The solution is to separate yourself from the sharp end of the kitty by putting the feather, or feathers, on a string on a stick.
Yes, it's been done before and you can buy such things anywhere, but it's super simple and it costs next to nothing to build one yourself!
Plus if you want a healthier feather toy for your cat, this is the way to do it.
This project started for me while we were kayaking down a river in BC (Canada), and the local geese had left us lots of little feathers scattered all over the river. I knew that the kitty would be upset at me if I didn't fetch him a few.
So if you have a few minutes to spare, let's go build a cat toy!
The usual disclaimer applies: Be safe and keep your kitty safe. I'll happily take credit for things going well, but I'm not responsible if anything goes wrong :)
Step 1: Parts
For this instructable, I used the following:
- 20" piece of 1/4" dowel
- 1" piece of clear tubing, 3/8" outside, 1/4" inside dimension.
- 18" piece of strong cord.
- a pen cap
- a stick of glue gun glue
- Glue gun
I already had all the parts lying around, but you can buy most of the pieces inexpensively or free.
For the dowel you could use any stick (plastic or wood) that you might already have.
For the tubing, mine was from a wine-making place, usually used for moving wine or filling bottles. It needs to fit snugly on the stick.
I used a kind of string/cord often used for roman blinds. Any strong string should do.
The feathers were donated by the local geese (in a peaceful manner, I think they were preening themselves). The blue feathers in this instructable were from the dollar store. Obviously the blue ones are not as environmentally or bird friendly, and the blue colour isn't as good for the kitty as natural feathers (but no worse from store-bought toys).
The pen cap was easy - it's from those cheap stick pens that you get at any hotel or conference. It's nice in that the plastic is strong but handles chewing well. Make sure you use one that won't shatter, as the kitty will be chewing on it.