As a foster mom, rescue volunteer and proud mom to a number of four-legged family members, I’m always looking for ways to curb expenses without cutting quality or care. One way I do this is by getting a little creative about cat toys, often making them myself.
Judging by a poll we did on Petfinder’s Facebook page, I’m not alone. We asked, “Does your pet have a favorite homemade pet toy?” and watched nearly 200 responses roll in, including a few great homemade cat toy suggestions. (Have a homemade dog toy suggestion? Leave it below.)
Here are the top five homemade cat toy ideas we got back (please remember to always supervise your cat with any toys and watch out for accidental ingestion):
1) Crinkly stuffed “mice”
Materials: An old sock, crumpled paper, catnip (optional)
Ryan suggests using “a sock stuffed with crinkled white paper and tied in a knot at the end … Brutus carries them around and swings them to hit himself all day long.”
2) Yummy treat dispenser
Materials: One empty plastic soda bottle, scissors (to cut a hole), your cat’s favorite treats
Jill says her cats “like to ‘look’ or hunt for food. Get an empty soda bottle. (Plastic, of course.) Make a small hole, just big enough for dry food to drop out. Put about a handful inside and screw the cap back on. They love to pat the bottle around and get the rewards!”
3) A fun, ever-changing hideaway
Materials: Paper or reusable shopping bags or boxes, catnip (optional)
“All my cats love when I come home from the grocery store,” says Sue. “Whether it is my eco-friendly/reusable bags or paper, they roll, play and lie all over the bags.” This also works great with empty boxes. Just change out the bags or boxes every few days for some brand new exploration and fun!
4) A durable, rolling “mouse”
Materials: A used, threadless spool and a shoelace (cut to size)
Mo suggests combining a leather shoelace and a threadless spool to create a mouse-like toy: “My Bella will carry her prey around by the leather tail and play with it for hours — it has been much more durable than commercially purchased ‘mice.’ ”
5) A lightning-fast hockey puck or speed racer
Materials: Ping pong balls or ice cubes and your bathtub
Lisa says ping pong balls in the tub “make great cat hockey pucks.” This also works with ice cubes — and using them in the tub ensures that no humans slip on melted water.
Of course, we can’t leave all those canine companions out in the cold this December (no matter how much the cats may want to). Does your dog have a great homemade toy? Tell us!