Have you ever shelled out cash for a high-end cat toy at a pet boutique, only to find your cat prefers the bag it came in?
It’s common knowledge among cat owners that cats love to play with anything and everything — except the toys you’ve bought them.
Since cats seem to love pawing at random items around your house, why not repurpose them into homemade cat toys made especially for your curious kitties? Nothing shows your cat you care like a creative, handcrafted gift. Not only are they inexpensive and fun, but they’re also a perfect excuse to throw a cozy crafting party with other pet parents.
You can do this at any time of year, but the holidays are the perfect time to treat your pet. Here are three common household items you can repurpose as a holiday gift that might end up becoming your cat’s new favorite toy.
1. Leftover Corks
You may not have used pipe cleaners since elementary school, but they are still a crafter’s best friend — and the perfect complement to leftover wine corks.
Poke a hole at least half an inch deep in a cork with a paper clip or a kitchen skewer. Twist a colorful pipe cleaner into a coil shape and stick it firmly into the hole. Ensure it is well secured, using hot glue if needed. Presto! A cute gizmo for curious pawing and lightweight tossing. Keep in mind, however, that if you’ve got a dog in the home, corks can be tempting but hazardous for them to chew, so be sure your cat doesn’t share their homemade toys.
If you don’t have any corks handy, you can wrap a pipe cleaner around a small, compact ball of aluminum foil — the irresistible rattling sound it makes as it rolls around is sure to spike any kitty’s curiosity!
2. Toilet Paper Tubes
An empty toilet paper tube may just be an empty toilet paper tube to you, but to a cat, there are endless possibilities. Try taking a single empty roll and cutting it into about four to five rings for your cat to bat around.
If you’re feeling a whisker more ambitious, paint or decorate your toilet paper roll with stickers, tape, or glue-gun magic as desired. Next, use scissors to cut a fringe on each end of the tube to create short, vertical tabs. Toss a treat inside and watch your cat have a feline field day retrieving it. You can bend the tabs outward to create a rolling treat on wheels or close the tube by bending the tabs inward, making a rattling kitty puzzle.
3. Bottle Caps
Metal bottle caps make for a charming mobile. Gently punch a hole in each bottle cap with a nail or metal skewer (watch your fingers!). Next, string the caps together using a cheery lanyard or plastic twine. If your cat prefers playing on the floor, tie the string in a loop (like a necklace) so they can carry it around the house. For a whimsical wind-chime effect, dangle the caps from a low doorknob or the arm of a chair.
Alternatively, bottle caps make a great sound when clinking together. Try putting a few leftover caps in your toilet-paper-tube-rattle and rolling it by your cat to see their reaction.
If you enjoyed these homemade cat toys, here are some more fun ways to keep your fur balls happy this holiday season.