When you bring a new kitten home, you’ll be tempted and swayed by the gadgets and gizmos at the pet store. Even if you have an older cat, and you’re just looking to liven up his life, you may be thinking about investing in some motorized mice or flashing light toys. But imagine how you’ll feel if you shell out cash for these items, only for your pet to turn up their nose.
The truth is that cats don’t really know the difference between expensive and sleek cat toys and homemade cat toys, and you can often please your kitten just as well with the latter. Here is a list of cat toys that you can get cheap or make yourself.
1. Little furry mice.
These can be bought in bulk, on the cheap, from any pet store, or supermarket, and they are actually worth buying. Laced with catnip, these little furry balls engage the imagination of your pet. You may find them all over the house, where you least expect them. Or you may find that your kitten likes to drag hers around by the tail, like her own personal doll. The fur appeals to the predator in cats, and real fur is better than synthetic, but the texture will still appeal.
2. A Cardboard Box.
Take any cardboard box, cut a bunch of holes in it with an exacto-knife, and sit back and watch the fun. If you have two cats, all the better. One will use the box as a hide-out and the other will try to attack through the flaps and holes you cut. Some cats like to chew and scratch on the boxes, and that’s certainly better than your furniture. Plus, this is one cat toy you can fold up and throw away without guilt when you’re done.
3. Twist Ties.
Yes, the kind that comes on your loaves of bread. A twist tie can be turned into a fancy cat toy by tangling and weaving together several at once, or just twisting one up like a spring. Cats don’t quite know what to make of the spring-back qualities of what must look like a mouse-tail gone wild, and will spend hours chasing and batting a twist-tie around.
4. Paper balls.
Crumple up a little bit of paper, and toss it so that it rolls across the rug. Your cat will likely chase it. Some cats can even be trained to fetch paper balls and bring them back. That’s how much they enjoy the game. Paper balls are superior to the cat toy balls that you buy in the store, because they make appealing crinkly noises, and have lots of nooks and crannies for your cat to bite or hook with his nails.
6. A paper bag.
Set it on the floor, on its side, open, and you will have made a perfect cat toy trap. Cats love to crawl inside small spaces, especially ones that crinkle. That they can bite, scratch, and claw their way out only makes it more fun for them.
Tie two together, and drag it around the room. Your cat will inevitably follow. One can’t be sure if the wiggly nature of a shoelace somehow brings out fantasies that your cat is back in Egypt, protecting the pharaoh from serpents, or whether or not it just reminds them of a mouse tail. What we can be sure of is that you probably have two old shoe-laces around the house and it won’t cost you a thing to make this cat toy.