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After using the search feature here on HF, I was shocked at the fact that I couldn't find a single prop or tutorial thread addressing making a cat prop. For the last few years I've been shopping around looking for some realistic-looking cat props; so far everything I've found have either looked entirely made of plastic or they look as if I borrowed plush toys from my son's toy box. What I was looking for was something that might be mistaken for a real cat from a distance and in the dark.

I want to state at this point that I was not, and continue not to be, interested in going the taxidermy route. While it might be okay for some people, I find the whole real dead cat thing to be too creepy for me and not something I'd want to keep in my house.

So after my unfruitful attempts at shopping for a cat, I realized I was going to have to make this myself. After failing to turn up a thread here on HF, I turned to the wider internet because I knew I couldn't have been the first person to undertake this project. What I found was a number of plush toy instructions and a cat puppet with a cartoon-y looking face. Nothing exactly what I was looking for.

So here is my step-by-step instructions of what I did. I'll list all my steps, but I'll try my best to cut out my mistakes so as to save others some time.

1. First of all, in order to make a realistic-looking cat I realized that I was going to need to get the size and bone structure of a cat in order to build a wire frame. I started by looking at a number of anatomy charts and reading a number of books. After the fact, I'd still suggest looking at the chats to get the bone structure down, but I'll give my numbers to save some time.

2. After hours of reading books and looking at charts it dawned on me that I should have just pulled out some measuring tape and taken measurements of my real cat. So I did this then and reworked my numbers.

Here's my quick sketch I made of the bone structure and size. Forgive me for it being messy.



3. At this point I took my sketch to the garage and pulled out some scrap copper wire to bend into my armature.

This first one I made a bit smaller because I was distracted when measuring and cut my wire too short, but I was fine with that because I want my cats to vary a bit between them.




4. With the wire frame made, it was time to bulk up the cat. Originally I had planned to use foam to fill in the head, body and add some muscle to the legs, but I was out of foam and had some extra plastic bags that I hadn't yet taken to the recycling center. So I crumpled up some plastic bags and taped them into place.

The head is too long and pointy at this point, but I'll fix it later.


My next step is to make it into town to buy some fake fur to flesh out the cat, so I will update this once I have done that.
 

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Just, Wow!

You're right. Something as basic as a cat can add a LOT to a haunt and often gets overlooked.

We have a store-bought black cat prop that has been with us for many years, is a bit broken, is kind of cheesy, and every time I walk through our maze to make sure everything is still working, I end up having to stand the cat back up in the graveyard.

I'll watch this thread and work toward replacing that thing this year with a much better looking cat. (I may think of ways of animating one).

Your sculpt looks great so far. Size and shape look spot-on.
 

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How did it go? :)
 

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I hate to imagine all the scratches and bites you got while trying to measure your cat!
(then again maybe you have a nice lap cat... my cat came straight from he!! and would've ripped me apart if I tried to measure him!)

Anyways... looks really good so far!
 

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If there are any up to see how it turned out. If it wouldn't be too much of pain, it would be cool to see the process pictures (as they no longer show up here).
 

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Hey Y'all, this a super cool idea and it looks great! However, if anyone isn't that crafty and is looking for something realistic, I've had this black cat for five years and it does the job every single time! https://shop.rogersgardens.com/products/11111220014 it's 30 dollars but the eyes glow in the dark and it's so realistic that my actual cat get's scared everytime I pull it out for Halloween!
 
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lex223
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