It's time to treat your cat to some new toys but where do you start looking for ideas?
It might be Christmas time or it's their birthday, or maybe they've just done some really good training and you want to treat them, whatever it may be your cat deserves the best new toys you can find.
Before you go running out to by those generic toys from the pet store down the street put down your wallet and pick up some supplies to make the best toys you know your cat will love, homemade!
Cats love to play and can make a toy out of almost anything you leave lying around, so it's time for you to save some money and utilize the things you already have around your home.
Almost anything you can find at a store you can make variations of them at home so not only is it fun and inexpensive, but it's super cost friendly!
If you want to start with toys that are super simple a good warmup for your creative flare simple things like toilet paper rolls, tissue boxes, or balls of paper will entertain your cat for no cost at all!
Your kitty will love simple things they can bat around, fish around inside or, or feel like they're stealing away to their secret stashes, so they'll be super happy, and so will you, when their missing toys aren't just wasted money out of your pocket.
Other simple toys your cat will enjoy include things like hair ties (if you're willing to spare a few) large plastic bottle caps, socks, string, pegs, pens or literally any small object they know they normally shouldn't have.
Set aside a few they can play with and they'll be entertained for hours, while the ones you need are left safely alone.
Cats are simple creatures so all of those things will keep them entertained, but if you really want them to love their simple, no effort toys, try filling them with treats or catnip. Perfect for the cat parents with busy lives!
Now for a few projects that take a bit more time to create but they mimic the store bought toys your cat is used to, and you know they'll love to use. Things like balls, tassels, houses, and animal toys that will get your creative juices flowing and literally keep your cat entertained for hours on end.
These are really easy to make while also being cost-effective. Doing craft related projects can become costly if you pick something too adventurous, but a single ball of yarn will make you multiple toys to use at once, or you could store a bunch for when your cat inevitably loses the first ones you give them.
You'll need a ball of yarn/string, scissors, and a chopstick to make these super simple toys. Simply measure out a 10-inch long piece of yarn and cut it. Then use that 10-inch piece to measure out 10 more of the same length.
Once you have all of your pieces of yarn cut and measured fold them in in half and use another piece of yard to tie them together at the folded end.
At this point, you should have a 5-inch long bundle of yarn with what looks like a little bulb for one end, and the loose ends of yarn all together at the other. This creates your tassel.
You can leave the toy looking like this if you'd like your cat to have little toys to play with while they're alone. However, if you want to join in the fun and play with your cat, here's where the chopstick will come in handy.
Simply take your chopstick and securely attach your tassel by tying yarn either through the loop made by the folded over yarn or around them alike you tied the short piece holding all of the tassels together.
This creates a fishing pole toy for your kitty to jump after and practice their attacking skills!
Cardboard Scratching Pad:
This one is great because it stops your cat wanting to scratch at your furniture, without having to spend mega-bucks on a scratching pole that, let's be honest, will get boring for your cat pretty quickly.
This one has little to no expenses needed, as long as you have a bunch of cardboard, scissors or a craft knife, some tape, and some hot glue.
Take your cardboard and make sure it is flattened out as long as possible. Measure out and cut long strips of cardboard around 4 inches wide (you can choose how wide you wish to make it, the wider the strips the taller your scratching pad will be. 4 inches is generally a good width to start with.)
Once you have cut out all of your strips try dragging them one by one over the corner of a table, this helps them become easier to roll together, which is the next step!
Start with one piece of cardboard and roll it up as tightly as possible, securing the end with a piece of tape. Start the next piece where your first one ended, wrapping around and around, slowly making your cardboard roll bigger.
Repeat this step will all of your strips of cardboard, using the hot glue to secure the pieces onto your roll as your pad becomes larger.
That's it! if it's your first time making a scratching pad for your cat try making one that's big enough for them to lie on, it's a good size for them to investigate and enjoy scratching at, but not so large of a pad that it uses too much of your time or effort, just for your cat not to be interested.
If your cat is a little shy you can once again add catnip into the cracks and holes of the cardboard and your cat will definitely be in love with their new toy.
DIY Cat House:
Again one that's super simple, a big money saver, and something that can actually accent your home.
As most cat owners know, most cats love boxes, houses, caves, and anything that just makes them feel hidden and safe.
By making your own cat house you can save the money you'd usually spend, make one that fits your cat's size and personality perfectly, and design it so that it fits in the theme of your home, removing one of the many issues cat owners face when trying to fit their cats needs into a stylish and functional home.
It's really easy, simply pick a box that suits your cat's size, they don't like to feel too squashed or uncomfortable, so make sure there's room for them to play around, peek out, and fit in a blanket or two for comfort.
Pick your box and then choose your roof style: you could either have a regular box top type roof and just tape the flaps of your box closed, making your kitty a rectangular home. Or you could make a real human house style roof by trimming the short flaps into triangles and taping the long flaps up against them, making a triangle roof!
Now cut out a door and windows, add a blanket or cushion you have lying around, and paint or color the house to give it a little bit of personal style.
This is when you can paint it to match the color scheme of your home, create a tiny version of your dream home, or match it to your cat's personality, the possibilities are endless!
No Sew Cat Knots:
This is the easiest of all handmade cat toys, they take the least time and can be made out of scraps of material you already have around home, as long as it's not a material that frays.
All you'll need is scissors, fleece (or you other safe material, but fleece is highly recommended, try your local craft store for scraps of fleece they are looking to sell cheap!) and of course, catnip.
You could make these without catnip of course, but as they're very basic toys the catnip added to the fun and will keep your cat interested in them for longer.
Cut your fleece into rectangles around 4x7 inches big, it is always good to aim to go bigger than what you need, and you can always trim them after you're done tying the knots. Simply take 1 teaspoon of catnip and place it in the center of the fleece, at the edge closest to you, and roll the fleece tightly into a cylinder shape, away from yourself.
After this, all you have to do is tie your fleece into a knot. The catnip should be in the center, and this is when you can trim the ends to a length you like best, just remember to tie it tightly so that it won't come undone while your cat is playing.
These toys take almost no time to make, and you can dozens in one session, so simply store them in an airtight container away from the sun and they'll keep for a long time, so you can give them to your cat whenever you please.
You could also make them as gifts for others who have energetic pets or donate them to shelters as something small and fun for their cats to enjoy.
Lastly here's a use for your odd sock that hovers in the bottom of the draw, because its pair has mysteriously gone missing. For this toy, you'll need your sock, some tissue paper, paper bags, rubber bands, bells, a needle and thread, and of course, catnip.
It's probably the most expensive at home toy of the lot, but also the most fun for your kitty because this big snake not only makes strange sounds that they'll love but it gives them the freedom to finally attack your socks without them being on your feet!
Just fill your sock with the crumpled up tissue paper, paper bags, bells, and catnip until it looks like a long, fat snake! Make sure to pack your filling in tight enough that it holds its shape, but not so tightly that it's rock hard, or too heavy for your cat to fling around while playing.
Secure the end shut with a knot or a rubber band and you're almost finished. If you'd like your snake to have a head or other segments simple add rubber bands wherever you want them!
This could be your finished snake, but for an extra little flare use your needle and thread to add on eyes and a nose, giving your snake a cute little face! Of course, you could also draw these on if you cannot sew, but whatever style you choose for your snake will make it unique to you, and your cat.
This toy will allow your cat to practice hunting something larger than a ball, but also something that won't make a mess, or too much noise around your home.
Congratulations! You've learned how to make a few of your very own cat toys! Try these out with your feline friend and see what ones they like best, or learn to add your own ideas onto the designs, and give your cat a range of new things to play with and learn from, your cat will love you for it!
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