Here are some simple toys you can make for your cats. They will be entertained for hours!
1. Catnip Sock – This is one of the easiest and most rewarding cat toys you can make. Simply take an old sock and drop some fresh catnip into it. Tie the sock shut in a knot. A thick long men’s sock works best. You can use the leg part of the sock to hold and dangle it in front of your cat. My two cats play with this home made toy endlessly. Best of all I finally found a use for that extra sock that lost its mate.
2. Indoor grass garden – Indoor cats often miss having a little nature to chew on. Planting a little indoor grass seed is great way to save all of your other houseplants from the jaws of your kitties. Choose a low pot to grow your grass in. You want the pot to be able to sit firmly on the ground while your cat chews away. The best thing about grass is that you can usually grow a few inches in about 10 days. It is also inexpensive and a favorite for cats. You can buy grass seed at Lowes and Home Depot.
3. Tin Foil Ball – Tin foil is one of those materials that many cats just find enchanting. It is lightweight, shiny, and somewhat noisy. My cats love it when I ball a piece up and toss sit around for them. Put a little catnip inside before you ball it up for a little more fun. You cannot get much easier than that!
4. Scratching Post – Making a scratch post for your cats is an easy and affordable project that will save you thousands in upholstery bills. Choose a simple shape if you are unsure. Take a sturdy wooden box and slowly wrap it in a rough natural fiber rope. Periodically attach the rope to the crate with 1 inch finishing nails. You could also use a light layer of wood glue. If you have any left over carpet wrap a wooden box with carpet. Tack on with nails and let the cats go to town.
5. Door Hanging Toy – Nothing thrills a cat more than something swinging in the air. Hang a catnip sock from a stretchy nylon piece of elastic. You can simply tie the elastic around the sock in a knot. Hang this from the door handle. My cats spend hours batting their sock around and chasing it back and forth as it swings.
6. Cat Tunnel – Cats love to tunnel through almost anything they can find. You can make your own cat toy tunnel out of old wire hangers and an old sheet. Take the hangers apart and bend them into a circle. You will need at least four of these, but the more the better. Measure the circumference of each circle. Cut your sheet out in a piece wide enough to wrap around the circles. Start attaching each circle about 1 foot apart along the sheet. Attach them with a needle and thread. There is no need to sew the entire circle to the sheet. Handstitch each circle in four spots to the sheet and move onto the next circle.
7. Feather Dangle Cat Toy – Buy a 3-foot piece of wooden dowel. Screw in an eyehook to the end. Tie a grouping of feathers together with a string. Make sure your string is about three feet long. Tie the free end to the eyehook. Dangle in front of the kitties. You could also use an old wooden broom handle for this.
8. Catnip Ball – Use some of those gumball machine plastic balls and some fresh catnip to make this toy. Gentle stab a few small holes in the plastic ball with a sturdy needle. Place a tablespoon of catnip inside. Your cats will go crazy for this. You could also put some jungle bells inside if your cats respond to noise.
9. Feather Glove – I always seem to find one random glove after the winter is over that has lost its mate somewhere. I like to sew a feather on the end of each finger and tickle my cat’s nose. He can spend hours batting away at those feathers. You can also sew a long string with some fuzzy cloth balls one the end. They really like that as well. You can buy those little fuzzy balls buy the bag full at Michaels Arts and Crafts.
10. Pen Light – I randomly discovered this great cat toy one day when I was using one of those levels that shine a red light on the wall. My cats went crazy looking for it after I finished with the project, so I decided to find a red penlight at Office Depot. Now they spend hours chasing a little red dot that flies around the room. Careful with this toy though, I tired of it long before my cats did!