This play center gives your cat alternatives, increasing the chances s/he will use the center rather than your furniture or skin, for scratching and attacking.
Materials You Will Need:
– Half a sheet of 8′ plywood, a 2′-3′ length of 4″ x 4″
– A 2′ x 8″ piece of carpet remnant or sample
– A roll of jute twine
– 2 yards of soft, fuzzy fabric such as faux fur
– At least 1 dozen used plastic grocery bags
– An unbent wire coat hanger
– Carpet tacks
– 10 penny nails
– Wood and craft glue
– A bell
Tools: You will need to use a drill, a hammer, pliers, a sewing machine and a saw.
Base: Start by cutting the plywood into 2 – 2′ x 2′ squares. Use the wood glue to stack these together to form a heavy base. Next, cut the fabric into 2 – 25″ x 25″ squares. In the center of each fabric square, cut out another square that is 3.5″ x 3.5″. Reserve the scraps. Sew the fabric together, inside out, along the outer edges only. Turn the pillow right side out. Using the center opening, stuff the pillow using the plastic bags. Cover the top of the wood base with a thin layer of glue and affix the pillow to the base, with the opening aligned in the center. Insert carpet tacks between the pillow layers and nail down to reinforce the glue.
Post: Apply a layer of glue to the 4×4, then wrap it completely with the twine. Glue or nail the carpet remnant to 2 sides of the wrapped 4×4. Put some glue on the center of the base, making sure to get the edges of the pillow. Place the 4×4 into the center of the base and allow the glue to dry for a bit. Carefully turn the base upside down, with the post still centered. Nail the post onto the base using at least a couple of the 10P nails.
Toy: Turn the post upright again. In the center of the exposed end of the post, drill a hole slightly larger than the width of the hanger wire, approximately 3″-4″ deep. Coat one end of the hanger with glue and slide it into the hole. Sew the 3.5″ squares into 2 – 7″ long rectangles. Sew them together, inside out, along both long and one of the short sides. Turn it right side out, stuff with bell and another plastic bag. Tuck in the open ends and sew them together. Pinch the pillow together in the middle to form a bowtie shape. Take the open end of the hanger and use the pliers to bend it around the pinched center of the little pillow. Using your hand, gently bend the hanger so that it dangles over one side of the activity center.