The randomly selected winner of the pet toy is Kylee (#8 comment on Playful Factory’s facebook page). Playful Factory is excited to deliver you a free pet giraffe to stick to your wall, door, or where ever you want.
Toy Design Idea WInner
Zack’s idea of a flying pet toy is awesome… I can really see some pets going crazy over trying to chase down this flying toy! Way cool idea!
This design is now entered to be in the running to be made into a real toy at the Playful Factory. If you want to get involved with the Playful Factory find out how here.
Thanks for sharing your ideas. A big thanks to Kate at Moderncat for providing us with some great tips on how to design cat toys. And thanks to all of you for providing feedback and commenting along the way. Look for our next project launch later this week!
A few years ago I discovered a mouse living behind the toe kick of my bathroom sink. Instead of doing the normal thing of going to the hardware store and buying a mouse trap, I decided to name him Nicely and keep him as a pet. I did not see him much, but whenever it was really quiet he would come out of his hole looking for food. He was a very talented little mouse and I grew rather fond of him. He would climb into my trash can and take whatever food he needed and then go back in his hole. We lived peacefully together for a few weeks until one day I found his droppings on my clothes. Instead of taking the time to potty train him I decided it was time to make the trip to the hardware store.
This toy concept is a solution to the problem between me and Nicely. Now he can get his food and I can have unsoiled clothes.
Little Factory Worker Design Concepts
Ella: Mollie (my puppy) really likes the ears and noses of the my Build Your Own Monster toy, because they have a scratchy surface (velcro) and they are really fuzzy. Plus they are just the right size for her little mouth. So I think that would be a good idea for a ball or something.
Jake: Dog chasing toy…
Zack: Fast driving, flying toy with lasers…
Add you pet toy design concept as a comment to become eligible free toy giveaway. The design winner and the free toy giveaway winner will be announced tomorrow. Good luck!
Nina Ottosson toys are a combination of fun, challenge, and treat. They believe that by motivating the dog with a treat it will enjoyably learn how to solve the puzzle in order to get another treat.
Let your dog play and work to get the treats out by pushing it with its paws and nose. The Dog Pyramid, which has a weighted base, will rock, twist and wobble back and forth so that treats will fall out through the hole in the top.
The weight in the base will make the Dog Pyramid stand up straight.
Can be used indoors and outdoors.
Fun and activating brain training due to the fact that it has irregular movements.
Dog/Cat Smart plastic
Let the dog look for the treats by trying to lift or push away one block after the other with its nose or paw, in order to find the hidden treats. A very fun and activating game for you and your dog/cat.
The weight in the bottom makes it roll and twist in different directions and treats will then fall out of the hole. It will always stop in the upright position…
Dog Tornado has four layers of rotating discs. In three layers there are compartments where treats can be hidden. The dog/cat has to learn to rotate the different layers in different directions with its nose or paw in order to find the hidden goodies.
I think this is a great idea! Challenging toys are often the most fun toys. Enjoy the challenge of designing a new toy for your pet!
This week I want to share with you some of the great pet toys that are out there on the market and design tips about what makes them great.
We are going to start this week off with a MEOW!
I do not know many cats personally, other than the two ferral cats that hang around our house, so I thought it would be helpful to have an expert give us some cat toy design advice…
Meet Kate Benjamin the founder and editor of the popular cat style blog Moderncat.net. She is a great designer and advocate for our feline friends. I have asked her to provide some tips for designing your own cat toys, so listen closely, she knows what she is talking about!
Moderncat’s Tips for Designing Great Cat Toys
A lot of people think cats are boring and just sleep all day. Well that’s not true at all! Cats have all kinds of natural instincts that they need to satisfy and well-designed cats toys are exactly what they need.
I run a blog called Moderncat.net where I find interesting products for cats and cat lovers. I write about everything from cat beds, to litter boxes, to scratching posts and, of course, toys! I’ve learned quite a bit about what’s out there, what’s good, and what’s not so good. I have eight of my own furry product testers at home and one thing I’ve learned is that different cats like different things, so there are lots of options for designing cat toys.
First and foremost, you need to consider the safety of the toy. You have to watch out for choking hazards, so don’t use any small parts that might come off and be swallowed. Also, If you’re making a stuffed cat toy, make sure it‘s durable and well sewn so it can withstand lots of kicking and biting and be sure to use a stuffing that is safe and non-toxic. Avoid using things like styrene beads just in case kitty does tear it open. It’s very important to be careful about using any type of long, thin string like yarn, thin ribbon, or thread because kitty may eat the string which can cause serious internal problems. Some toys can incorporate a string, but they should only be used with supervision.
