10 Easy Cat Toys You Can Make Using Stuff Around the House
Have an overly needy cat? Does your cat seek attention every hour of the day? This can be stressful, annoying, and distracting, especially if you have work that needs to be done.
Keep your cat from being bored, and you will have a content pet that will come when he/she is called and will gladly keep you company by quietly snuggling. After a day of chasing a ball of yarn, what else can a contentedly worn-out kitty do?
Here is a list of 10 easy cat toys that you can find around your house or make using stuff that you already have! With little to no alterations, you can come up with ways to entertain your puss for hours.
1. The Milk/Orange Juice Jug Ring
These are plastic and sturdy, and they are cheap. They are also most likely already in your home! Check your milk or orange juice jugs for those plastic rings under the caps. Take it off and show your cat how to roll it across the floor. Your cat will be mimicking the rolling, the spinning, and the jumping as it chases this simple pleasure around.
Beware. These toys are often lost. Make sure to keep up a good collection. And clean underneath as well as behind everything when you sweep!
What does your cat prefer?
Need I say more? What cat doesn't like to play with string? The curiosity of where it goes or may lead to is irresistible! It changes shape and skips along the floor nicely when pulled. You can tie a long piece of string to a doorknob or even loop it around a chair. You will keep your feline friend occupied with this nice piece of stalkable string for hours on end!
Beware: Allowing your cat to play with string gives them the idea that any other balls of yarn or string-like things are also on the play list. If you sew, knit, or crochet, be prepared to kitty proof your bags of yarn. It's also a good idea to lift and tuck the cords on blinds so your cat doesn't rip them down.
3. Something Fuzzy Tied To Your String
Want to make your string a bit more interesting for your cat? Tie something soft and/or fuzzy to the end of it! I prefer to use companion-less socks. It will stay in one place without threat of being lost forever because the string will already be tied to something, and the extra pull the string has will entice and challenge your cat to try even harder!
Beware: If you tie something hard to the string, it won't be fun hearing it smack against everything as your cat plays with it, especially if he is more active in the middle of the night. Same goes with something that has a bell inside of it. Choose wisely!
4. The Sock
Grab a long sock. Stuff it with long shreds of newspaper. Tie the end of the sock together. This toy is easy to handle, hold, and swat around. It's soft on the outside, and crinkly! Your cat will go gaga over this paradox and play with the sock until curiosity runs out. (Does that ever happen?)
Beware: You may have to hide your socks after this.
Every home has a box! Whether it's from a shipment of books from Amazon or from your latest shoe shopping spree, you've got to have something. Size does NOT matter in this case. Partially remove the lid/flaps to the box and lay it in the middle of the floor. Nothing else needs done! Catnip is optional and may entice your cat faster. Watch your cat slink in and out and swat at the box for hours.
Want to make the box extra interesting?
Cut some holes into it! No joking, this is a simple way to keep your cat interested in said box. Put two holes near enough together, and then put another toy on the outside of the box, and then see if your cat is silly enough to try to get at the toy by putting their paws through the holes! Don't forget to video it.
Beware: Some cats may view boxes as hiding spots and then pounce from them later. Again, please do not teach your cat that hands and feet are prey. Teach them that these human body parts are for snuggling with only!
6. The Light On The Wall
Or the floor. Also includes shadows. This can be done with a laser pointer, a flashlight, or even from the sunlight coming through the window and reflecting off your watch, phone, or laptop screen. Move it back and forth, up and down, and make your cat track it! Even fat cats like my Prince Fredward will spend a couple minutes wearing themselves down over these magnificent miracles.
Beware: Using a reflective surface may cause your cat to think that your phone, laptop, or watch is a toy for them. They may then be stolen, hidden, or played with while you are trying to use them.
7. Dryer Lint/Sheet
It's fluffy. It's linty. It's a cat dream! Especially if you've seen your cat licking dust off the dining room chairs. It comes in different colors and scents, and it's the fun that comes out of you doing your chores. Let your cat get a hold of this stuff, and you'll see her attacking it left and right.
Beware: Hairballs can be a result. My cat does not make dry hairballs; they are usually more like vomit. So if that's what your cat does, then I suggest the dryer sheet rather than the lint.
8. The Dog's Tail/Floppy Ears
Prince Fredward loves to hide underneath the dining room table and wait for our cocker spaniel to pass him. When Jamie trots passed, Fredward will pounce and then dart away again. His eyes will get huge, too, when he darts off, as if he knows for sure that this time he'll get caught doing something naughty. My family and I die of laughter each time. Luckily for us, Jamie is mostly oblivious of what the cat likes to do to her.
Beware: If your dog does not like the cat, or the cat's attentions, you'll probably see cat/dog fights. Another way of entertaining the cat is highly recommended if this is the case.
Prince Fredward loves to play with the dog, and poor Jamie is oblivious! Watch him go "back to position."
9. Plastic Bags
For the most part, cats absolutely love the texture and the sound of crinkly plastic bags. The bags are cooler, so cats will lie on top of them. They crinkle, so cats will attack and swat them. They actually open, so cats will climb in and out of them.
Beware: I suggest cutting the handles open or completely off. You'll have less of a chance of your cat getting stuck in the bag and injuring himself from running around and trying to get it off, or suffocating.
Whether they are the small, thin bands or the large, fluffy scrunchies, hairbands are endless enjoyment. Soft and pliable, a hair band is easy for a cat to maneuver and toss and hold between their teeth or claws. Prince Fredward prefers my green scrunchy because it has little fluffs and feather-like things sticking out of it on all ends. I don't think I'll ever get it back.
Beware: You will find them all over the house. Any and all hairbands will become your cat's possessions after you introduce these things to him.
Enjoy this list!
Keep in mind that these little projects can always be altered and changed. Have fun as you discover what your pet prefers, and then improvise! Make your home a kitty paradise. A worn out cat from playing all day is a cat happy to cuddle and hang out when you get home.
© 2011 Jennifer Kessner