Floppy Fish Cat Toy Review

Interactive cat toys offer enrichment that your cat may otherwise not receive in their environment; however, finding one that is safe and made from quality materials can sometimes be difficult. We tested the viral Potaroma Flopping Fish cat toy to see if it engaged the minds and bodies of our cat testers.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: November 7, 2023 | 4 min read

cat inspecting floppy fish toy

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When a product has 28,000+ five-star ratings, it usually means that the good people of the internet have deemed it a winner. But with the rise of “fake reviews” to garner purchases, we all know that our beloved star system can’t always be trusted. 

Entering the viral Potaroma Flopping Fish toy listing into Fakespot—a handy website that susses out fake reviews—shows these reviews are genuine. The listing received an A rating—impressive. With that in mind, I decided to put the toy to the test. 

Did my cats, Luna and Lucy, enjoy playing with the floppy fish toy? Did the toy survive playtime, or did it die in a few weeks, like other interactive toys I’ve purchased? Bonus: We tested this product out on another one of our furry friends. Yes, dogs can play with this cat toy, too.

What Is the Potaroma Flopping Fish Toy?

The Potaroma Flopping Fish is a motorized kicker toy made to look and move like a real fish. Its built-in sensor recognizes movement and springs into action, flopping about to entice your furry friend into playtime.

Features Of The Potaroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy

inside of floppy fish cat toy

The floppy fish is essentially a motorized tail covered in soft fabric designed to look like a fish. It measures around 11 inches long. The kicker toy comes in seven fish forms: Carp, Clownfish, Gemfish, Koi, Rainbow Trout, Red Carp, and Red Koi. I purchased the original Carp.

Opening the package, I immediately noticed the velvety soft cover, covered in grey-blue scales. The head of the fish felt plush to the touch, while the body felt firm. Unzipping the toy at its belly, I found a hidden electronic mechanism enclosed in plastic. Here, you see the on/off switch and charging plug-in. The toy is rechargeable and has a USB cord to recharge the fish easily. When charging, the red light comes on. When fully charged, the red light turns off.

When the toy is switched on, a lever attached to the electronic mechanism snaps back and forth, giving the appearance of a tail flapping its tail. The tail movement has two rhythms that alternate for about 16 seconds before stopping. Any motion activates this toy, encouraging your feline to pounce, kick, and wrestle with their new fishy friend.

I found a pouch of catnip in the package alongside the mechanical fish. Potaroma instructs you to insert the catnip into the fish’s belly, next to the flapping mechanism. My kitties go absolutely feral for catnip, so I was excited to see how they would react.

What Our Cat Testers Thought Of The Potaroma Flopping Fish Cat Toy

Let me say this: I really wanted my cats to love this toy. Unfortunately, Luna and Lucy went on high alert when the fish was activated. They wouldn’t risk going near the floppy fish, even with the catnip pouch. So, I let it sit on the floor, hoping they would feel brave enough to play with their new toy after a few days. No dice. Moreover, I found the motion detection to be extremely sensitive, so even walking past the toy would bring about a chorus of flapping, scaring both me and my feline companions.

I decided to up the ante. Instead of the catnip pouch, I coated the floppy fish in a heavy mist of catnip spray. Now, this got their attention. While my kitties wanted to interact with the fish now that it was emitting such an enticing scent, they still scampered away at the first fish flop.

floppy fish with kong catnip spray

I ended up leaving the toy out for a few days. Even when the battery died, and there was no flopping to be seen, the girls walked cautiously around the toy, giving it a wide berth. Only when I sprayed the now non-flopping fish with catnip and removed the mechanical inside were my cats willing to interact with it.

Pros & Cons

Interactive for extended playOverwhelming movements for some cats
Motion detectionMotion detection extremely sensitive
Very durableLoud, mechanical sound when flopping
USB rechargeable

The Importance Of Interactive Toys

Interactive toys, like the Flopping Fish, are a powerful way to enrich your cat’s life. The concept of an interactive toy is simple: these toys prompt your feline to engage with them somehow. Examples of interactive cat gear include puzzle feeders, teaser wands, ball towers, and mechanical animals. Interactive toys are a great way to boost your feline’s confidence, prevent boredom, reduce unwanted behaviors (such as biting), build coordination, and keep their brains engaged. Plus, they encourage movement for a more active and healthy lifestyle.

Research suggests interactive toys lend themselves to your cat’s natural predatory instinct. One study found that indoor-only cats, in particular, were interested in toys mimicking prey. The more similar to realistic prey the toy is in appearance, movement, sound, and feel, the more responsive a feline is towards the toy.

Do you have cute little cat toys strewn about the house? Your kitty was likely obsessed with each one in the beginning. However, they eventually lost interest, relegating another toy to the playtime graveyard. Cats become accustomed to unchanging toys and lose enthusiasm for them. And it can happen quickly. One study noticed a decline in the intensity of play after only three play sessions with a new toy.

The disinterest makes sense. If you think like a cat, wouldn’t you rather play with a moving, changing toy? For their overall well-being, try to participate in 15 minutes of interactive play with your cat each day.

Interactive Playtime Tips

Use these tips during interactive playtime:

  • Vary the speed of movement. The Potaroma Flopping Fish does a great of varying flapping speed to keep your cat engaged. Adjust the movement for other toys, like fishing-pole-style wand toys—not everything should be fast. My cats love it when I slowly scurry their wand toy across the floor, allowing them to pounce and chase when I speed up the movements.
  •  Freeze the action. The Flopping Fish also does an excellent job of pausing the flopping to encourage your cat to take the offensive. It can be exciting for your cat when their “prey” lands or stands absolutely still, giving them time to think and plan their next move.
  •  Reward with a treat. Your kitty caught their prey! It’s time to reward with a treat or dinner.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Potaroma Flopping Fish Toy Only For Cats?

A cat toy for dogs? You bet! One of our team members successfully tried the Flopping Fish with her pup, Barley. (Keep in mind that this toy’s durability is no match for a power chewer.)

Are There Other Flopping Fish Cat Toys?

Frisco and TOOGE all make floppy fish toys. If your cat is more interested in crustaceans, you can purchase a flopping lobster or shrimp.

Final Thoughts

We didn’t have great luck with the Potaroma Flopping Fish; however, the high Amazon ratings and reasonable price tag make it worthwhile to try. Maybe my cats are the exception? If the cats decide to play with it, the design and durability make me feel confident that they would have this toy for years.

cat dressed in a Harry Potter scarf

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