Introduction: Self Petting Station

Picture of Self Petting Station

  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;         .                                                                                                                                                                            As you can see in the Ad, they want $18 for this product.  I made mine for about $6. 

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

Picture of Disassemble the Toilet Brushes

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

Picture of Connect the Brushes

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.

Step 6: Holes for the Brushes

Picture of Holes for the Brushes

  Line up your yardstick from corner to opposite corner,  diagonally across the base board.   Find the center of the board.  Measure out about 4" to 5" on either side of center and make a small mark with a sharpie.  Drill a hole through the board at each Sharpie mark using a bit big enough to fit one brush end through.

Step 7: Connect the Brushes to the Base Board

Picture of Connect the Brushes to the Base Board

Now squeeze some glue onto each brush end and fit them into the holes on the baseboard.  When the glue dries, you're finished.   To introduce it to your cat/cats, sprinkle some cat nip on it, sit back and enjoy!


smcmasters1 (author)2015-09-05

I love it. We made one for our bunnies a few months ago using almost the same method! My wife and I are constantly walking thru the pet store saying "we can make that!"

Attmos (author)smcmasters12015-09-05

Cool. Do the bunnies use it?

smcmasters1 (author)Attmos2015-09-25

yes, they love it!

peads92470 (author)2014-03-12

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)peads924702014-03-12

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.

audreyobscura (author)2016-05-23

This is so brilliant! Kittehs! They love this kind of stuff!

Attmos made it! (author)audreyobscura2016-05-23

Yes they do! LOL Actually I think I'm gonna have to rebuild mine for them. Check it out.

DanièleQ (author)2016-04-09

If vibrators could be activated when the cat step on the board, and the brushes looped into a short tunnel with intermittent rubber fingers, it could be near heaven?

Attmos (author)DanièleQ2016-04-10

:) Sounds like a hell of a project, but I agree; the cats would probably love that!

TaylorB39 (author)2016-03-01

I bought toilet brushes for this project and I can't figure out how to disassemble them. Do you have any suggestions? We've tried pulling the heads off, but they won't budge!

Attmos (author)TaylorB392016-04-10

Sorry for the late reply; did you manage to get them apart? There really is no easy or pretty way to get the brushes out. Smash, cut, grind the plastic handle from the brush wires. I used a pair of diagonal wire cutters to cut away the plastic. A Dremel would also work.

GaleG1 (author)2016-01-03

Good job! I've thought about making one of these, but never thought of the idea of joining two toilet brushes!! Great creativity! I'm going to make one for my 3 cats!.Thank you for sharing!!

linda1 (author)2013-09-12

I think this is a great idea. I just don't have access to a drill. Using the toilet cleaning brushes are are great idea.

MyMenagerie (author)linda12015-07-29

If you use soft enough wood, try using a screw to make the hole. You can also use the cup hook to get the hole started. A pair of plyers will make gripping the screw/cup hook easier.

Attmos (author)linda12013-09-12

Thank you. Maybe you have a friendly neighbor who would lend you one.

Treknology (author)2013-09-13

I love it! Unfortunately, the catnip won't help. He's Burmese and doesn't respond to it.

Attmos (author)Treknology2013-09-13

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 (author)Attmos2013-09-13

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.

MyMenagerie (author)Treknology2015-07-29

While I disagree with you about Siamese, I can't wait to make one for my Mr. E. Bean who is not a Siamese and is indifferent to catnip also. The Siamese I had growing up LOVED catnip. I guess it's an individual thing.

NorEaster (author)2015-04-28

I've been thinking about making one of these but my only concern is the bottom of the board, meaning the underside that touches the floor.

Do the wire brush ends go right through the holes & scrape the floor at all?

Or are the holes more shallow, and if so, any trouble with them popping out?

I have 1 of those all start track/soccer cats who runs around at full speed, diving into his toys/furniture … I lay a nice pillow bed out in the living room and come home to find it upside down in the bathroom… can't help but worry that he would flip this thing and fling the wires out or carving drag marks across the hardwood :-/

Attmos (author)NorEaster2015-04-29

Hi NorEaster, and welcome to Instructables. To answer your two questions, the holes go all the way through the base board but the wires are glued almost all the through the base. This is perfectly acceptable for carpeted floors, and no, they haven't popped out... yet. ;)

My suggestion for you would be to use two identical boards for the base, one that has holes for the wires and one that you will glue to the bottom of the first board. This will guaranty that the wires won't touch the floor and it will add extra weight making it harder for your speed machine to move it or tip it.

