Picture of Feather-on-a-Stick Cat Toy
Cats love to be entertained, and they love feathers. But the claw factor makes it dangerous to simply hold a feather in front of a cat.
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

Picture of Parts
You don't need much to make a cat toy like this.

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.
- feathers
- a pen cap
- a stick of glue gun glue

- Glue gun
- scissors

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.

charmay58 made it!6 months ago
Both of my cats are going crazy over these! And they were so easy to make! Even my lazy cat who hardly ever plays with toys is throwing the portable one around all over the place and actually jumping to get the one on a string! Finally something that will get her to exercise, thanks!! :D
ntewinkel (author)  charmay585 months ago

That's so awesome! I'm glad your cats love it! Thanks for sharing pictures too!

catlily7 months ago
Neat and clever, and what a cutie cat!
grace69 months ago
Wow great cat toy, and really cute cat♥
ashbegash3 years ago
AWESOME!! Your cat is SOOOOO cute! :)
ntewinkel (author) 3 years ago
Thanks, everyone, for your wonderful comments :) Our kitty (Linus) is about 4 months old right now. @ dimmaz88: LOL! he's even cuter in real life... except at 5am ;)
dimmaz883 years ago
Did you photoshop your cat to make him cuter?
I love when kitties play with toys like that! Awesome job!
ChrysN3 years ago
Your kitty is so sweet, that looks like a great toy
sunshiine3 years ago
Is he content or what! Thanks for sharing and have a splendorous day!
Awww....I love your kitty! Great project and I love the goose feathers idea! =^..^=
What a pretty cat! Goodness. I squealed. This is a great build. :)