Introduction: Kitty Puzzle Toy

About: Married father of 5 (4 boys and 1 girl). A Captain in the Fire Department with over 25 years of service. Grew up turning wrenches at my fathers garage. That turned into a love of building things with my hands.
I saw a clever instructable the other day posted by AlessandraT1. It was a cat toy. A very simple one at that. Perfect for the little Kitten we recently acquired. My wife has been asking for a kitten for some time. With 5 kids, dog, guinea pig, and a cat already, I was not on-board. Well my father passed rather unexpectedly in July. He had a thing for feeding the strays around his house. While we were there, my wife caught a glimpse of a kitten near some boxes on his porch. I dug around and pulled 5 of them wife exclaimed "this is a sign from papa"....She wanted a cat, I didn't want a cat, we comprised and got a cat....found homes for the rest....

Step 1: The Build.

When I saw this toy on instructables it was made from cardboard. Easy yes, but I decided to make mine out of wood. Plus a few mods...I cut a piece of 1/2 inch popaular wood measuring 14x5.5. This will accommodate the even spacing of the holes on top. Using 1"1/4 inch forstner drill bit. I set the holes at 1/2 inch from the side and 1 inch from the end. Marked and drilled away...the bottom is pine...that's all I had.

Step 2: The Side.

This is one of my mods from the original one AlessandraT1 made. I made the sides open. Figuring the kitty was too small to really "get it" I had to make a way to make him curious to play with it without going on top. I used 1/2 square oak stock to make the sides of it open (mocked up with pine first). He loves this part. He always goes at it from the sides first, then attacks the top next.

Step 3: Final. With New and Improved Rat Heads...

Once completed, I noticed he would kinda look at it, but still really didn't understand what he was supposed to do. Our older cat a champion ratter. Figuring I'd take advantage of the cats natural instincts. I painted the ping pong balls "rat" gray and drew black "eye" looking circles using a sharpie. I had originally left them white. Seriously though, the gray with black circles really sparked his curiosity. He now plays with this thing on and off all day. A couple of other finishing touches were to use a router to smooth out the edges of the holes and line the bottom of it with felt to make sure it doesn't scratch anything. I used screws to put it together. You could probably use a nail gun and speed this up. I didn't want the sides rotating later. Plus it looks a little more "pro". If you have a cat, I highly recommend you give this one a shot. They will love it.