very short sides (half an inch even would contain the bugs).
I’m incredibly happy with my purchase of these toys and would definitely recommend them to others.
- They require zero setup, they come fully functional right out of the box. They have one simple on off sliding switch to operate them.
- They provide a completely random pattern that keeps your cats engaged and entertained for long periods of time.
- You can easily run multiple Hexbugs at the same time to entertain multiple cats.
- You can easily design your own mazes or castles with cardboard to keep your cats guessing on where the bugs will go.
- The Hexbugs have proven incredibly durable and have taken consistent beatings from my cats for months.
- Changing out the batteries is simple and cheap. Given the cost of the bugs themselves you’ll want to replace the batteries.
- They don’t operate at all on floors that are not solid. If you have all carpeted floors you’ll need a large plastic tray or a large cookie sheet. I’ll freely admit this does limit the fun for you and for your cat, but it works.
- Even though they are automated you should monitor any play sessions:
- You’ll ensure you can find the bug once your cat is finished playing.
- You’ll make sure the bug doesn’t sneak some place you can’t reach it. One of mine ended up under a cupboard and took hours to die.
- You’ll ensure the bugs are not chewed up or swallowed on accident.
- They do easily get batted under couches and chairs which often means you have to dig them out.
- They are a bit pricy to get started, but the amount of time that my cats have spent playing with them makes it well worth the investment.
What’s In the Box:
This is one of those products were you can see every single thing in the box given the way it is packed. There are 5 Hexbugs in the package and they do come with the batteries included and already installed. They are fully functional right out of the packaging. There’s nothing else in there.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- What surfaces do they work on?
- They will only work on hard surfaces like wood floors, tile or linoleum.
- If you have carpet they will not work on the carpet.
- If you’re still interested you can use something like a large cookie sheet or a large tray of some sort to contain the bugs in a carpeted home.
- This set of bugs will not climb in the mazes (which are more geared toward humans anyway).
- Do these bugs climb?
- This set of Hexbugs is not designed to climb. These Hexbugs are geared as cat toys and thus don’t need climbing capabilities.
- Do the Hexbugs come with batteries?
- Yes, each Hexbug comes with a battery already installed.
- How long do the batteries last?
- My experience is that the Hexbugs will operate for quite some time on a brand new battery out of the box. I haven’t measured myself, but I’d estimate a few hours at least.
- Can I replace the batteries if they die?
- Yes, you can absolutely replace the batteries yourself.
- What type of batteries do they take?
- They take LR44 – AG13 batteries. You can find those replacement batteries here.
Wrapping It up:
I bought the Hexbug Cat Toy (Nano Nitro) 5 pack on a whim thinking they might be fun for a few minutes, I never expected that I’d get as much use out of them as I have today. So far they have proven to be my go to toy. They are hands off and it is easy to keep an eye on your kitties while they play. Compared to other automated toys they have significant advantages, the two key things that come to mind are:
- The random patterns work far better than the auto laser pointer systems that I have seen at work.
- They are incredibly durable, many of the string tossing systems I’ve used have been torn apart by my cats very quickly.
Could Hexbug do anything better? The one key item I’d call out is that it’d be awesome if you could set a timer of some sort on them. But if you’re watching your cats play with them it shouldn’t be a problem anyway.
If you’ve used these Hexbugs at home and have any experiences with them you’d like to share please comment below or shoot me a note at Craig@StuffCatsWant.com so I can update this article to reflect your thoughts.
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