Home-Made Cat toys

pisces7386

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Our best ever home made cat toy is our kitty stick ( stick-string-toy) after the toy fell off! They liked it with the toy mouse on the end, but once the mouse tail wore through and it fell off they went ape over it! They love the thin string with the little piece of twine on the end. Its to the point where we have to put it away behind a closed door otherwise they find it and drag it around the house.  They also love boxes... particularly boxes with holes that they can play through.
 

bearvin

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What a coincidence!!  For the past year, my husband and I have been amazed how "string on a stick" (as we call it) has become the favorite toy of our 2 youngest cats (we have 4).  We don't even have a piece of twine on the end.....just the string that used to have a toy on the end.  And, yes, one of the two LOVES to drag the whole thing around the house.  I'm always taken with how cute cats look when they carry something around like it's live prey. 
 

pisces7386

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 For the past year, my husband and I have been amazed how "string on a stick" (as we call it) has become the favorite toy of our 2 youngest cats (we have 4).  We don't even have a piece of twine on the end.....just the string that used to have a toy on the end.  And, yes, one of the two LOVES to drag the whole thing around the house.  I'm always taken with how cute cats look when they carry something around like it's live prey.  
I love that! I keep thinking our cat is crazy for how proud he looks when he catches that twine in his teeth. He just stomps off with it with his head held high :) it is the cutest thing ever! As long as we put it down slowly (to keep the tension) he will keep dragging it for the other two to pounce at. 
 

catsfurme

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I put ping pong balls in the bathtub.  My cat would jump into the dry tub and proceed to bounce/roll them off the back of the tub creating a continuous "up and over" movement.  He would play for 30  minutes at a time.  He was a Turkish Van and liked a little water.  Sometimes I would put about 1/2" to 1" of water in the bathtub with a couple of his toys.  He was a happy and very funny cat.
 
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jtbo

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I have attached shoe lace to ceiling and then put knot at end of it, for that I have cut small butterfly shape from well used cardboard box, just punch hole to middle, and put shoe lace trough the hole, knot must be forced trough the hole so that butterfly stays on place and hole has to be enough small that it is quite tight to get past a knot in shoe lace.

One can then swing butterfly around to make it "alive" and cats love to leap and hunt that butterfly. Maybe around 1 1/2ft above floor level has been usual height so they can't catch it very well, which adds to challenge.

They do destroy butterfly quite quickly, ones made from camping mattress material, less than 1/2" thick, stuff that you put under sleeping bag when sleeping in tent, those last longer, but eventually they pull it out and hide, so new one is needed to be made.



Tinfoil balls are one of the favorite toys, just take piece of tinfoil and place it to your palm, then place palms together and rub loosely together bit same way that one makes snow balls or when baking and making ball like shapes, don't make it too tight, loose ball makes nicer sound that attracts cat's attention to toy. They love to chase such ball and carry them around, sometimes dropping next to your feet and begging that one would toss ball around for them to chase again.


Even small round potato works quite well on hard surface, but one of nicest one is plastic old film canister or something similar, I got similar plastic bit when I bought new rear cogs for bicycle, especially on ice they like to bat it with front paws and run after it slipping around, I guess it is kind of skating and bit like hockey for them, but it is sound that toy makes that keeps them entertained.


Old tennis ball is also nice toy, I have some issues with my feet, so I need to put sometimes tennis ball under my feet and roll back and forth, it is great massage, but eventually ball gets broken and not useful for that, but ball that has certainly some feet smell in it seem to be great interest for cats and they like to bat it around and chase around, now broken ball bounces bit unpredictable and is much more interesting for them to chase around and I don't know what it is in sock sweat, but they do sometimes roll over my feet too, especially after I have been cutting woods down in forest which is very sweaty work.
They can actually react same way to that as some do for cat nip, so even it is bit of disgusting for us, it may not have same meaning for them.


