Introduction: Balloon-powered Cat Toy

How to keep your cat happy, stimulated, and exercised?

Many cats love to play with hanging objects. You can keep a cat playing for quite a while by dangling a thread just out of its reach, but this requires a human hand on the other end of the thread.
That hand is not always available for the cat's pleasure.

Here is how a helium-filled balloon can help to keep the cat entertained while you are away, or asleep.

Step 1: Collect Your Materials

Sorry, this does mean buying something, (or re-purposing a party decoration).

Materials:
1. A helium-filled balloon
2. A light ribbon or thread, 8-10 feet long (this depends on your ceiling height). It will probably already be attached to the balloon when you obtain it.
3. A light but bulky object that you can tie to the ribbon. We used a crumpled piece of paper.
4. A cat, though a dog or ferret might do as well.

Step 2: Assembly

This is where it all comes together.

1. Tie one end of the ribbon or thread to the balloon (if not already attached).

2. With the balloon in its natural position (i.e., hugging the ceiling), trim the dangling end so that it is a few inches above the floor.

3. Now select and measure the location for attaching the play target.
We have ours at 28 inches from the floor. Actually, this height has a surprising effect on the toy's popularity. If it is set too high, our cat will lose interest.
At 28 inches, she can reach it with a bit of a leap.

4. Tie the ribbon around the play target. Use a knot that you can untie, so that you can experiment and find the height that your cat will most respond to.

Step 3: Miaoww!

Now it's time to "prime the pump", and introduce the toy to your cat.

All it takes is to dangle it in front of her/him.

Have fun!


Comments

author
charlieanderin (author)2013-07-27

I'm leaving for two weeks and all my house sitter does is clean up the poop so like potatoluver5 said what if it runs out of hellium

author
potatoluver5 (author)2009-06-06

thats a really good idea, but what about when the balloon is out of hellium?

author
john1kim (author)2009-05-07

I love it! I just did the same thing for my new kitten, but used a toy cat ball with bell inside. Only problem I ran into was that one time he got really tangled up in it and a leg of a table, almost could've hurt himself. Love the vid btw!

author
thedog458 (author)2008-05-07

hey look grate but I live in a dougout so it wont work :(

author
ijkml (author)2007-11-13

This looks like a great idea. PLEASE be careful though - sewing thread can be dangerous for cats - it can become wrapped around their tongue , honest! So use ribbon as shown or string and enjoy in safety.

author
zonk3r (author)ijkml2008-01-22

Actually it is worse than that. When ingested thread (string, ribbon any long rope like fiber) can create knots in the bowels of cats and dogs (yes even humans) caused by the natural muscular contractions of the gut. If knots are formed around a piece of bowel it can strangulate it and cause necrosis. This leads to a very sick animal, a very expensive vet bill and the possibility of their death. In short don't let your pets play with string when unattended. My fiance is a vet and I hear enough of these horror stories at dinner...

author
Punkguyta (author)2007-04-27

Cute. I thought of another cool toy for your cat. Bring a dead body home and let it chew/claw/play with the limp limbs (hehe). Seriously though, cats will eat you if you died they aren't very loyal animals.

author
RobKohr (author)Punkguyta2007-10-23

Some tribes eat their relatives out of respect and to have them part of you.

author
Punkguyta (author)RobKohr2007-10-23

Once you're already dead, yes.

author
funwithfire325 (author)2007-08-07

cute kitty!!!Z

author
jessyratfink (author)2007-06-24

Awww, what a cute cat! This is a really good idea if your cats aren't crazy like my oldest one. I'm sure he'd probably drag the balloon down or climb up somewhere to try to get to it. He's only smart when he's doing things he shouldn't be doing. :P

author
catsmere (author)2007-06-06

I have 4 wise all-knowing cats who would merely stackpole up, pop it, suck the helium out and wizz around the living room. Think I'm kidding? I have one particular half siamese who would just sit underneath the balloon tie and paw by paw like a circus strongman, drag it down; albeit slowly, but would win in the end. Yep, tried it a home. Try a large fake plastic fly with a suction cup attached to the ceiling and watch those ballerinas make an attempt. Make sure you have a remote control to make the fly buzz and the wings flutter. It's great!

author
Mr. Chips (author)2007-05-06

aww thats a cute cat. This is a cool idea for a cat toy Thanx i think my cat will love it this.

author
ferroucious (author)2007-04-27

Yu mispeld yer titul

author
marc_alain (author)ferroucious2007-04-29

Quite right! ...and thanks for pointing it out.

author
canida (author)2007-04-27

Loved the video! Cute cat.

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