Last updated September 18th, 2020
Transform a cat vine stick or catnip stem into a witch’s broom for your cat’s Meowlloween salad bar. Interesting natural textures and scents that your cat is naturally attracted to provide plenty of enrichment for bored kitties.
At the Chirpy Cats house, we start preparing our indoor cat salad bar when the days are cooler and life in the catio garden winds down, preparing for winter. This is the perfect time to collect stems, vine twigs, and dried grasses from the garden to make an assortment of cat’s delights for indoor cat enrichment. Not forgetting the catnip harvest which will provide catnip throughout the long winter months. Add to the drama of your Meowlloween salad bar with these cute DIY mini witch’s brooms.
If cats could teleport through their secret ‘wormholes’ they wouldn’t need a witch’s broom but they would surely get distracted from impurrtant cat missions and stop to play with it! I thought it would be fun to make an assortment of witch’s brooms to add to the drama of our Meowlloween salad bar and the cats are loving it. Using cat vine or twigs and an array of cat-friendly grasses you can transform your cats Meowlloween to include more than just catnip. Scent and texture play a huge role in sensory cat enrichment so mix it all up and alternate for variety.
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In our post on how to grow cat grass using colorful water beads, we have step by step instructions on setting up your cat salad bar for any season. And a cat salad bar will entertain your furry ghouls long after Halloween and is an essential setup for cat enrichment, especially during the long winter months. Our salad bar refreshment station consists of the Swan Fountain by Pioneer Pet, against a backdrop of grasses, vine stems, cat grass and homemade cat toys to entice your cat to play and engage in hunting and foraging.
List of materials needed
Gather your grasses! This is the fun bit. You will be foraging outside to gather the perfect bristles for your witch’s broom. Dried stems and foliage from cat safe herbs such as parsley, oregano, cat thyme (Teucrium marum), or even some catnip stems left over from your catnip harvest make great bristles for a broom.
For this tutorial, I made different brooms with various ‘bristle’ types ranging from soft and flexible to dried and rigid such as:
- Reed grass (Calamagrostis)
- Blue fescue or blue oat grass (Avena sempervirens) – soft and pliable
- Purple fountain grass (Pennisetum Setaceum Rubrum) with the plumes or “cattails” removed
- Lemongrass (dried)
- Dried catnip stems were used for some of the broomsticks
Below are two ways to make a witch’s broom cat toy
Easy witch’s broom cat toy method # 1
For this method, you want the effect of a traditional witch’s broom or besom; rather scraggly looking with hard bristles.
Bunch up your grass in a bundle and position your cat vine in the middle of the bunch. I used a dry catnip stem for this particular broom.
- Position the edge of the bristles about a third of the way up the broom.
- Arrange the bristles around the stem as evenly as you can.
- Secure the grass tightly around the stem with a piece of twine.
- Secure the bristles even more by winding extra twine all the way up to the base of the broom.
- Use glue to neatly tuck in the last piece of twine to adhere around the stem
- Trim off excess grass at the bottom.
- Wait until the glue is dry and set before handing over to your feline testing team
Below is a different type of broom using feathery bristles from Fountain grass. The photo below shows the bare bristles with the plumes or “cattails” removed.
Witch’s broom method #2
This style of witch’s broom requires the grass to be more flexible as you would be folding it over then tying it with twine.
- Cut your preferred grasses or herbs and bundle together.
- Place the cat vine broom in the middle of the bundle, but this time, line up the top of the bunch of bristles facing the opposite way; (what is going to be the bottom of the bristles should face the top of the broomstick)
- Tie the bristles and vine stick together with twine to secure.
- Then fold over all the bristles the opposite way and press down to shape it.
- Tie another piece of twine around the broom to keep the bristles in place.
- Keep winding twine around the ‘neck’ of the broom to make about a half-inch of a neck of twine. Use glue to bond the twine as you wind it around the neck of the broom.
- If you find the broomstick/cat vine is slipping out of the hole in the middle of the bundle you may apply glue to the edge of the cat vine or catnip stem to bond it to the bristles.
Below is an Instagram clip showing a summary of the mini witch’s broom tutorial, featuring Ollie, the chief feline tester. I laughed when I replayed the video as you can see Ollie’s curious whiskers and ears on the left of the video. He was supervising me intently 😉
NOTE: Always supervise your cats during play, especially if you have an avid chewer in your midst. If your cat has pica, a condition in which a cat will eat non-edible items, it’s especially important to watch your cat for possible ingestion.
Since we can’t do a play date, I hope you get to try this witch’s broom DIY tutorial for your kitties. Whether you call it Meowlloween or Halloween, your kitties wouldn’t want to miss out on this cat enrichment experience. Don’t give your cats a bad case of FOMO!
Do you think these mini witch’s brooms will distract your kitty from impurrtant cat missions? Chirp us a line in the comments below!
For extra creepy-crawly fun at the Meowlloween salad bar, check out these quirky looking pumpkin spider toys that your cats will love. They’re super easy to make using mini foam pumpkins and pipe cleaners.