Cats and kittens love to play with toys, but the cost at the pet store can really add up. Often, it is unnecessary to spend a lot of money when your feline will be just as happy with something found or homemade. This is a guide for saving money on cat toys.
If you are looking for a quick and easy cat toy to make, give these a try:
By Karen from Big Rapids, MI
Don't buy expensive cat toys! Put a marble, a couple paper clips or some dried beans in an empty prescription bottle, put the lid back on, and roll it across the floor. My cat plays with these for hours!
By Becki in Indiana
My cats have as much fun playing with a rolled up ball of old foil or paper as they do with those expensive cat toys.
By Ness from Lakeview, NY
I put a plastic egg shell on the ground for entertainment of my cat.
Hint: Spray catnip (available at pet stores) can bring life back to any cat toy.
By Lynn G
My cat sleeps and scratches in a beer box, the ones that hold two 12-packs. The single-color print ones (like corona) are the best because the paper is scratchable (boxes with more than one color are too waxy). We replace it every 1-2 weeks since he loves it so much! And it keeps him from scratching our furniture or shredding our papers. Your local beer distributor should have plenty to spare.
My cat likes those little colored mice. To make them even more fun, stick them in your catnip overnight!
I made this playhouse for my new kitten from our leftover cardboard dinner carrier from Bojangles dinner meal box. I simply cut out a few holes for her to poke her legs through to play, and cut out an entrance. It has a nice carry handle, and could also be used to transport a small animal to the vet, etc., just make sure you cut out a few air holes. My new kitty Bindi loves playing in it, batting her legs through to grab at whatever wiggles by!
By Cheryl from Trinity, NC
What a cute idea! I wonder if your sweet little kitten will try to still get in there once he/she is too big? It's hysterically funny to watch them try because they so much love boxes :-)
That is exactly the type of box the shelter sent my kitten, Snickers, home in, in 2007. I let him out, and left it on the floor for him to play in. Within weeks, he had scratched and chewed it into a flat mess! After that, I used to bring him empty cardboard Coke cartons (from the 2L bottles) to play in, replacing them as they bit the dust. He grew too big for those, and I stopped giving him boxes, but he still tries to get in whatever box I might leave temporarily around, and has destroyed a number of boxes that were not intended for him, Lol! When he sees a box, he's in love! They're his favorite toys. He'll try to stuff himself into any box, even if it's way too small. (I submitted a post to TF about Snickers several years ago.) It's such a riot to watch cats play with boxes!
Our cats shred the store bought toys we have given them. So we decided to try out making a thriftier version. I use the old mismatched socks we end up with on the folding table. I put approximately 1/4 cup of dried catnip into an old sock and then knot the top.
Here are some ideas for quick and easy cat toys that I've discovered over the years. Cat toys don't need to be expensive.
By Anne from Marengo, OH
Editor's Note: Do you have any frugal kitten toy ideas? Post them here!
Most of these are great ideas but some are down right dangerous for a cat or kitten or for a small puppy or dog.
The ring from a milk jug, any twist tie (such as she said from bread bags), or any plastic bag (such as she said an empty trash bag) are all very dangerous. The milk jug rings and the twist ties are both too small and can easily be swallowed and the cat can choke on them. And plastic bags, give me a break!! Doesn't she know that these can suffocate an animal or child? If you're going to give your cat a bag, make it a paper bag! They love those and can't get caught up in them and run out of air.
As for the pompoms, you must make sure each and every strand is tied together with the rest of the strands. Otherwise the strands will come apart and can choke the cat. As long as they are tied together properly these pompoms can make great toys.
One rule of thumb that is best to follow when making toys for kittens/cats or small puppies/dogs is that if you would not give it to your infant baby, don't give it to the pets. This goes also for plastic eyes or other pieces that can be chewed off and choked on or pieces inside the toy that can be ripped or chewed out.
So please use some common sense when making homemade toys for not just your babies but also for your pets. Remember that they, like babies, put everything in their mouths and chew on everything.
I agree with cricketnc, some of these ideas are very dangerous. My kitten had something poking out its rear end and I pulled it gently. it turned out to be a thin piece of cord I had inadvertently left lying around I took him to the vet all the same, he had to stay in overnight and be medicated to clear him. Please be careful of homemade toys.
I make lots of cat toys to hang on walls where I can see them play. I won't let them have string toys by themselves, as they can eat the string.
My cats are always batting something off the counters and playing with it. So, I remembered something I did as a kid. I put little bright things in a plastic drink jug. You can put beads, paper clips, buttons, and anything that will catch your cats eyes.
Many people like to make homemade toys for their children and pets. There are some very serious pros and cons to this idea.
I have found that cats love to play with make-up brushes. From big to small brushes, cats can bat them, carry them in their mouth, hide them, and even play fetch.
Don't spend a lot of money on cat toys. They seem to love the cheap ones better. Aluminum foil in a ball works as a cat toy.
Here's a way to make a free toy for your cats. When you or your kids or family's kids have ponytail holders that have stretched out, loop several together to make a toy for your cats, the longer the better.
This is a craft to make for a kitten or a playful older cat. I took the plastic strips off of frozen juice cans, put them together so that all the round loops faced the same way and wrapped an elastic band around the base of the loops.
Here's the BEST cat toy in the world and you'll only need 3 simple things to make it. A dowel, stick, or a long knitting needle, a piece of fish line and some yarn. Take the dowel or stick and to the end, tie on a piece of fishing line about 4 feet long (since fishline is transparent, the cat won't see it).
Both my cats love to play with a fishing pole toy for cats called Da Bird. It costs around $7, and consists if two feathers that twirl when you pull it. They can destroy Da Bird in about a minute. Refill feathers are available to clip onto the fishing pole for around $5.
I have "Forced Air Heat" with registers on the floor. These registers only get a bit warm, not hot. So I tied a 8 - 10 inch piece of "Eyelash Yarn" onto a register in my kitchen that sits totally horizontal on the floor and my cat is having the time of his life!
"Hey man, I think you've had enough 'nip' already. The ball is over here stupid!" One old soda box, plus one jingle ball, plus two cats equals...party!