How to Make a Mouse Toy for Your Favorite Cat

comments (13) February 19th, 2009     

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kaytet kayte terry, contributor
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You can whip up a whole bunch of these mice from different kinds of wool and wool felt. After I made the first guy on the left, I was inspired to make him a little tweed wool friend.
Peanut, looking deceptively sweet and docile.
This little mouse is the perfect toy for your favorite feline friend.
You can whip up a whole bunch of these mice from different kinds of wool and wool felt. After I made the first guy on the left, I was inspired to make him a little tweed wool friend.

You can whip up a whole bunch of these mice from different kinds of wool and wool felt. After I made the first guy on the left, I was inspired to make him a little tweed wool friend.

Photo: Kayte Terry
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My mom has an eighteen-year-old cat named Peanut. Actually, her real name is Kitty Carlisle, but that proved to be a long and awkward name so we all call her Peanut. Peanut and I have what I like to think of as a complicated relationship. When I was younger, Peanut and I got along swimmingly. In fact, the year that my mom decided to get a dog, Peanut and I became roommates. I was just out of college and between boyfriends and I had moved into my parents' tiny, tiny one-half bedroom in their one and one-half bedroom house. My mom had a new dog, and Peanut was traumatized so she lived with me, kitty litter and all. We were very close that year but it had to come to an end: The dog went back to the animal shelter (he bit people) and Peanut went back to hating me.

I think that she thinks we need to compete for my parents' affections. Since they pretty much treat her like one of their kids and I am obviously another one of their kids, Peanut has learned to see me as the enemy.

But over the last year, Peanut has really softened. I think it's old age: Maybe she just doesn't care enough to hate me and has settled on indifference. But, even though she hissed and scratched at me for a decade, I still want her to love me. So I'm making her some cat toys.

You can either make these mouse toys stuffed with catnip or, if you have a cat like Peanut who can't stand the stuff, fill them with cotton batting and a jingle bell.

What you'll need:

  • PDF of the mouse template
  • Scraps of felt or felted wool (see this tutorial for more on felting wool)
  • Tailor's chalk
  • Scissors
  • Dark and light brown embroidery floss and needle
  • 5-inch piece of yarn
  • Catnip and cotton batting plus one jingle bell

Making the mouse:

Here are all of your mouse pieces.

1. Print out the PDF of the templates and cut out all of your pieces. Trace the shapes onto felt or felted wool with tailor's chalk, then cut them out. You should have two side pieces, one bottom, two inner ear and two outer ear pieces total.

2. Cut a piece of dark brown embroidery floss, and thread all six strands into an embroidery needle. To make eyes, mark a small dot on both side pieces and make a french knot over the dot. If you need a little reminder on making french knots, check out this tutorial.

Make sure your right sides are facing out when you pin your mouse together.

3. Pin both side pieces together right sides out. Tie a knot at one end of the yarn piece, and sandwich the other end in between the two side pieces. Thread a needle with three strands of light brown embroidery floss and knot at the end. Whipstitch the side pieces together and knot at the end to secure.

Cut a slit about halfway through both the inner and outer ear pieces.

4. Take the outer and inner ear pieces together as shown and cut a slit halfway up both pieces. Overlap the cut pieces slightly so the ear looks more dimensional, and tack in place with one or two stitches.

Make sure to sew your ears on in the same spot on either side of the mouse.

5. Take your embroidery needle threaded with the light brown floss and sew the ear to one side of the mouse as shown. Repeat for the other side.

6. Take the bottom piece of the mouse and pin one side to the edge of one of the side pieces. Whipstitch the bottom piece to one side. When that is finished, continue whipstitching around to the other side, leaving a couple inches open for stuffing.

7. Stuff withcotton batting and a jingle bell plus some catnip (if your cat likes it.). Whipstitch the opening closed and knot.

You can whip up a whole bunch of these mice from different kinds of wool and wool felt. After I made the first guy on the right, I was inspired to make him a little tweed wool friend.


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Comments (13)

Stewart_J writes: Hoho, My GF is so much going to like this, she's got 4 cats ! Used to be 5 but 1 of them's been gone for over a month ;(
Posted: 5:03 am on May 26th
genalorainne writes: I once made one of these and to my surprise my cat didn't even touch it and she's playful overall. I don't know, where did I go wrong?
Posted: 2:54 pm on May 7th
MarcioWilges writes: Now that looks like a really fun home project that I could see myself getting into. My Aunt has a number of kitties at her place and I could totally see me putting in a little motor so the mouse toy can zip around the living room! Now if that isn't gonna get the pussy cats moving and getting some exercise then I really don't know what will haha!
Posted: 3:12 am on January 20th
klwheeler writes: I followed your directions and quickly made a toy mouse for my kittens. They love it. I will make a few more for the other cats! Thank you.
Posted: 1:58 am on November 6th
TheKellyMermaid writes: oh my goodness!, this is the best mouse cat toy How To ever! i can't wait unill i get to make these for my new kittens :)
Posted: 11:12 pm on March 30th
ugdjan writes: So nice nice mouse not for cat it's for my baby
Posted: 9:10 pm on August 30th
kaytet writes: hey cal-
i'm going to give them to her this weekend so we'l see...

jnjewel- i totally agree! i think it's much safer to make toys yourself. i made sure to use all natural materials (cotton and wool) making these because I don't want my pets eating anything weird and plastic!
Posted: 6:07 pm on February 27th
jnjewel writes: Your little mouse is so cute! I make hand-made mouse for my cats, too. Especially when they really like to chew them up into pieces, it's a lot safer to make your own. Because my cats really chew up and rip them in a day or two, I keep all the cotton scraps from other projects, cut them into small pieces, and stuff them with a little bit of catnip.
Posted: 8:35 pm on February 26th
CalPatch writes: so adorable! i want to make some with all of my scraps. did peanut like her mice and make peace with you?
Posted: 10:59 am on February 25th
ReneesFashions writes: Now this is one cute idea !! I love it !
Posted: 5:10 am on February 22nd
lucybug33 writes: can't wait to make these! and shelter cats is a great idea too!
Posted: 11:20 pm on February 21st
kaytet writes: rubykitty- that's such a sweet idea!!
Posted: 12:40 pm on February 21st
RubyKitty writes: These catnip mice would be a great present for a new cat owner, or half a dozen would be a good donation to a local animal shelter. Those kitties must get a bit bored waiting to be re-homed.
Posted: 4:26 am on February 21st
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