How to Build a Simple Arduino Cat Toy That Drives Your Cat Crazy

Building a fun, automated cat toy using an Arduino is a great weekend project that can provide your feline friend with hours of entertainment. With just a few common components, you can make a simple device that randomly moves an object around to keep your cat engaged and active. Here's how to build your own Arduino cat toy.

What You'll Need

To build the cat toy, you'll need:

Assembly Steps

Follow these steps to assemble your interactive cat toy:

1. Attach the Servo

First, attach the servo motor wires to the breadboard. The order doesn't matter, but note which wire is which.

2. Connect the Ultrasonic Sensor

Next, attach the ultrasonic sensor's VCC, Trig, Echo, and GND pins to the breadboard.

3. Connect the Wiring

Use jumper wires to connect the Arduino's 5V and GND pins to power the servo and sensor. Connect the servo signal pin to Arduino pin 9. Connect the sensor's Trig and Echo pins to Arduino pins 10 and 11.

4. Upload the Program

With the Arduino IDE, open the example Sweep sketch and upload it. This will sweep the servo back and forth.

5. Mount the Toy

Hot glue or tape your cat toy object to the servo horn. Position it near the edge of a table or shelf.

Coding a Random Movement Sketch

To make the toy move randomly, we need an Arduino sketch. The key steps are:

This results in a toy that rotates randomly when your cat approaches! Tweak for different behaviors.

Encouraging Your Cat to Play

Once built, encourage your cat to interact with the toy:

With a simple DIY Arduino cat toy, you can build an automated, interactive plaything to stimulate even the most aloof of cats! Adapt it to suit your pet's personality for hours of feline fun.