I don't have a new cat, not yet. I hope to, soon. Recently over at Design Sponge I was rather impressed by Kate's cat toy tutorial, so I thought I'd have a go at some kind of flicky-pompom-feather-wand-thing for this as-yet-non-existent-next-cat-of-mine.
I have used extra-thick leather cord, knotted through a drilled hole in a sanded casuarina stick that I did have earmarked for a wall-hanging. Oh well.
It has a casuarina wood bead, which moves up and down the leather cord, and a pompom and a bunch of feathers on the end (thankyou chickens). Instead of sewing these on as Kate suggested, I have tied them to a knot in the leather. I have my suspicions that the feathers will last exactly 0.05 seconds once a kitten gets hold of them, and the pompom not much longer. If so, I can easily tie on a new pompom/feather-bunch once these get shredded.
Maine coon proof? We shall see. Thanks for the inspiration, Kate!