I have learned to make do over the years with many things for the home. Often the results are better than what you could buy. For instance, I needed a scratching post for my cat, so I took an old board, nailed leftover carpeting onto it for an 8 foot long climber and scratching post. I lean it against the wall. You could also attach some carpeting, like a rug sample, to match your decor to a wall instead. Cats like to stretch out, so make it as long as possible.
For a litter box, I took a 10 gallon plastic bin with a snap-on lid, cut a doorway in one side with a knife 6 inches above the floor, and filled it with sawdust and wood shavings for my cat to use. The extra depth of the box helps to keep the litter inside. Wood shavings are free - ask at a lumber yard or wood-workers shop.
For cat toys, I make a small ball of aluminum foil for kitty to chase. The light weight is especially suited to cat's play. I also make a "catnip mouse" using a small drawstring cloth bag filled with cotton or crinkled cellophane. Tie it tightly closed and store it in a zip-lock bag with catnip for a week or so. It will absorb the scent, the cat will love it, and it is reuseable.
For a cat carrier I use an appropriate sized plastic bin with a snap on lid. I cut some 1 inch; holes in the sides for breathing, put an old towel in the bottom. For extra security, you may attach the lid by punching a hole in the lid and one in the box, adding a shoelace or string to tie the lid closed or just use some duct-tape. Now you can transport kitty to the vet in comfort.
By Jennifer from Gilbertsville, NY
You have some great ideas but, please do not use sawdust or wood shavings for litter. I have worked for a Veterinarian for over 27 years and we have found that wood will cause upper respiratory and eye infections in cats. Good luck.
While I love saving money and reusing things, I would be careful with some of these suggestions. Certain wood shavings can cause reactions, especially if your cat has asthma. Ingesting them accidentally can lead to a blockage.
I love the scratching wall idea, but I would attach it to the wall, so the kitty does not bring it down on himself. One of the shelters I volunteered had one, and it was great! the kitties got a great workout on it.
Foil balls are fun, they and the drawstring pouch should only be used with supervision and taken up once the game is over. A friend lost her kitty to peritonitis from a fun foil ball, when he ate a piece.
Catnip can be stored in washed out peanut butter or jelly (plastic) jars, and the home grown variety seems much stronger than store purchased.
Hate to be a kill joy-but if you are saving money by doing these it would be awful to have your kitty need vet care because of them.
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