Cat DJ Scratching Toy Eerily Mimics Esoteric Musical Instrument

Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

469 Articles

By Michael Colombo

In addition to being an online editor for MAKE Magazine, Michael Colombo works in fabrication, electronics, sound design, music production and performance (Yes. All that.) In the past he has also been a childrens' educator and entertainer, and holds a Masters degree from NYU's Interactive Telecommunications Program.

469 Articles

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The “Cat Scratch” cardboard scratching toy for cats by SUCK UK is fashioned in the shape of a DJ turntable, with concentric rings of corrugated cardboard (which cats love to scratch) serving as the proverbial record. The turntable part is just for show, but it is a novel idea that (likely unintentionally) harkens back to an experimental instrument called the Savart’s Wheel.


The Savart’s Wheel is a horizontal cylinder made from stacked circles of corrugated cardboard that decrease in diameter across the length of the cylinder. When the cylinder rotates, a plectrum is touched to the pieces of corrugated, and the rate at which it strikes the cardboard strips increases depending on the size of the circle. Thusly, one can play different notes and melodies (although it tends to sound rather obnoxious). You can learn more and hear samples of the Savart’s Wheel at Experimental Musical Instruments.

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