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In case you haven’t “met” the newest member of the Artsy Family yet, let me introduce you to Flynn! He is a beautiful 22 week old Bengal kitten and he sure keeps us on our toes!
Like any kitten, Flynn absolutely loves to play, and we have our hands full teaching him the difference between his toys and our toes. It’s also a never ending job convincing him that the table isn’t his bed and the blinds aren’t food. Our previous cat came to us when she was already a senior, so we were used to a pet that basically sat in one spot all day long, which couldn’t be more opposite of Flynn! One minute, he’s contentedly snuggling and purring on my lap, and the next, he’s trying to attack the strings on my hooded sweatshirt…it’s an adventure for sure!
We’ve also quickly noticed that many of the storebought cat toys aren’t made to withstand the boundless energy of a kitten. So, I decided to create a DIY Cat Toy that stays in one piece longer than two days. Here’s how I did it and you can too!
a wooden dowel, your choice of length and thickness
I had a general idea of what I wanted to do, then I raided my craft supply stash for things a kitten would find interesting. When I found brightly colored shoelaces, it was a no brainer to use them since Flynn goes after our actual shoelaces all the time. I thought yarn would be a good addition too, and when I saw the fun texture and sparkle of the eyelash yarn, I knew it would be the perfect choice. The sound of jingle bells always brings Flynn running, so I added a few of those, and lycra cord was the ideal thing to use for attaching everything because of the way it stretches and bounces back. As soon as I laid out the materials for a photo, guess who literally came running to check them out. He tried to start playing with the individual pieces before I could even get the toy assembled, which I figured was a sign I chose the right materials!
Step 1: Tie your lycra cord around one end of the dowel.
I wanted this to be tight and secure, so I tied it four times on the top, then several more times on the bottom of the dowel. Each time I tied, I pulled hard to stretch the lycra as tight as possible. For extra security, you could add a touch of glue too, if you like, or drill a hole in the dowel to thread the lycra through first, but honestly my knots have held up just fine without doing either of those things. Leave 2-3″ on the end of your knot. You’ll use this to add your bells at the end.
Step 2: Fold your shoelaces in half and tie a knot near the folded spot, leaving a loop.
Step 3: Cut your yarn so that you have however many strands you want that are approximately the same length as your shoelaces.
Step 4: Fold the yarn strands in half and tie a knot just as you did with the laces.
Step 5: Thread the lycra cord through the loops above the knots in your shoelaces and yarn.
Step 5: Tie the end of the lycra cord tightly around both loops.
Again, you’ll want to be sure to pull the lycra as hard as you can to ensure a tight and secure knot. I tied mine about ten times to make sure it would hold up against rough kitten play!
Step 6: Slide your jingle bells onto the free end of the lycra cord tied to the dowel. Tie them in place.
That’s it! Your toy is ready to be enjoyed…if your cat has managed to wait that long. Flynn actually played with everything as I was trying to put it together, which made things a little tricky! He absolutely LOVES this toy and has been chasing it around like crazy. So far, it’s still together; here’s hoping it stays that way!
Of course, with any feline friend, there’s also the issue of finding the right litter. Cat’s Pride® has been creating cat litter for over 50 years. Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light Ultimate Care® has low dust and tracking, which is awesome when you have a litter box on the main level of the house like we do, and it also has 10+ day odor control & powerful absorption (*Based on laboratory testing, when used as directed). Other benefits include the strongest clumps and the fact that it’s now over 50% lighter at 10 lbs (†See packaging for details).
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Here is a little video of Flynn enjoying his new toy…take a look! What do you think? Do you have a feline friend who would love a handmade toy? How about the convenience and effectiveness of Cat’s Pride® Fresh & Light Ultimate Care®?