Okay, giggle if you must. If you’re not a cat person you likely didn’t even open this one. If you are, I imagine you’ve also seen the row of cat toys at your local pet store. We have quite the zoo at our house. Maybe tame compared to some and crazy compared to others. We have a four year old sheltie, an eight year old male cat and an eight-plus year old female tabby. Our male cat has attempted to claim dominance in the household but often gets overrun by the other furry ladies in the house. He’s been acting out as a result so I set out to Petco to find some form of entertainment for him.
I grew up with cats (ordinary indoor pets; I wasn’t raised in a barn) and one of their favorites was the original cat dancer. This was nothing more than a flexible wire with rolled up cardboard on the ends but our cats loved it. At a mere $3.00 it’s worth the buy but our local store was out of stock (although this one wouldn’t be so tough to make either!)
Next to the empty display was a similar toy by Cat Dancer called the Cat Charmer. This was priced at $7.00! What?! It is nothing more than a flexible stick with a long string of fleece fabric taped to it. That just made me angry so I came home and in a few minutes I made my own out of things I found around the house.
Find any stick you have laying around (mine is a dowel rod but you could easily use a pencil or pen). Cut two or three long strips of fleece. (The advantage of the fleece is that it’s stretchy so if a claw sticks in there’s still some give to the fabric. I imagine any fabric would work.) Tie a knot in the top of the fabric. Slip the stick into the knot. Tape the ends of the knot to the top of the stick. Done. You might not be crafty but seriously, ANYONE can make this.
A bonus: My daughter had more fun playing with this than the cats did I think. Maybe I should change the title to toddler toy. In all seriousness she appreciated the chance to really play with the cats and the cats appreciated that she wasn’t chasing them around the house.