Give last year’s mini foam pumpkins new life by transforming them into furry eight-legged beasts to taunt your kitties in their sleep. These little spiders have just the right mix of cute and creepy and can be suspended above your cat’s Meowlloween salad bar for curious paws to whack around.
These days spiders have become more friend than foe. I’ve learned to live in harmony with these mostly benign but scary arachnids in the catio garden and I leave them be. Not that I invite them inside for tea and give them a hug but I’ve come to appreciate the benefits of having them literally hanging around in the garden.
But a recent article from bored panda would have you believe that spiders have cute paws. No amount of persuasion will convince me that fuzzy hairs on a spider’s tarsus and claw looks cute. Especially when I suddenly look up while watering plants and get a slight jolt of fear upon staring at a spider’s web with the occupant dangling within inches from my face.
No cuteness there!
But for the purpose of this tutorial, I tried my best to turn on the cuteness and added just a little bit of creepiness! They look right at home next to your cats’ mini witch’s brooms made from cat vine and grass.
Make your cat jump to new heights with these dangly beasts
So get your pumpkins, pom-poms and glue guns and let’s give your kitties something to hiss about!
List of materials for your spider cat toys
How to make the pumpkin spider cat toy
1. Using a sharpie, mark 4 holes on either side of your pumpkin, fairly close together. Remember that spider legs attach from the cephalothorax, not the abdomen. The pumpkin won’t have a separate abdomen, so the holes would be closer to the front nearest to where the eyes would be. With your screwdriver punch holes in the pumpkin and set aside.
2. Bend 4 black pipe cleaners in half and cut each one in the middle. You now have eight legs ready to be glued.
3. With your glue gun, insert some glue into the holes
4. Attach your spider legs into each hole. Throughout this process, keep reminding yourself that these are just pipe cleaners, nothing more! 🙂
5. Bend each leg into a rough Z shape. They all don’t have to be bent the same way. In, fact, for a more dramatic effect, you can exaggerate some of the angles to give the effect of movement and flow. Watch out, that spider is ready to pounce! Wait, do spiders pounce too?
6. Your spider legs are looking rather bare and I think he needs some “paws.” See? I promised you we will keep things cute! I thought my little spiderman will look great in green paws so I used green pomp-poms. Apply a dot of glue to the center of your chosen set of “paws.”
7. Carefully glue the pom-poms to the tarsus or foot of the spider legs.
8. Repeat for all 8 legs until they’re all dressed in nice cushy fluffy spider paws.
The pom-pom spider paws are cute, fun and quirky but it has another function. The edges of the pipe cleaners are rough and sharp and the pom-pom paws hide the roughness and will protect kitty from scratches while playing with it.
9. Do you want your spider to glare at you? Add some eyes! With a screwdriver poke two holes in the front. The holes are not too big and meant to create a depression in the foam to snuggly fit a small black pom-pom.
10. Apply a dot of glue in the ‘eye socket.’
11. Fit a black pom-pom into the holes. I added even smaller orange pom-poms on top of the black ones for a little depth. You can even glue on googly eyes instead of orange if you like.
Version 2: Spider toy with shorter legs
I made another variety with shorter legs and a stockier body, resembling a wolf spider.
1. Paint one of your foam pumpkins with black acrylic paint.
2. Leave to dry and paint the other sides
3. Punch holes for the legs and eyes and cut 8 shorter pieces of pipe cleaners for the legs. Follow the previous instructions on gluing.
Here’s our wolf spider teasing our cats to spring into action. It didn’t take the Chirpy crew very long to come to explore their new friend with the orange fuzzy paws. For both sets of pumpkin spider toys, tie some black elastic string around the stalk and dangle it in your cat’s play area.
I’ve suspended the toy from one of the spiderettes hanging from the spider plant and Ollie was immediately engaged.
Jimmy Fancy Feet has been practicing his left uppercut as you can see below.
Always check your spider toys for any loose parts and supervise kitty during interactive play sessions. After two weeks of these spider toys adorning our cats’ salad bar, they survived quite a few beatings by relentless paws. Except for a few mangled legs, all the pom-poms remain intact.
I enjoyed making these and watching the cats jump, pounce and bite at the legs. Now I guess I really CAN say I had some spiders over for tea, or rather, the cat salad bar!
Do you think your kitties would like to play with these spider toys?
Do spiders creep you out?
The Chirpy crew guarantees lots of fun! Chirp us a line in the comments below.
And in case you’re wondering about my new garden friend; here’s a lady that stopped me dead in my tracks as I was deadheading the cosmos flowers. She stared at me as if to say “Oh hello, mind if I just hang around here while I lay my eggs and wait for the perfect guy?” (Warning: real spider photo follows)
To my surprise, I flinched just for a second, and my thoughts soon turned to admiration and awe. I heard myself say, “Oops, I didn’t realize you were here, sorry to disturb!” while I went on my merry way and continued to deadhead the rest of the flowers with a smile.