I made the Whack a Mouse Cat Game sometime in 2014. I saw a picture of one on Facebook and it looked like something the Furballs would like. It was easy to make from stuff we had at home. We had a lot of fun with it at the time. Eventually it went to the closet and was long forgotten.
At the end of last year I saw that Cole and Marmalade had done an updated version of their game with Jugg and Zig Zag playing too. CAM had seen our video in 2014 and made their own version. So I thought it would be fun to revisit our game too.
The game is easy to make. Watch our video at the end of this blog post to see how we made it. You can design it anyway you want. You need a box. Pet food boxes work well.
Draw and then cut holes in the top of the box. Decorate. I drew some cat faces also and added a new title on the box.
I needed to do an update on the game. Our game did not have a bottom and it was quite risky holding those small mice with my fingers underneath. OUCH! So I found an old piece of cardboard and got out my handy dandy duck tape. I attached the bottom firmly. Then I cut mouse entrance holes on each side.
We are HUGE fans of Zanies mice. They rattle and cats love them! I think we have had hundreds of them over the years. When I painted the living room a few years ago we moved a cabinet and found a zanies mice graveyard underneath with more than a dozen of the little guys under there. Funny enough (or not funny really) a year ago a mouse got in the house and spent several days under the same cabinet until I realized that all the cats had been gathered around the cabinet for a few days and started to put two and two together. Then the terrified mouse poked his head out and we were eye to eye. I screamed at the top of my lungs. I locked the Furballs in the bedroom and chased the mouse out of there with a broom and onto the Catio. Ok I digressed!
Back to the game. If we were going to use Zanies mice for the game I knew I needed to attach them real good or the fun would be over too quickly. I decided to use chicabob sticks. Again the handy dandy duck tape secured the mice very nicely. I also taped both ends. I attached the mouse to the non sharp end and taped the sharp end real good making kind of a handle.
I cut holes on each side of the box to use for the the mouse holes.
Now to test out the game 7 years later. I started with Yogi and Buddha. Yogi went crazy for it. Buddha decided it wasn’t safe and sat back and just watched Yogi go at it.
Next I tried it out with the others. Everyone came to see what all the excitement was. Merlin was beside himself with joy and played with all his soul. Fairy is an A plus player. Yogi came back in to claim his championship which intimidated both Elfin and Buddha. Again they choose to watch instead.
We have played the game off and on for a few days now. The Mouser sticks have mostly held up, though some ears and eyes are missing on the mice. I learned that each cat has their own way of playing. Yogi likes to attack hard and not let up. Merlin likes to attack when the mouse is inside the box. Fairy circles the box and eventually goes for the kill. Elfin watches for a long time then makes his move. Buddha will not play the game but loves the mouser sticks. So I decided to try something different with him. Instead we play mouser under the blanket. He loves it so much and has dragged the mouse stick off more than a few times.
This game is super easy to make. Most of us have this stuff to make it around the house. You can modify the design and use anything you want for the mousers. As you can see from our game, the design is not fancy. The cats don’t care what it looks like.
Also I put a few mice and other cat toys with bells inside the box so they could play and hunt without me. I have heard them playing with the game in the middle of the night.
The best thing of all is that it’s an interactive enrichment game we can play with our cats that is super fun for both the cats and humans. I saw all the Furballs eyes grow big with excitement. Also they liked watching each other play too. They mostly took turns playing, well except for Yogi who played to win or until he was tired. Then everyone else got a turn.
WATCH THE VIDEO!! It has the DIY instructions and the Furballs playing with the game.