Tips for crafty cat-lovers to make their own feline-friendly creations

Posted on: 10 July 2017 by 50connect editorial

Crafty cat owners will be able to keep their pets amused with their own handmade creations thanks to Cats Protection’s top tips for DIY cat toys.

cat toys

The UK’s largest cat charity has compiled its favourite ideas for feline-friendly goodies which are both simple and cheap to make.

From boredom-busting feeding toys made from toilet roll tubes to simple catnip pouches to encourage play, Cats Protection is sharing the ideas ahead of its attendance at The Handmade Fair at Hampton Court Palace in September.

Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 190,000 cats every year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.

The charity’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said: “Cats have a tendency to find fun in all sorts of things around the home, from empty boxes to a freshly-folded pile of laundry. It’s this sense of fun and adventure that makes it so rewarding to make homemade toys and games for cats.

“Making your own toys and enrichment activities is not only a great way to enjoy watching your cat have fun, it also helps to prevent boredom and encourage exercise.”

Cats Protection’s favourite tips are:

Feeding enrichment activities

Cats love different ways to make feeding time more interesting. Commercially-produced food balls are available in shops, but homemade versions are cheap and easy to make. Hiding dry food in a clean, empty egg box will give cats the chance to enjoy batting their way to their food. For a different take, try suspending a large, clean yoghurt pot with some holes in it to allow biscuits to fall out just above the cat’s head height – cats will love working out how to bat the food out.

Catnip knots

Most cats love catnip and will spend hours engaged in energetic play with it. For a simple homemade toy – which also finds a use for odd socks – simply fill a sock with a couple of tablespoons of dried catnip, knot the end and trim off any excess.

Toilet roll puzzles

Collect a good supply of toilet roll tubes and stack them on top of each other to create a mini wall of tubes, secured with sticky tape. Hide a portion of your cat’s daily allowance of dry food or a cat nip toy within the tubes - cats will love using their paws to fish out the goodies hidden inside.

Get knitting to help other cats

Knitters can make their own blankets and catnip toys to keep cats cosy and entertained over the winter months. Cats Protection’s knitting bee is a great way to get involved in helping the cats currently in the care of the charity as they wait to find new homes. Simply come up with your own design or use the popular Captain Cat-Battler knitted mouse - originally designed by Lauren O'Farrell (www.whodunnknit.com). Donations of knitted goods can be taken to any of Cats Protection’s branches, shops and adoption centres across the UK, or dropped off at Cats Protection's stand at The Handmade Fair. 

As well as tips about DIY cat toys, Cats Protection’s vintage-themed stand at The Handmade Fair will also be packed with cat-related information and merchandise.

Visitors will be able to find out more about becoming a volunteer to help cats in need, adopting a cat or how to support the charity’s work.

For more information about the charity, please visit www.cats.org.uk

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