Cat toys, Woods? & Finishes?

Background: We have a one year old cat dearly loved by the family. However she keeps swallowing threads and strings. These get tangeled in her gut and could kill her. We've had two expensive trips to the animal hospital and as part of her rehabilitation I want to make a few cat toys to distract her. ( the aversion therapy for strings I'll discuss on the cat groups)
Questions: What woods are safe/dangeous for cats? Hardwoods or softwoods? I'm assuming they'll be chewed up royally. What finishes, if any should I put on the toys? Does anyone have plans or descriptions of good cat toys? I'm assuming they won't be to complex.
Thanks in advance, Joseph
And if the're fun, Midnight ( the trouble maker) & Sunshine (her brother) thank you. And if they keep her alive, Susan, Andrew, Bridget and Cara (the rest of the family) thamk you too.
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Make the toys out of a soft hardwood like poplar.

I wouldn't put any finish on, but shellac is edible, as is any vegetable oil.

Considering that our cat is happy playing with the turds the rabbit drops when he's out of his hutch, or whatever small moving creature she can catch in the back yard, I think the range of complexity is wide open.
Dung or complex warm-blooded living being, she'll play with 'em.
Cats... go figure.
djb
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Dave Balderstone wrote:

I was going to recommend arsenic but that wouldn't be kind and would betray my feelings about cats... ;-)
-- Mark
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On Wed, 15 Oct 2003 02:07:40 GMT, "Joseph Lappin"

I wouldn't use wood ! Dogs are chewers, cats are chasers. If you want to make cat toys, I'd go with stitched (maybe glued) fabric.

Soft hardwoods. Poplar or maple are good, for non-splintering behaviour. Basically anything that works for children's toys.

I doubt it. They'll get clawed and pounced, but I've rarely seen a cat that seriously chewed.

I wouldn't. Most finishes have some residual smell, and this may be distracting. Shellac is about the least odorous.

Scratching post - Take a christmas tree - the sort stuck in a slice of log as a base. After 12th night, saw the trunk through about 18" above the base and strip the branches off. Wrap with thin sisal or jute rope.
Catnip starfish. Cut two 5-pointed starfish shapes from light canvas or denim. Sew a loop or hanging string to one corner. Sew them together along 9 sides of the shape. Turn inside out (use a chopstick to poke the arms). Stuff with a mix of shreds of polyester fleece / felt and catnip. Hand-sew the remaining edge.
Prey gallows. Make the above two toys. Add a gallows arm or T arms to the top of the scratching post and dangle toys from it.
Outdoor barrel - makes a rain / night refuge for outdoor cats. Buy a half-barrel (many garden centres - but check it's actualy waterproof) and turn it on its side. Make two tapered feet to go underneath and level it, or a cradle foot. Seal the open top with a plywood disk and a small cat-sized hole at the bottom. Lay a piece of double-wall plastic (estate agent's sign) inside as a warmer, washable floor and lay some old blanket on top.
Sleeping shelf. Find a Georgian pier table, have the french polished surface restored, decorate with finest Irish damask then place somewhere sunny. Garnish with sleeping cat.
-- Die Gotterspammerung - Junkmail of the Gods
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No fair! You looked at MY cat's sleeping shelf.
LOL
Vic
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and then the cat toys are provided when they bat the fine crystal off the tabletop. damhikt.
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One of my wife's cats likes to chew wood, mostly to be annoying so he'll get fed.
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Mike Iglesias Email: snipped-for-privacy@draco.acs.uci.edu
University of California, Irvine phone: 949-824-6926
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That ain't no cat ... it's a pre-pushstick.
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www.e-woodshop.net
Last update: 9/21/03
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I'd use some nice lead based paint. Then again, I'm not a cat lover.
:-)
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Want to save time and money? Give the cat a milk ring (the plastic ring that most folks throw away after they open a jug of milk). Just make sure it's the "full circle" type -- the split type don't seem to be quite as much fun. The only thing I have ever known any cat to play with more than a milk ring is something involving catnip.
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