Our feline friends are typically very easy to entertain. They find joy in bird watching from a window perch, hunting down the red dot of a laser pointer, and playing with a broad range of toys that can be found at any pet store in your area!
However, these toys can get quite expensive. Not only are they costly to purchase the first time, but your kitty will likely destroy the toy thus leading you to replace it, which can quickly become strenuous on your wallet!So, what is the solution?
The solution is to bust out your crafty side and make the toys yourself! This can be as simple as throwing a couple of empty toilet paper rolls around, or, replicating the feather cat toys, you see in the store.
How to make a DIY feather cat toy in 5 mins
Feather cat toys are a huge hit in the feline community because cats respond to movement. The feathers, not only provide interesting movements but they also trigger the cat's natural hunter instincts!
Now with that said, it is not recommended to throw loose feathers around your home for your kitty's enjoyment. Cats will play with them, but they will also attempt to eat them. Consuming these craft feathers can cause severe damage to your kitty as well as become a choking hazard. It is much better if you attach the feathers to a wand, yarn, or even those toilet paper rolls we mentioned earlier!
For this DIY project in chapter #1, we will discuss how to make a feather cat toy, and we will break it down so that even the least crafty cat owner can try it!
The famous "Feathers on a Stick" cat toy
This feathered cat toy is one of the most common items that you will find at your local pet store. You may have purchased one in the past and thus noticed how much your kitty loved to play with it! But, if you have bought one before then you also know how expensive they are when compared to how little it takes for your feline to destroy it. So, save yourself time, money and frustration and give this DIY project a try!
You will need to gather (or purchase) your materials. Some of these items you may have left over from other projects or just lying around the house. Others you may need to buy.
- A cat toy template
- Wool felt (in your desired colors)
- Jingle bells
- Satin cord
Some notes regarding these items
The cord could be any string, thin rope, twine, or even yarn. The important aspect here is the length and that the material is durable enough for your kitty to play with safely. Some people have found that yarn or thin leather cord works well, is durable, safe and adds an appealing feature to the finished item.
The cat toy template can be bought at a craft supply store in your area. It will have the patterns for the feathers that you need for the wool felt. Wool felt feathers are thought to be a healthier option compared to using craft feathers or feathers from nature simply because craft feathers may contain harmful dyes and chemicals and the feathers found in nature could carry diseases from its' previous owner.
However, some people have found that craft feathers or feathers from nature are more appealing and could be used if you desire them. if you buy the feathers make sure that they do not contain harmful dyes. The packaging should say whether or not they are safe for children or animals. Be certain that any feathers you use from nature are found in a relatively clean area (not plucked from a rotting carcass). Goose or pheasant feathers would work very well because of their size.
Lastly, you can add other items to the project to make it more your own or to make it more alluring to your cat. These add-ons include other small bells, beads, or pom balls! It is wise to avoid adding glitter as it will probably make a mess and be harmful to your cat should he ingest it.
How to make DIY feather cat toy Step by Step
- Start by following the instructions on the cat toy template. They should explain how to create your feathers out of the wool felt. Plug in and turn on your iron at this time.
- Using your hot iron, create a crease down the middle of the felt feathers.
- Using your satin cord (or the cord of your choice) slip the jingle bells on (two or three of them should do well).
- Tie the jingle bells to the stems of the felt feathers with the cord.
- Make sure that everything is held together tightly.
- The ends of your cord should be knotted to avoid any fraying.
- If you chose to add extra bells, beads or pom poms then you will need to do so as you wish. Pom poms may be sewn or hot glued onto the finished project or as you wish.
- If you choose to use craft feathers or feathers found in nature, then you will not need to iron them. You may want to hot glue the pointed ends of the real feathers together to avoid them coming loose during play.
Remember, a cat toy made of feathers (craft, real, or made from felt) will resemble a bird which will trigger your cat's hunting instincts. Allow him to enjoy this time by encouraging leaps, bounds, and high bursts of activity. You will likely find that you have a very sleepy kitty after a play session like this!