"Cat & Mouse Play Toy" is a toy specially designed for cats. It has several components that make play time for cats exciting and rewarding. The "toy box" sits on the ground and has a motorized mouse inside, ready to run. In order for the cat to release the motorized mouse it must first play with a hanging toy with a photo resistor behind it. Once it plays with this toy the mouse is released. If the cat can catch this mouse while it runs around the room and dodges obstacles, it will make a buzzing noise and the toy box spins to reveal cat food for the cat. There are several thing you will need to make this toy.
1. PetSafe 5 Meal Automatic Pet Feeder from Petsmart
2. SmartyKat Motion Madness Motorized Cat Toy found at Target
3. One miscellaneous toy that can dangle
5. Photo Resistor
6. Electret Microphone complete with Breakout Board
7. Conductive Fabric
8. Soldering Iron
11. Wire Cutters
12. Electrical tape
16. 4 D batteries
17. 2 small 3V batteries
18. 5K resistor
19. Super Glue
20. Something to hide those loose wires in
21. Treats for the kitty
Step 1: Making the "Toy Box"
To create the toy box we took our automatic cat feeder and unscrewed the battery and timer section of it. Inside this section there is the circuit that controls the timer. It should have 4 wires: yellow, green, brown, and orange. Strip a part of the plastic from the brown and green wires so the wire inside is exposed. Next cut a wire of reasonable length and solder it to the now exposed section of the green wire. Do the same thing for the brown wire. Now use the soldered wire to connect the brown wire to the ground peg of the arduino and the green wire to the arduino's digital peg 2. The reason for this is to allow us to control the automatic feeder from the digital peg 2. So instead of rotating when the timer sends a signal the device will now rotate when digital peg 2 sends a signal to the device.
Now that we have rewired the feeder, we will saw off some of the edges. WARNING: This step of the project is dangerous and can result in injury if the tools are not used properly. First remove the rotating bowls from the container. Then remove the lid from the container. there are two hinges holding it on and you can simply pop it off of those. Once both parts are removed we can get to sawing. Saw off the front edge of the lid so that the triangle opening on the top now extends down the side. Once that is done it is time to saw the rotating bowls. This part is fairly difficult so be careful. We want to saw off the outside wall of one of the bowls so that our mouse can escape from it. Now that this is done make sure to make a ramp from the box to the ground so the mouse doesn't fall out of the box and onto its side.
Now that the edges are sawed and the timer is rewired we have successfully made our "Toy Box."