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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Van de Kieft

Easily Create Wand Attachment Toys Your Cat Will Love

Updated: Jan 10

Cats get bored of toys and sometimes they are not interested in the commercial toys. Making your own is easy, and your cat may enjoy home-made toys more than the commercial ones.


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Wand toy Charcuterie Board - pic by Jennifer Van de Kieft

Playing with your cat with a wand toy is a great way to exercise your cat and provide mental stimulation. Instead of waving the toy in your cat's face (what bird would dance around in front of your cat?), move the toy away from your cat and pretend to be the prey toy. How would a mouse move? What would a bird do? Give your cat a chance to pretend it's hunting. This is great for your cat's emotional health.


It's hard to actually mimic a hunt when the toys available are not realistic. They are often too big and loud, and do not resemble prey that your cat would actually try to catch and kill. Adult cats want toys that are realistic which often means small and quiet. Sometimes, making your own wand attachments helps your cats have a more enjoyable play experience. Another issue is toy fatigue, when they get tired of the same toys they see all the time.


My cats definitely have toy fatigue when it comes to wand attachments. Although I’m lazy and would prefer to purchase commercial attachments, my cats have tried them all, and there’s really nothing new or different enough out there to add to our collection. Once the attachment loses it's new smell and the cat has seen it several times, it may be less exciting to try to catch it. Rotating toys is also important to minimize boredom.


I use a wand toy that has a clip at the end so I'm able to change the attachments. My cats have their favorites like the Meek Mouse by Cat Fishin’ Critters and the all time favorite, Dragonflies, by Litterboys, but they don’t want to see those toys all the time. They want something NEW.


The toys I make myself are a combination of simple items I can put together in a minute or less, and more complex toys that I sewed.


Simple & Quick Wand Attachments


Easy cat toy wand attachments
Top favorite easy cat toy wand attachments: Straw, Post-It & Shopping Bag Handle

Plastic or Paper Straw


This was a client tip since her cat loves to play with plastic straws. I cut a small hole by the long end, attach it to a wand, and you've got a great toy! You can make it smaller, if you like by cutting it. My cats enjoyed the long straw and that was a favorite for weeks.


Post-It


Fold a 2 x 2 Post-It into thirds. Cut a hole through the sticky part to attach to your wand (I have a hole puncher so this is super easy for me, but if I didn’t, I would gently fold the sticky side down and cut a small hole). The last step is cutting strips on the ends. When you fly this toy through the air on the wand, it reminds me of a butterfly flutter. The cats love this one!


Shopping Bag Handle


Paper bag handles make great wand attachments. Cut off the handle and tie a knot in the middle. Attach knot to your wand clip and you've got a great attachment! Depending on the type of bag, the handle might be cardboard material or fabric. For stringy types, make sure you put this toy away after you use it so your cat doesn't chew on the string.


Shoe Lace or Drawstring tie


The drawstring of my son's hoodie recently came out during a wash, and I attached it to a wand. I thought it was too big, but all the cats were interested in playing with it. This surprised me, but it shows it's worth trying whatever you have around your home. It might make for a very fun play session.


Ribbon or Yarn


Cut a piece of thick ribbon or yarn, about 6 to 10 inches long. Tie a Slip knot (google this if you’re not sure) toward one end, and you have yourself a super fast wand toy. To make it more interesting, tie knots toward the bottom to give your cat something easy to grab. I sometimes add medium sized beads that I can knot onto the attachment for a little weight and sound on my wood floors. A red braided ribbon has been one of my cat’s favorites attachments recently.


Craft Project Wand Toys


Feel like sewing something a bit more elaborate? I had picked up supplies at my local craft store including a pack of random ribbons, medium sized beads, faux leather string, assorted colors of felt fabric, and clasps. With these, I went about creating my own wand attachments, and you can too!


Bugs & Other Small Prey


I cut out two different pieces of color felt fabric and used the faux leather string as arms and legs passing through the fabric which I then sewed together. They did seem to enjoy the 2 sided toy. My husband says the bright green side was more popular than the dark red which is fun to experiment with.


I also sewed legs to a more hearty ribbon that came in the variety pack and made that into a shorter toy. The bugs were kind of on the larger side that I would typically recommend but the cats had fun with it.


It gave me great joy to see them pouncing after and attacking the toys I so lovingly sewed together for them. After an hour of sewing I started to feel grumpy, kind of like when I’m playing Monopoly with my kid. After an hour, it doesn’t feel like fun anymore. I packed away my sewing equipment and materials, and put the new toys in a storage bag for future use.


Safety Warning


Put toys away when not in use such as the yarn or ribbon which some cats may chew and swallow which can be dangerous. I always put my wand toys away once the play session is over which makes it exciting when you pull them out again.


Storing Toys


I keep wand attachments in a small Tupperware container. I use catnip to marinate the toys so when I take one out again, the cats are also attracted to the odor. It helps keep their interest. You could also use a ziplock bag, but you want to put it somewhere the cats don't have access to it such as a draw they cannot open.


Instead of buying your next wand toy, see what you have around your home to make your own. I would leave to hear from you if you’ve got creative ideas for attachments. I’m always looking for that next exciting attachment for my cats whether I’m buying it or making it. Feel free to email me at info@cat-advocate.com to share your ideas.


Check out my Favorite Products for more recommendations.


About the author: Jennifer Van de Kieft, CAFTP, FFCP, PNCC is located in Brooklyn, NY. She is certified in feline behavior and pet nutrition. She owns Cat Advocate, a feline behavior consulting company. She provides cat guardians with the strategies, tools and knowledge needed to address their cat's behavior issues. Jennifer provides virtual consultations throughout the United States.





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