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Homemade Cat Toys
Although there are a large variety of cat toys available on the market today, you can also with a bit of ingenuity and an ounce of thriftiness, provide your cat with safe toys made from items found around your home.
Kleenex Peek-boo- Take an empty Kleenex box. Using an Exacto blade, cut out holes of various shapes and sizes, none larger than a paw can get through. Then, place a few cat treats into the Kleenex box through the slit where the tissues normally come out. Seal the slit well with duct tape or gorilla tape. Place the box on the floor for some supervised kitty entertainment.
On a Roll- toilet paper is harmless fun for your cat. Yes, it is messy to clean up and if you donít want to start the habit of your cat running to the bathroom to play with the spindle, you can make your own spindle out of a small piece of PVC pipe and some clothesline. Run the clothesline through the pipe. Place a roll of toilet paper on the pipe, and then tie the ends of the clothesline together. Hang this on a doorknob or a cabinet door and let your kitty find it for herself.
Catnip Heaven- Put those old phone books to good use. Take an old White Pages, and place the book on the floor. Open it randomly and sprinkle catnip on several of the pages. Leave a small amount of catnip on the top of the book. Your cat will find it soon enough and spend some time rolling and flipping her way through the phone book. Use this toy only if catnip does not make your cat aggressive.
Have a Ball- Take a sheet of plain paper and crumple it into a ball. Toss it over your shoulder, or take a clean, empty office trash can and toss the crumpled paper in there.
Catnip Sock- an old, clean sock filled with catnip and tied at the end makes a great toy for a kitty. When not in use, keep the sock in a plastic bag in the freezer to keep the catnip fresh.
Sew easy- take an empty spool of thread and roll it across the floor.
Prescription for fun- Use a clean and dried prescription bottle without the cap for some roll around fun. Be sure that all the medicine residue is out of the bottle first by washing and then air-drying the canister. Film canisters work great as well.
Scratch this- Have an old bulletin board laying around? Place it against a wall at floor level making sure to anchor it with a screw. Cats love to scratch the corkboard. Have a broom and dustpan handy, you will need it.
Chairman of the Bored- If you have an old easy chair you arenít using, make it the designated cat post. Rub it down with catnip and set it in a corner. Let the scratching begin!
Light Show- the popular toy for cats is the laser light. The danger with this toy is if you get the laser in the catís eye, you will blind her. You can achieve the same result safely by using a small flashlight (penlight). Late at night, douse the lights in your room and turn on the flashlight. Run it along the walls, the furniture and ceiling at a fairly rapid pace. Slow moving, you wonít get much action. One of the advantages to playing with your cat like this is the minute you snap on the flashlight, she will be at your side. One year, I had a cat get out of the house. I looked for him all day and couldnít find him. When night came, I stepped outside, turned on the flashlight, and BAM! He appeared instantly.
Bag it- Paper bags are great kitty toys! Plastic bags are a definite no-no, and any handles on a paper bag should be torn off first. You can just open the paper bag and lay it on the floor. If you have two cats, you might find one will jump on the top of the bag and trap the other. To prevent this, simply cut a hole in the bottom of the bag big enough for the cat to get through.
Think outside the box- Cardboard boxes are always cat magnets. You donít want them to have the packing peanuts (some are toxic to cats). But empty boxes are great. You can cut holes in the sides so the cat can jump through the box, or turn it right side up and toss in a ping pong ball to create a ball bin.
Straw Pole- take four plastic straws and tie them together. Be sure they are not colored straws, plain only. Toss the straw pole on a tile floor for kitty.
Buried Treasure- use an old, cleaned hairbrush and hide it underneath a throw rug. Kitty will see the bulge and go to investigate. When she pushes the brush out from under the rug, pop it back underneath.
Step on it- take an old, clean sneaker. Remove the shoelaces and discard safely. Place inside the shoe either catnip or a small ball (not small enough so the cat could choke)
What to avoid when entertaining kitty:
Have fun and be creative! Just when you play, remember to play it safe!