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Cat and Feather: Homemade Cat Toy

Updated on May 28, 2012

Catnip Infused Feathers

Anyone who has had the pleasure of owning a cat... strike that... being owned by a cat knows that a cat can become bored all too easily. But what if you could introduce a toy into their repertoire that involves more than just one of their favorites at a time?

The trick behind this toy is infusing feathers with catnip, and making a customized cat dancer stick. It's a snap to make, and your cat will definitely thank you.

Infusing feathers with catnip ensures your cat will enjoy every moment of their toy.
Infusing feathers with catnip ensures your cat will enjoy every moment of their toy. | Source
A pretty stick for a cat toy.
A pretty stick for a cat toy. | Source
Bright feathers and specialty yarn make a cat toy to remember.
Bright feathers and specialty yarn make a cat toy to remember. | Source

Your Homemade Cat Toy

You will need the following items for this project:

  • A thin stick, pole, or dowel about 3 feet long
  • A big handful or feathers, and the fluffier the better. I like marabou plumage for this project.
  • Catnip in a container large enough to combine the catnip with the feathers
  • String, yarn, or fishing line, about 3 to 4 feet long

If you were a cat, would you be able to resist this? I doubt it.
If you were a cat, would you be able to resist this? I doubt it. | Source

How to Make a Feather on a Stick Cat Toy

  1. A couple of days before you make your cat toy, seal a handful of feathers with catnip in a container. Make sure it's tightly closed and can't be opened by paws. Don't use a plastic baggie for this step unless you hide the bag where it's unable to be found by fangs.
  2. When it's time to make the toy, lock your cat in another room. Otherwise, he will attempt to steal the feathers.
  3. Attach your string to the stick. If you have used a dowel, wrap the yarn or string around the top of the stick four or five times and secure tightly. If you have a stick alternative (in the video, I used an acrylic twirling stick from my local dollar store) it may already be equipped with fishing line and even a jump ring (not required). It a hole has been drilled into the stick already, thread your yarn through the hole.
  4. Time to attach the feathers! You can either tie the string around the feathers, or the feathers around the string (depending on the length of the feathers. I find it easier to tie the string around the feathers. Shake off any excess catnip first. Start about one and a half feet from from the string is attached to the stick and tie as many on as you like, spacing them however you find appealing. Attach the feathers tightly - you don't want them to come loose and lodge in your kitty's throat.
  5. When you get to the bottom, make sure there are enough feathers for a cat to really grab (in order words, don't tease them too much!). I covered the jump ring at the end of mine by tying the longest feathers around it and made a really fluffy puff at the bottom.
  6. Shake the toy several times to ensure no feathers are too loosely attached.
  7. Set your cat free, tickle its nose with the feathers, and watch her go to town!

This cat is enjoying itself immensely.
This cat is enjoying itself immensely. | Source

Custom Cat Toy Poll

Have you ever made a custom cat toy?

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Treat your cat like a king!

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KONG Naturals Premium Catnip, 2-Ounce

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Ways to Customize Cat Toys

The reason I created this project was because I was tired of buying cat toys that didn't match my home -- what's the sense of ugly-patterned toys with colors only of interest to me?

  • If you've used a wooden dowel or a plastic stick, spray paint it a color that works with your decor, or cut strips of fabric or ribbon and wrap them around the stick instead. Use a very thin piece of fabric for the dangling string.
  • Eschew the stick entirely and use fabric strips themselves as toys... wiggle them to and fro and tickle the cat's tummy with them.
  • Keep your cat safe and never use pointy objects in cat toys. Yarn is great because it has a slight stretch to it which cats find compelling.
  • Match the color of its toys to the color of your cat. They may not care about the color, but it will look great in pictures.
  • Spoil them and make one to match each room!

Comments

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    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Thanks, Docmo! Cats are really easy to spoil, and this is a fun way to do it. :^)

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      You really are a clever cat. good idea for playtime. The cats sure will love this one. Great video and instructions too!

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, teaches! Relentlessly... yes! Thanks so much for stopping by. I may edit the video in time, but it makes me laugh so hopefully others are laughing as well. :-D

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      The feather on a stick was my cat's favorite toy. In fact, we had to hide well because if he spied it -- he would relentlessly try to grasp it. Great idea and your video is well done.

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, Rebecca! I swear I didn't plan it to end like that. :-D But it was too funny to not include.

      I hope your parents' kitty enjoys their new toy as much as mine does! And thank you so much for sharing to Facebook.

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      6 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      How clever, clever cat. I am going to make one for my Mom's cat. The end is hilarious. Voted up and shared on my facebook!

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, Brainy Bunny! Thanks for the votes... he certainly went for what he wanted! :-)

    • Brainy Bunny profile image

      Brainy Bunny 

      6 years ago from Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania

      TeeHeeHee! Looks like your kitty REALLY enjoys those feathers! Voted up and funny for your adorable cat.

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey, thanks Butterfly! Be sure they lock the cats up while they make the toy otherwise they'll run into the same problem I had in the video! Lol

    • Shesabutterfly profile image

      Cholee Clay 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      My parents have two cats, both of which love feathers and anything else they can find around the house to play with or bat around. Great hub! I'll be sharing this one with the cat lovers I know.

    • theclevercat profile imageAUTHOR

      Rachel Vega 

      6 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi, tlmcgaga70! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! My two kitties have no front claws so there's not a lot of danger of them tearing up the feathers... but great point and thanks for mentioning. I have never thought of giving them straws! :-)

    • tlmcgaa70 profile image

      tlmcgaa70 

      6 years ago from south dakota, usa

      nice job, it looks like a carzily fun toy. however, i do not get feather toys for my cats because they rip them to shreds in no time flat. some of their favorite toys, besides empty boxes and paper sacks and plastic grocery bags (these i cut the handles and put a hole in the bottom to ensure no suffocating or trapping). they also love the toy mice, bird and cat that squeaks like a mouse whenever batted. they have dozens and dozens of little toy mice scattered around the house. they adore straws and a toy that looks like a cattail, it is a long plastic stick with a elongated fluff ball on top. great hub and beautiful kitty

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