I would also suggest either carpeting the underside (I think that would be great protection for the wood floor, but it might slide a little more), or put dome-like spots of hot glue on the fabric in each of the four corners of the bottom side, making rubberized feet that will lift the whole thing slightly off of the wood floor (the hot glue will stabilize it pretty well, but it might tip over more easily)

I hope this helps, sorry it's so long.:)

NorEaster (author)Attmos2015-04-29

Ooooh! Thanks so much for the response! These are some good ideas, I think I'm gonna combine a couple. Maybe the glue domes over any wire thats poking through, then the carpeting on the whole underside. That way it wont scratch the floor or expose any rough/sharp parts if he ends up flipping it or using it as a skateboard... I'll have the camera on standby haha

Attmos (author)NorEaster2015-04-30

:) No problem. I really hope he likes it!

j9mosely (author)2013-09-12

Great cat toy! How about using one of these:
Then you wouldn't need the connector in the middle.

PaganRaven (author)j9mosely2015-03-07

you can buy 2 toilet brushes from Dollar Tree, and once together are quite long enough. 2 brushes from Dollar Tree = $2. I think I'd rather join 2 together and save $10!

prickly vegan (author)j9mosely2014-01-12

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!

Laurpud (author)prickly vegan2014-08-14

We have Dollar stores in our area, & The Dollar Tree is online. You can use the handles to make dusters with real wool, or back washers with a facecloth, or a scrubber with some netting. Or just wrap a paper towel on a handle, to get those icky bugs that you don't want to get close to!

Attmos (author)prickly vegan2014-02-09

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)j9mosely2013-09-13

Cool. I've never seen one of those.

kimvellore made it! (author)2015-01-03

Me and my cats thanks you. They loved it and keep playing with it often. It was one of their Christmas gift for them.


Attmos (author)kimvellore2015-01-05

You're very welcome, and I'm glad to see that they enjoy it. I like the base. And thank you very much for sharing your pictures and video with me. It's very gratifying to see others enjoying my projects. Have fun, Matt

mdgu227. (author)2014-08-29

We just purchased the same toilet brushes from our local Kroger, and are wondering how you removed the brush from the handle. Thanks for the tutorial!

Attmos (author)mdgu227.2014-08-30

Hi, good question; I'll have to add this to the instructable. There are many ways you could do this. I used a pair of dykes (diagonal cutters) to cut through the plastic like using a pair of scissors (don't try scissors). Similar to dykes, you could use tin snips. You could easily cut through the plastic with a Dremel and cutting disc. I suppose it just depends on what kind of tools you have available. I hope this helps, I have a few more suggestions if this doesn't work for you; don't be afraid to ask again. Thanks for reading and I really hope your cat/s enjoy it.

bfk (author)2013-10-30

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.

HollyMann (author)2013-10-25

so cute - i love it!!! :)

Attmos (author)HollyMann2013-10-26

Thanks very much. :) It's pretty entertaining, I think I love having it more than my cats.

Edgar (author)2013-09-18

Voted, and Blogged:

Attmos (author)Edgar2013-09-18

That's really cool. Thank you so much. Gracias!! So is that a DIY site in Spanish?

Murtaugh (author)Attmos2013-09-27

That's Portuguese.

woodpuppy (author)2013-09-17

My 4 cats are going to love this..Yes I have 4 cats and 3 dogs and it works like a charm.

Attmos (author)woodpuppy2013-09-18

They all get along? Amazing. Ten bucks says at some point you'll find one of the dogs trying to use this thing, lol.

bathsheba_everdene (author)2013-09-13

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!

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.

Yer -what- hurts (author)Attmos2013-09-16

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- hurts2013-09-17

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)

aje127 (author)2013-09-12

This is a great there any problems with the brushes getting bent over?

chaitanya.vedak (author)aje1272013-09-15

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)aje1272013-09-13

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)aje1272013-09-12

Thank you. No, these brushes are meant for hard scrubbing. But don't worry, they are very soft to rub against.

EdRothe (author)2013-09-13

Where can I find this type of toilet brush? Every one I've seen is a different design.

About This Instructable




Bio: Me? I just love building this, fixing that, and on the rare occasion creating stuff. I really enjoy repurposing the things I find and collect ... More »
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