Almost all cats love to play, especially at younger ages. Sure, as many get older, their interest in playing begins to decrease while their affection for sleeping all day increases. However, even older cats can enjoy the exercise involved with manically chasing a soft toy fish tied to a string, or a small plastic ball that rattles as it rolls across your living room carpet. Basically, no matter the age, a cat will love to play at some point or another.
It’s no secret that are thousands of options for different cat toys that you can buy online or in stores; any pet shop, garden centre or even many department stores will often be stocked up with a variety of pet toys for you to buy. From the simple feathered mice to the battery-operated fish that flap around on the floor, there is a lot of choice. While these are often great choices for your cat, it’s also incredibly easy (and cheaper) to make your own. DIY cat toys are a popular choice, with many of the materials often being found lying around the house. It can also be a great idea to get the family involved; younger children may enjoy the arts and crafts aspect of making their own cat toys. Most of these toys are simple and fun to make, so we’re going to talk through some potential options that you could make.
The first option is recreating the popular cat wand toys. You can buy these in shops, where normally they’d consist of a plastic stick and a small soft mouse or fish, with a long piece of string connecting them. For our version however, you’ll simply need a piece of string (perhaps around a metre in length) and a small sock. Bundle up the sock into a ball and poke a hole through the top of it, allowing the string to go through and be tied up. Now the sock can be lured across the floor for your cat to chase all around the house. It is worth noting that if you don’t have any spare socks, you can tie the string to pretty much anything and cats will almost always end up trying to catch it…
Another great resource to use is any old clothes. These can be cut up into squares or circles, with a small amount of catnip added in the middle, before pinching the edges together and tying or sewing the top together tightly. Strips of fabric from your old clothes can also be tied together into a long fabric strand that your cats would love to chase along the floor, or jump up and attack as you bobble it in the air.
Cardboard can be used for a couple of DIY cat toys. Many cats seem to love the stuff; it’s thought that the smell and texture of cardboard is appealing to them, as they often like to chew and scratch at it. Furthermore, cardboard boxes provide a warm hiding spot for them, as they sit themselves down in that packaging you received from your online shopping. From personal experience, shoe boxes are always a guaranteed hit. You could cut out different cat-sized holes and tunnels for them to explore as well.
The great thing about any of these options is that they’re super easy to make and can be decorated in any way you like. Turn your cardboard box into a cat castle with flags and towers made from chopped up kitchen roll tubes; it’s totally up to you. We hope some of these ideas may be helpful to you or your family, as well as your very own kitten or cat of course!