How Cats Play
There are several different categories of play that cat’s are hardwired for. Most of these activities mimic what a cat would do outside when stalking and catching prey, like mice and birds. Toys that move across the floor will get kitty to chase them, like a mouse running away. Cats also like to catch toys, as though they are capturing a bird in mid-air. Pouncing is another favorite activity as well as wrestling. Once kitty catches her toy, she may grab it in her front paws and kick it with her back feet. This is called “bunnykicking” and it’s one of the most entertaining forms of cat play to watch!
Interactive Cat Toys
Some toys are great for kitty to play with when she’s home alone or at night when everyone else is sleeping, but kitty also likes to play with her people so interactive cat toys are a great thing to consider. Interactive toys fulfill kitty’s need to stalk, just like she would do if she were sneaking up on a mouse hiding in the grass. Think about things that you can wiggle, toss, jingle, or pull across the floor. Also toys that whiz through the air will mimic a flying bird. Kitty will go nuts and she’ll get to spend some quality time with the people she loves.
Catnip is an herb that is related to mint. When cats smell catnip, most of them go into a crazy state, rolling around and rubbing on the catnip. As you can imagine, a toy filled with catnip will definitely be a favorite! You can purchase dried catnip leaves and flowers to use in cat toys, sometimes with a little polyfill stuffing or fill the toy completely with catnip for extra kick. Not all cats respond to catnip, only about 70% like it while the other 30% don’t seem to notice it at all.
Since most cat toys will eventually end up in the trash after taking a beating, think about the materials you are using and try to choose things that will biodegrade. Usually natural, eco-friendly materials will also make the toy safer and healthier for kitty.
Examples of Great Cat Toys
There are lots of great cat toys out there that can provide you with inspiration for your own designs. Some are quite simple and others are more complex, but all have one thing in common—cats love them! Here are some of my favorite cat toys:
This simple little toy absolutely drives my cats crazy. The tiny piece of cardboard on the end of a thin wire acts just like a bug floating through the air. (This toy is for interactive play only and shouldn’t be left out for kitty to play with unsupervised.)
Amazing Treat Machine Rollers
These toys use cardboard— a simple, eco-friendly material—in a totally creative way. The toys come flat and you punch out the pieces to make cardboard rollers. There’s even a little catnip pouch that goes inside, plus you fill the toy with treats that roll out when kitty plays. Great use of materials!
Cat Toys from Recycled Socks and Sweaters
Marvelous Melissa is really thinking green! She makes adorable cat toys using old socks and felted wool sweaters. These materials make great cat toys and she’s saving the items from going to the landfill.
Funny Interaction with DIY Whack a Mouse
This hilarious video shows how much fun you can have creating an interactive cat toy with an old box and a stuffed mouse. I think there is some great inspiration here for other interesting cat toys.
Here’s a great idea, decorate some ping pong balls and throw then in the bathtub and let kitty go crazy. What other simple things could you come up with around the house?
Crazy Cat Action with the Fling-ama-String
This cat toy is a bit more complex to make, but I love the concept. The Fling-ama-String has a colorful string attached to an elastic band. A motor rotates the band and the string flips around, driving kitty mad trying to catch it. The Fling-ama-string hangs on a doorknob so kitty can enjoy hours of entertainment (at least until the batteries run out.)
In my research on pets I learned some interesting facts… Did you know that 63% of households in the US have a pet? Me either. By far the most common pets are dogs and cats. There are 75 million dogs and 85 million cats living as pets in the US. That’s a lot!
See how pets and owners start to look alike… its hilarious Read more…
(the dog, not the stick)
and she named her Molly. I do have to say it is one of the cutest dogs I have ever seen. And boy oh boy is that little Jack Russell full of energy!
As I was playing with little Molly, it got me thinking that it could be a lot of fun to design some pet toys for all of our favorite pets. I realize that not everyone has a pet, but you can still design a toy for an imaginary pet or the pet that you hope to have someday.
The next series of posts will be exploring pet toys of all varieties to help you come up with some great pet toy ideas. Participate in the design process through leaving comments to this projects posts and become eligible to win the free toy giveaway.
What type of pet do you want to design a toy for? (dog, cat, bird, horse, fish, ferret, rabbit, hamster, guinea pig, gerbil, turtle, snake, lizard, chicken)
One at a time, the Playful Factory takes a toy designed by one of our Little Factory Workers and makes it into a professionally manufactured toy. These toys are available in our Etsy Store to purchase.
Get involved in the design process and your toy could be the next toy we make! Check out our current design project here.
NEXT TOY TO BE MANUFACTURED: DESIGN:The ride-on toy you build yourself... a simple wagon/riding toy base, through a child’s imagination, design and creation of the cardboard sides, becomes a car, truck boat, plane, spaceship or anything movable. TOY NAME: Magic Wagon DESIGNED BY: Mamma Smith
RECENT TOYS in PRODUCTION:
TOY NAME: CHAMP the chomping dinosaur DESIGNED BY: Fire Boy