My inspiration comes from Lickety Stik or a similar product I bought. It's a deodorant shaped bottle with gravy inside that you hold upside down to let your cats have a treat.
While it's a great product that I would highly recommend, I wanted to improve upon it in a few ways.
First, to use Lickety Stik and the like, you have to stand there holding it upside down so that the treat flows down the ball. I'm lazy. I don't want to stand there for 2 minutes, much as I love my cats.
Second, I don't know how hygienic it is since you can't really "clean" it aside from the wiping the ball. I'd rather not wipe gravy up anyhow.
Third, I wanted to fill it with my own kitty concoction as I could make it inexpensively. It's not that expensive, but I could make one for a lot less.
In fact, I will publish another Instructable called Cat Liquor which I will link to once it's done. It's a homemade gravy, of sorts.
Step 1: Materials
1 ping pong ball
1 toy shell from a gumball machine that is just a bit bigger than the ping pong ball.
1 small sheet of plastic wrap
1 package of Fimo polymer clay
1 Crystal Head Vodka skull shot glass
Note: There are other ways to make this. The main thing is the ping pong ball and toy shell. I made a quick prototype using a small tealight holder and hotglue.
The problem was that it kept sliding and lifting up as they licked, so I wanted to get something a bit heavier and more stable.
I also want to try it make it using clear resin, but I didn't have any on hand.
Step 2: Cover the Shell in Plastic Wrap
If you're using Fimo like I am, this is important because the shell gets stuck when forming. Since it needs to be baked, you want to take out the plastic.
So, take the plastic wrap and stretch it over the shell. This makes it smooth and helps hold it into place.
Take the excess and tuck it inside the shell.
Step 3: Fill It Fimo and Press the Shell to Form an Bowl
Since this shot glass had a lot of nooks and crannies, I took small amounts and pressed it in them making sure to fill it in.
When I got close to the bowl shape I wanted, I pressed in the plastic wrapped shell. I then pressed the Fimo around it and smoothed it out as best I could.
I pulled the plastic wrap open and gently popped out the shell. Then, I discarded the plastic wrap and was left with a perfect bowl shape.
Step 4: Bake It According to Instructions
I noticed later that the Fimo shrank a little so the shell didn't sit exactly the same as before. That was actually okay because it makes removing the shell a lot easier.
Be careful with the shot glass as it is hot. Do not set it on a cold surface as the temperature shock could crack it. I let mine cool on the rack while I did the next step.
Step 5: Making the Brain!
This is totally an optional step. As you can see, the ink does bleed a bit, but I figure that it's not poisonous and looks cool. I've licked off Sharpie ink before. Plus my cats are still alive.
To make a brain pattern, Google a brain drawing and follow the general shapes. Here's how I did mine.
- Draw a thin line down the center of the ball - you can see the seam if you hold it to the light.
- Imagine a soft maze with the distance between any line being a set distance.
- At any t-junction, fill it in with a triangle of sorts to make the fold look soft and rounded.
- Make it symmetrical along the center line.
- Wash it and smear the ink to give it a bit of a grey blue color.
Step 6: Pop in the Shell and Fill It With Cat Liquor!
I'll have another Instructable showing how to make cat liquor. It only takes a small amount.
You put it in, turn the ball a little so that they can taste it, and the rest is a go! They love it and I feel so happy that I can give them a low calorie treat that they don't immediately gobble down.
If you like this, please vote for it. :)