A Simple Toy For Your Pet Cat That You Can Make Yourself

July 14, 2010

in Cats

Our pet cats love to play, and it’s easy to spend a lot of money on toys to keep them amused. Some of the best toys are those that are self-propelled, these trigger those hunting instincts within our cats. The trouble is, just like kids, they will still get bored with them after a while.

It’s quite simple to build your own toy using simple household items, here’s how.

All you need to make the toy is:

Cotton reel (wooden or plastic)

One candle


Rubber Band (approx. 6 cm long)

A pencil about 10 cm long

This toy is based on the traditional “toy tank”. Firstly, if you have a wooden cotton reel, use a sharp penknife to cut notches into the lip at both ends of the reel. Space them evenly, about one centimetre apart, these will give it grip as it moves around the floor. If you have a plastic reel, you can use a file to make the notches.

Next, thread the rubber band through the centre of the reel, allowing the band to stick out of both ends. Cut the matchstick, so you have a piece that is just slightly shorter than the width of the reel, place it through a loop at one of the rubber band and pull the other end so that it presses tightly against face of the reel. Fix this in place with a small piece of sticky tape.

Next you’ll need to trim about 15 mm off the bottom of the candle, then using the blade from a pair of scissors, make a hole through the centre that’s wide enough to take the rubber band. Feed the free end of the rubber band through the candle and tie it off to hold the candle.

Lastly, pass the pencil through the rubber band loop, between the knot and candle.

You’re done! Just wind up the rubber band with the pencil, about 20 times. Keep hold of the pencil whilst you place it near your pet then let go and it’ll move off by itself.


For added interest you can tape a piece of leather to the barrel of the cotton reel so it makes a “slapping’ sound as it moves. Or, even better, if you have some cat mint in the garden, tape this to the barrel of the cotton reel, this will provide extra cat pulling power!

Learn more about pet portraits. Stop by Rob Tyrrell’s site where you can find out all about pet portraits from photos and what it can do for you.

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