Instructables

Self Petting Station

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  This is a fun little project that can be completed in an hour or two depending on what you have laying around the house.  It's a self-petting station for your cats so that they can get a good back scratching while you're at work or away on vacation.  I found the Ad while looking for toys to keep my cats active, I hate seeing them board.  Here is a link to the original Ad;                  http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?c=3261+1897+26492&pcatid=26492 .                                                                                                                                                                            As you can see in the Ad, they want $18 for this product.  I made mine for about $6. 
 
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Step 1: Tools And Materials

  Here are the things you will need:    1. 2 toilet bowl brushes, the best color you can find.    2. A board roughly 12"x12", any shape you like.    3. A small block of wood 1"x1"x1", any shape you like.    4. Fabric or carpet to cover the board.    5. A drill and a set of drill bits.    6. Guerrilla Glue (the kind that expands) or Hot Glue.     7. Staple gun, this is optional.      8. Spraypaint, this is optional.     9. A yardstick.     10. A sharpie.

Step 2: Disassemble The Toilet Brushes

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The first thing you will want to do is remove the brushes from the handles.

Step 3: Make A Spacer

Picture of Make A Spacer
  When you have removed the brushes, you will notice bare wire on either end of each brush.  These sections of bare wire will be used to connect the two brushes together.    Get your small block of wood, mine is a piece of closet hanger rod as you can see.  Drill a hole through the center, large enough for both brush ends to fit through.  Paint or stain this now if you want to.

Step 4: Connect The Brushes

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Squeeze some glue onto one end of each brush.  Put one brush end through one side of the hole, and the other through the opposite side.  Now you have one long brush.

Step 5: Make The Base Board

Picture of Make The Base Board
 Take your base board and staple or glue the fabric or carpet to it.
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peads924704 months ago

I made this for my two cats who are brothers,
one weighs 6 1/2 pounds and the other one 18 pounds. The disparity in
weight made some modification necessary. I used two spare 11 inch square pieces of plywood glued together for
the base to hold the brushes, then had to attach a main platform and hot glued
the base to that to accommodate the larger cat who kept knocking the smaller
based unit over. They seem to
really like it.

Attmos (author)  peads924704 months ago

Very cool! Wow! 18 pounds! Big cat. Sounds like he really likes it if he's knocking it over. Thanks for letting me know that you tried it out and I'm glad they like it.

j9mosely10 months ago
Great cat toy! How about using one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Brushtech-Catching-Brush-Lower-Level/dp/B000RW8M74/ref=sr_1_14?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1379052678&sr=1-14&keywords=vent+brush
Then you wouldn't need the connector in the middle.

That's $12 though. Might as well buy the whole cat scratcher thing readymade then. :( Any other ideas on where to source just a length of the bristles? I hate buying new items just to pull them apart. Seems like a waste. Then I'll have to feel guilty throwing the handles away...

Great idea, and gorgeous cats!

Attmos (author)  prickly vegan5 months ago

Large pipe cleaners possibly although I never did any research into where they might be purchased. I was in the grocery store when I saw these and thought, Perfect. Hadn't even been looking for them.

Attmos (author)  j9mosely10 months ago
Cool. I've never seen one of those.
bfk9 months ago
Attmos: You already know how I feel about your cat scratcher. The best ideas are the simplest because it takes an incredible amount of outward thinking to be able to break through traditional paths of logic. Your idea should have been invented centuries ago... It wasn't. And the reason it wasn't is because no one was able to put logic into practice until you came along and did it. Congratulations on a killer idea that deserves to be marketed.
HollyMann9 months ago
so cute - i love it!!! :)
Attmos (author)  HollyMann9 months ago
Thanks very much. :) It's pretty entertaining, I think I love having it more than my cats.
Edgar10 months ago
Voted, and Blogged:
http://faz-voce-mesmo.blogspot.pt/2013/09/e-votar-no-museu-rapaziada-e-nural-para.html
Attmos (author)  Edgar10 months ago
That's really cool. Thank you so much. Gracias!! So is that a DIY site in Spanish?
Murtaugh Attmos10 months ago
That's Portuguese.
woodpuppy10 months ago
My 4 cats are going to love this..Yes I have 4 cats and 3 dogs and it works like a charm.
Attmos (author)  woodpuppy10 months ago
They all get along? Amazing. Ten bucks says at some point you'll find one of the dogs trying to use this thing, lol.
This could be really nice for my self-shedding kitty. I need to re-read the instructions, but maybe the wire ends of the brushes could be soldered together? Just a thought; not sure what glue is strong enough for this project. Pretty kitty, by the way!
Attmos (author)  bathsheba_everdene10 months ago
I used Gorrila glue, the kind that expands. It seems to work pretty well. I just didn't want the wires exposed. I hadn't thought of soldering them, great idea.

...And Kitty says thanks.
You can't quite solder them together, the wire's steel and wouldn't solder well, if at all. If you could, you'd still find yourself melting the plastic bristles when you get the wire hot enough, so it's just not workable.

