Does your cat need a $250 exercise wheel? $20 motorized mouse? $30 play tent?
With trendy cat toys dominating social media and new kitty products emerging constantly, it can be difficult to decide which enrichment items will benefit your cat without breaking the bank. Worst of all, many cats seem to have a radar for expensive toys and steer clear of anything worth more than the receipt you received after purchasing it. Even the most technically perfect toy with feathers, lights, chirping noises, scratch pads, and catnip can go unnoticed by a finicky feline, and every cat owner knows the sigh-inducing sight of a brand new toy being passed over for the box it was packaged in!
When you’re a foster parent cycling between litters, the price of toys can become an even bigger issue. While Southern Pines Animal Shelter provides foster parents with toys for their kittens, many will want to spoil their itty bitty kitties with tons of enrichment op-purr-tunities. (And when your fosters have such adorable faces, who wouldn’t!)
It is an unfortunate reality that many kitten and cat toys will go unused in most homes, and because they are made of unrecyclable plastics, bleached and dyed feathers, batteries, and cheap fabrics, they hurt the environment even more than our wallets. The good news is that cats don’t always need the newest, most expensive toys, and as a general rule, the less effort put into a plaything, the more interesting they find it. Use this to your advantage by upcycling household items into fabulous feline fun.
From bubbles to boxes, here’s our list items that can be recycled, repurposed, or homemade for your cats to create the ultimate toys!
While the toys listed above can be easily upcycled from household objects, there are a few items that pose health and safety risks for our feline friends. You'll want to leave these items out of any DIY cat toys:
Our list might be over, but there are tons of household items that present fantastic upcycling opportunities for the crafty cat-owner!
What was your favorite toy idea on our list? What is your genius upcycled cat toy idea? Share your thoughts below!
Blog articles are written by staff and volunteers of Southern Pines Animal Shelter.