Behind the design of the fishing rod cat toy

Behind the Design of the Fishing Rod Cat Toy

Lets talk about cat toys. There are four basic types of cat toys that cats seem to be interested in: 1) the catnip/ball/small toys, 2) the wand toys 3) random human objects that have turned into cat toys and 4) the laser pointer. Because I feel like I'm playing with a toy, too, I prefer wand toys. But if you've ever played with a cat, you know how easily they tire of their toys. And with the wand toys, once your cat gets bored with the toy on the end, you've got to find a place to store the whole thing, stick and all (in my case, its a massive drawer in our kitchen that I want back).

What I needed was a wand toy that lets me change the toy on the end, so there is only one stick involved. And I wanted that toy to be fun for me to play with. I experimented with different ways to connect interchangeable toys, and found the simplest way was by using magnets. It basically created a giant version of that magnetic fishing game I used to love as a child (remember that one, with the rotating pool of fish that open and close their mouths?). Bingo, perfect toy. 

Holes are drilled in the end of the rod, hiding the knot at the end of the string. 

Holes are drilled in the end of the rod, hiding the knot at the end of the string. 

Waxing the linen string helps keep it durable and protected from friction and cat slobber.

Waxing the linen string helps keep it durable and protected from friction and cat slobber.

The "hooks" are slices of recycled cork, which are lightweight and easy to embed magnet into (and thereby making my wine drinking habit finally come in handy).

The "hooks" are slices of recycled cork, which are lightweight and easy to embed magnet into (and thereby making my wine drinking habit finally come in handy).

After much experimentation on basically every cat I knew, I found the perfect combination of wand lengths, magnet strengths, and a good material for the toys all while making it safely cat-proof. For the wand, I half painted, half finished the raw wood, threaded waxed linen yarn and attached a slice of recycled cork with an embedded magnet as the “hook”. I created the “lures” out of merino wool, tightly felted around another smaller magnet. 

Behind the Design of the Fishing Rod Cat Toy

The result is a minimalists cat toy, clean and simple, yet entertaining and adaptable. Our collection of lures will continue to change and expand (the new fish collection is coming soon!), with enough variety to please even the most picky cat. Just a forewarning, though: you might end up playing with this toy long after your cat has worn themselves out!