Our Cats' Favorite DIY Projects

If you've ever been to a pet store, you know that there is basically no end to the number of toys available to buy for your pets. For cats, these are, for the most part, various versions of little toy mice, plastic balls with bells in them, and fluffy/feathery things for them to chase around. There are elaborate scratching posts, comfy beds, and of course, cat nip toys. I don't know how many of these toys people buy, but whatever the number, I suspect 95% of them have ended up in the trash or lost underneath of furniture. Every time we pull out our couch, we find all of the dog's favorite things (and a few dust bunnies).

I have made a few things for the cats over the years, inspired by the world of Pinterest. I thought I would share the few projects that are favored by our cats.

Scratching Post Bed
This is simply a second-hand basket filled with cardboard scraps, cut to fit. In some places the cardboard is held together by paper tape. I'm not going to lie, this took a long time to make. Because of the shape of the basket, which is oval as well as round on the bottom, each piece had to be trimmed to fit the exact spot it would go in. However, with a square basket I would think you could put this together much faster.

This is Muphin's favorite place to scratch and to sleep. It makes far less mess than the carpet scratching post, and I suspect will last indefinitely.

Denim Knot Ball
I originally made this for our dog, who had no interest in it. It is just a few scraps of denim knotted together over and over to make a tight ball. The cats don't actually play with it, but it is a great location to tuck cat nip. I just loosen the knots a little bit, tuck in some nip, and re-tighten. Then they will roll around with and and rub their faces on it for a long time. At the time of photographing, the knot was moist with cat slobber.

Does this really count as DIY? Probably not. But there is no other toy as popular with Muphin as a twist-tie. She bats them around, runs around with them in her mouth, stomps on them, and runs back and forth across the house after them. There is no end to the fun she can have with a twist-tie. She is partying with one right now but I had a hard time getting a non-blurry photograph.

Not photographed, but my pal Goats doesn't need fancy feathers or strings to play with. He's happy with any piece of string you're willing to dangle. He's also interested in the belt from your bath rope or wrap-dress, or whatever else you might have available.

Do you make your own cat toys? What are their favorites?


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