I'd made one of these for my several cats long ago, and the author of this one did the same thing I did, used a section of dowel with a hole in it. I used Gorilla Glue, -great- stuff, powerful, and it expands just a lilbit when applied. I've had mine now for almost 3 years.

The toidy brushes cost me $2 each, and I used scrap wood and carpet. It's held up beautifully since I made it, and of seven cats, six love it, the other one ignores it entirely. He's a short-haired beastie, so that's OK.

I can't see paying for something like this, I'd bet that even the least-crafty type of person would have little trouble making one, and the cat(s) that own you will love ya for doing this for 'em. Enjoy!
Attmos (author)  Yer -what- hurts10 months ago
That's awesome. Thank you so much for writing. It's really nice to hear from someone who's actually got some experience with this thing. Interesting that we used the same method to build it, Great Minds...
Thanks again and enjoy Instructables. (you're hooked aren't you, lol)
aje12710 months ago
This is a great idea....is there any problems with the brushes getting bent over?
In the case of Fear of bending the Wire Brush, you can use 3 Brushes instead of two, and place them in the Mercedes Star (3Pointed Star) Shape.. With the top ends of the three Brushes meeting at the top, and the Bottom portion being 120° from each other when measured from the center.
This way, the cat has more openings to go thru, and a push / pull from any direction is spread evenly, and the structure remains Solid enough to take on some heavy petting..
Hope i have confused / cleared your doubts... :D
Attmos (author)  aje12710 months ago
I just re-read your question and I think I misunderstood. The bristles will probably never bend. The wire holding all the bristles is semi-flexible and slightly springy, so it does flex some when the cat rubs on it. When I took those pictures, Kitty was going crazy with it and did manage to bend it over slightly. I just bent it right back into place, no problem.
Attmos (author)  aje12710 months ago
Thank you. No, these brushes are meant for hard scrubbing. But don't worry, they are very soft to rub against.
Treknology10 months ago
I love it! Unfortunately, the catnip won't help. He's Burmese and doesn't respond to it.
Attmos (author)  Treknology10 months ago
Really. Burmese don't respond to catnip!? I thought all cats enjoyed the effects of the smell. Well, I think it's possible he might figure it out on his own but I doubt it. Thank you very much for reading though. How do you get him to play with toys?
Treknology Attmos10 months ago
Siamese don't respond either.

At 18, he's not exactly the most playful, but when he plays he plays rough. He'll even run up behind me and nip me in the heel to start some rough-housing, but has always had little interest in toys and has even figured out that chasing the laser dot isn't the fun it once was, although if he's in the right mood I can still get him jumping halfway up the wall trying to catch it.
EdRothe10 months ago
Where can I find this type of toilet brush? Every one I've seen is a different design.
Attmos (author)  EdRothe10 months ago
I found mine in a Kroger grocery store. I'm surprised to hear that you're not seeing them. I thought this design would last forever.
EdRothe Attmos10 months ago
I looked online, every site I could think of; Kmart, Dollar tree, etc. My wife found 'em at Shoppers. What d'ya know, 99c each. The kitties will luv this. Tkx.
Attmos (author)  EdRothe10 months ago
Cool, have fun.
kerikins10 months ago
This, is my kind of instructable...the kind that with a few dollar store items or things just layin' about, become awesome home made use-ables! The bottle brush material from the toilet bowl cleaners(definitely not an old one from around the house!) is a,'key' factoid...regular bottle brushes have longer bristles, They are more malmble to squish in the bottle space. The toilet bowl bristles are shorter and more,"brissly"and less bendy...the cat has wayyyyyy more firm, scratchy control to get a really good self cheeky rub. Probably as good as having an awesome back scratcher for us humans, when there is no one to around order around,to,"Quick! Scratch my back...no-NO!, NOT THERE!?"..."up, down...a little to the right, no left...yah,yah,yah, right there!!! aaahhhh!!! This, is a must do for my kitties...they deserve the best! Tee-hee,tee-hee...
Attmos (author)  kerikins10 months ago
Lol. No, really, I'm laughing out loud. You make it sound so nice I might have to make one for myself.

I agree, you don't necessarily need to spend much to make something useful or fun. Thank you and I hope your kitties enjoy it.

bricobart10 months ago
Great idea, I know some kitties who'll have a new toy today!
Attmos (author)  bricobart10 months ago
Thanks, I hope they enjoy it!
nerfrocketeer10 months ago
Cool! I must build this for my nonexistent cat! :L
Attmos (author)  nerfrocketeer10 months ago
Thanks dude. And good luck with the nonexistent cat, lol. I've had many like that.
I was wondering how he knows when the nonexistant catbox needs sifted and cleaned, and where he puts it so it's out of the way so nobody accidentally steps in it.
Well usually I can smell the nonexistent cat poop smell. Then I use my nonexistent cat litter box sifter to sift out the nonexistent cat poop. I keep the nonexistent cat box near the nonexistent cat bed, in the nonexistent corner of my real room. :P
Well, that explains why the non-existent odor is limited to the non-existent corner.
Haha yep!
Haha thanks! :P
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