Tag Archives: homemade cat toys

2 Feathers, 2 Pipe Cleaners, 1 Straw

IMG_20160625_085141… and 3 kittens.  It makes a good door toy too because it wiggles well on both sides and takes a little while to pull through.

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Posted by on June 25, 2016 in 2016 superheroes



Waiting For Kittens…

But I’ve been busy anyhow with music camp and work.  Here’s another picture of Jumbo, now Dexter.  Jax and July have their forever homes too, but not with people I know and Jet is still waiting.

quatre cinq

So, pandering to the google search terms that have shown up, here are some hints for homemade cat toys.  Anything that can move is a toy for cats; the challenge is to have them play with the acceptable toys, not the things you wanted to keep away from them.  If you are silly enough to collect cats and priceless antiques, the antiques should be in enclosed display cabinets.  Power cords are another thing: if they are too attractive, tape them down, put them in conduits, coat them with lemon juice, hide them behind boards and furniture.

Pencils left on a desk are a good toy, until they land on the floor.  Some kittens will chase them around the room, but most cats won’t. Marbles and ping pong balls travel well.  Small nerf darts are good, and can be stuck to mirrors or windows for an added challenge.  Plastic drinking straws are apparently great to chew on and to bat about,  They are good whole or in roughly one inch sections.  The short sections can be strung on yarn or on old guitar, gamba, or cello strings. Long pieces of yarn or string on their own can be swallowed and tangle up the gut, requiring surgery to remove, so use them only under supervision.  If you knit, take extra care to keep your yarn secure, for your sake and the cats’.  Old violin strings can be used, but are rather short, so it helps to thread one through the end loop of the other.  You can sew bells, feathers, or other toys on the end, or make a yarn tassel.  Attaching a stringy toy to a stick allows more interesting motions.

A half of a sheet of crisp paper, crumpled into a ball makes a great toy.  Some cats prefer aluminum foil balls.  Bubbles are fascinating for a while.

Toy mice are fun, but your cat does not care if they look like mice.  You can take a scrap of cloth, sew all but one inch shut by machine, stuff it with wool or synthetic stuffing, or bits of old socks, and maybe some catnip.  Some cats would like dirty socks for stuffing, if you don’t mind.  For some cats, a sweaty shirt is the best present ever.

Towels and chairs have a lot of possibilities.  You can make caves with climbable walls if you attach things well enough.  Clothes pins will let go, but some clips are more secure.  You can sew straps to the edges of an old towel and tied it securely across the rungs of a chair or vertically on the side of a stool.  Consider the weight of the cat: what holds a kitten may topple with a cat.

Cardboard boxes are great.  When no cats are in it, you can cut windows and doors (leaving the flap on or not).  Just chewing the cardboard edges was one of July’s favorite activities.

Clothes hangers can be hung on each other, maybe with some tie-wrap securing them together, to make a sort of mobile.  Toys can be attached at various points.

For more passive entertainment, a fish tank with a lid (and fish) is good.  Snakes and crickets are also fun to watch.  Ipads and the like have apps for cats.



Creative Reuse

chain of play

“Homemade cat toys” is apparently a common google search, but, to a kitten, everything is a toy no matter how it’s made.  The trick is to keep the things you don’t mind being toys more interesting than those you do mind.  This is a bag handle, a felt scrap, a pen cap, a clothes bin, and a pipe cleaner (aka chenille stem).  The pipe cleaner acts like a weak spring when wound up.

Other reuse is the litter box cover is actually over their bed with the electric heating pad–it keeps the area warmer, plus they like hidey holes.  The carrier has a top opening and is a great play and nap area, although not heated except when traveling, when I use a warming disc.

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Posted by on November 12, 2012 in Moose & Muppet


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Straws on a String, In Action

All but one tabby have reached two pounds.  I’m pushing food a bit more at her now.  She does a lot of shadow-boxing, waving her arms when she sees something she wants, even if it’s far away.  Kitty sign language.  Veronica’s skill is settling in my lap without me noticing.


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Food and Entertainment


challenge accepted


I made a see-through challenge toy this time, with a marble, jingley ball, feather, and a straw.  Vi enjoyed it, and later Volcano took up the challenge.  The marble sometimes rolls out.  The straw is good for chewing and pulling.  They don’t reach through the holes very much.
food accepted too

Volcano and Velvet started lowest on weight and have been gaining but more slowly than their siblings.  I tried pushing extra food at them, out of reach of the others, and after a ho-hum attitude at first, they’ve been pigging out: 20 grams and 30 grams heavier than this morning, which out of 400 grams is fairly significant.  Yes, it’s not doing more than being belly ballast at first, but if they eat until full instead of until something else interesting or some pushy sibling takes over, they should gain a little faster.


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