DIY Cat Toys
Earlier this week we posted a blog titled “The Indoor Cat Outdoor Cat Debate” written by our # 1 caretaker and adoption counselor at the Cat Adoption Center. It has lot’s of interesting information as well as tips on how to keep your indoor cat trim and happy. Being the artsy crafty type, I’m going to expand on the different types of toys, and share how you can save money by making your own cat toys.
I didn’t know very much about cats when I got my first kitten. What they like to do for “fun” is much different than a dog. A paper bag, a loop of rope, a feather, a rock, anything shiny, anything they can scoot around in a curved paw is a fun toy for a cat. I wanted to celebrate this easy to please personality trait. The first thing I made for my kitty was a “self play” toy, a little stuffed mouse.
To make the mouse, I cut a half moon shape out of a half sheet of felt ( you can buy 8×10 sheets of felt for 10 cents each at Joanne’s or Micheal’s). I stitched up the top half, stuffed it with the remaining sheet of felt and sewed it up like an empanada. I punched a hole near the mouse’s rear, tied a piece of yarn on for the tail and hot glued on a pink pom pom for the eyeball. It took about 5 minutes to make and is still intact after a year and a half! A little ugly but it gets the job done.
The next thing I made was an “interactive” toy, which was a modified version of a cat dancer. Cat dancers are long sticks with feathers attached to the end. Cats love these things and being a solitary kitten, Valerie had lots of energy to burn. For my cat dancer, I taped two chopsticks together with electrical tape and coated one end of the chopstick with hot glue. I wrapped a long piece (about 30 inches) of yarn around the glue so it was nice and secure (you don’t want to have to keep reattaching the yarn). I tied a big feather to the end of the yarn and voila!
I did not realize that when properly tired out, a kitty will flop down and pant like a dog with their little pink tongues hanging out, it’s adorable!
By far the grandest thing I ever made was a hybrid self play interactive toy. It provided a month of amusement for us both before she grew bored with it and I took it down. To make this toy you need a doorway, a hammer, two fat head nails (fat heads will hold the laces on better) a pair of shoelaces and a random piece of flair. I think she could tell I was making something for her because she was very interested in the process.
I used Gucci shoelaces I had picked out of the trash at a job site. Oh the irony!
First thing you want to do is stretch taut one shoelace across the doorway, about 3 to 6 inches down from the top and nail it to the doorframe on each side. Then tie the 2nd shoelace in the center of the first so it looks like a “T”. Your 2nd shoelace can have a few feet between the end and the floor depending on how much your cat likes to leap. Lastly tie a feather or whatever “flair” you like to the end of the dangling shoelace. Grab a sweet tea and enjoy the show!
Another option, is to consider adopting two cats. Now that I have two adopted cats, I don’t need to make as many toys. They burn up a lot of energy chasing each other around and playing games. They play hide & seek, swipe a claw at the dog and then the dog chases them and then they do it all over again.
I did purchase a cat tree. If you have cats you know that cat trees are expensive, but they are also dearly loved and kind of invaluable. They will keep your cat from clawing up your furniture and (sometimes) keep them off your bookcases and counters because they satisfy that instinct to climb and perch. If you have two cats they will compete for the top spot, which is hilarious. Every day I come home from work to find my little lady snoozing in the basket. The bottom posts are wrapped in sisal for scratching.
If you need to bargain shop, look online for the best deal. If you live in Los Angeles, there is a little husband and wife enterprise that makes them and sells out of a small studio in Burbank. They are a little quirky but they will re-carpet them if ever you need it. They have lots of sizes and you can bargain with them too!
If you aren’t the artsy craftsy type, we have lots of great cat toys available for sale at Adopt & Shop. Our cats test all the toys personally and we can recommend some real pleasers!
Wishing you many happy, healthy and fun years with your furry family!