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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?

See results

Treat your cat like a king!

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!


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