Have you ever paced the aisles in a pet store looking for just the right toy that would appeal to your feline’s highly discerning tastes? Sure, they might like that feather dancer, but what about that package of 12 catnip-filled toy mice? While they try, commercial toys designed for domesticated cats don’t always get it right. If you’re frustrated by the constant investment in toys that ultimately gather dust bunnies, DIY cat toys are customized just for the cat in your life.
Cats have highly evolved attributes that allow them to stalk, pounce, jump, and climb to their heart’s content. If these actions are coupled with solved problems or rewards, even better.
Cat toys encourage play that mimics real-life hunting capabilities. Even strictly indoor felines are born with special prey preferences, and when they play their skills truly shine. Whether it’s gliding through the air, ambushing their target, or landing on their feet, cats are strong hunters.
Clever DIY Cat Toys
Cats of all ages should be given daily opportunities to play. Not only great for keeping pounds off, regular playing feeds their mental acuity as well. Kittens are certainly more demanding of your time and energy, but older cats truly benefit from play, too.
A simple scratching post is vital to your cat’s wellbeing. Scratching gives them a good stretch, helps to loosen up broken or loose nails, and allows them to tune into their special hunting instincts. Cat trees or places for them to hide and climb are essentials, too.
Simple objects found around the home can make excellent DIY cat toys, such as:
- Ping pong or plastic practice golf balls
- Wine corks
- Shower rings
- Paper grocery bag with handles removed
- Cardboard boxes
- Felt toss toys that have bells or other attractants (there are lots of patterns online)
- DIY Pom Pom Cat Wand
Oh, Yes! Cardboard
Speaking of cardboard, your cat will be pleased as punch to have a little compound made of boxes to play and sleep inside. We encourage you to get creative! Some cat owners make buses, cat mansions, and more out of simple cardboard boxes.
The Power of Catnip
Most cats enjoy the effects of catnip. To trigger the good feelings, fill small socks of dried catnip, seal them up, and watch in delight as your cat bats them around the house. You may also attach bells or crinkly paper or plastic to mimic the sounds of their prey.
While many household objects become great DIY cat toys, there are certain items that are risky to your cat. Anything that can be swallowed or lodged presenting a choking hazard, or anything that could entangle your cat should be off-limits, such as:
- String, twine, tinsel, or ribbon
- Nerf darts
- Rubber bands
- Elastic hair bands
- Plastic bottle sealers
- Plastic baggies
- Styrofoam packing peanuts
Your cat’s health and wellness hinges on their overall safety. They benefit from lots of safe play, and we hope your DIY cat toys are big hits at home.