Also broken Christmas tree decoration balls, plastic ones are such that some of mine like to chase around, I just remove hooks and bits that might get loose.
 

joe dimeowgio

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One of the easiest things to do is cut a long green branch from a bush or tree that has a nice amount of spring to it and won't snap.  Pluck off a few leaves along the stem and leave a bushy leafy end.  Makes a great toy.

Also putting a string or something like that under a door can drive a cat crazy.  As natural mouse hunters they wait outside the burrow until the mouse comes all the way out before they pounce.  My cat & I play this game a lot and I get the full range of hunting motions that I see from him outside, i.e. the head **** to judge distance, different pounces from different distances and angles, stalking and creeping etc.

Also cats love it when an object (string/mouse/etc) penetrates through one side of a vertical or horizontal surface which acts as a barrier and then reemerges outside of it.  If you have a crate for example with a bunch of holes in it, you can turn the crate on its side and the cat will fish through the holes.
 

courtneykp

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We just finished moving in to our new house, and had some leftover boxes. I taped two together and cut out an entrance or two. It isn't pretty, but Kitty loved it! For extra fun, i attached her feathery bell toy. She played for about an hour before she passed out hahaha
 

jtbo

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One of the easiest things to do is cut a long green branch from a bush or tree that has a nice amount of spring to it and won't snap.  Pluck off a few leaves along the stem and leave a bushy leafy end.  Makes a great toy.
I made this kind of toy recently, but as we don't have leaves during the winter, but it did not matter as at the end there was those pollen 'containers', I stripped all others but left only three, they love to chase and make a 'kill', works as well as shop bought, but lasts longer :D
 

fluffybeard

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CourtneyKP, what an awesome cardboard cat palace!

I can't get my cat to play with cat wands for very long, but I tied three knee high socks together to make a long sock chain that I drag and whip around and he never gets tired of chasing it!
 

courtneykp

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My baby loves wands! She had one with a mouse at the end of a string, but she destroyed it! Lol she loves the feather wand, but it won't last too much longer. It is down to like 3 feathers , and the rest are scattered across the house haha. :lol2:
 

bigperm20

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I use old wands from string toys to invent new cat toys. My girls are really rough on toys so once they break them I recycle them with duct tape, and a couple of feathers. I have also married a string toy with a small catnip mouse ala duct tape.

The cats love when daddy plays McGuyver.
 

jessicabd

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I wondered too why my cat loves feet - turns out valerian  smells like dirty feet, so I've combined catnip and valerian root in socks, etc.  Works great!
 

kommunity kats

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Hey - while on the subject of home made toys...what kind of string do you guys use for "kitty sticks"

- wand toys consisting of a stick, string, and a toy at the end of it? 

I was thinking cotton shoelaces might work - also leather shoelaces? 

I would think it would take a while to chew through leather.
I use old shoe strings on all such toys (cutting all hard ends off & replacing those with knots). 

They often bring a little spring with them into the action, which adds to the fun!

Leather has often been treated with chemicals, so I don't use any leather shoe laces.

They like chasing the knotted end of a horse whip, too.

It's handle is flexible, so it doesn't break when a reed or stick often would.
 
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engine4154

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I made a scratching post from a piece of driftwood retrieved from a river bank when I worked for the railroad. We took it back to our work shack, sawed it off on one end and mounted it to a square piece of plywood. Originally, it was for my late cat Bugs but she rarely used it. Bonnie and Clyde love it and use it all the time.
 

basscat

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Made a scratching post from 3ft of a 4"x4", wrapped with sisal rope, barn wood on each end.  (my inspiration was something I saw on Pinterest. Turns out a user here Bengalcatman made it).

It only cost me twice what Bengalcatman would have sold me one for...not counting at least half a days labor.


Have also sewn up some tiny pillows with catnip and pillow stuffing inside.  The 1st couple were made from the remains of some normal size sofa throw cushions.
I should have known better.  The reason that I had throw cushion "remains" in the 1st place is the reason my tiny pillows didn't last an hour.

The next tiny pillows, I used some old denim jeans.   Those have held up much better (and they look better).
 
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