Give Your Cat Your Dog’s Hand-Me-Downs

Cats can be very particular about their toys.

On the other hand, their favorite new toy may turn out to be a wadded up piece of paper.

If you have a dog, you may just have a goldmine of untapped potential playtime for your cat. When the dog has lost interest in some of his toys, consider reusing them for the cat.

Plush Toys

Your dog’s stuffed plush toy can make an easy transition to cat toy by simply sprinkling it with some cat nip. Just make sure the toy is intact and not about to lose filling or a squeaker. Place it next to your cat and he may just find it good enough to wrestle.


The fun thing about a dog’s tug toy for a cat is that it is long and chase-able. If your dog is fond of fleece tugs, these may make especially good cat toys since they’re soft and flexible for your cat to chase, hop on, and knead around the house. Fleece tugs also easily lend themselves to repair. If your dog has worn his down, simply tie knots with the fleece in those withered sections for reinforcement. You can add some added enticement by tying in a cat feather if you have one lying around. Grab a long fleece tug and encourage your cat into an enthusiastic chase.


Small dogs will often play with small toy balls, which could work well for your cat. Make sure the ball is lightweight and rolls easily, and try giving it a toss.

Not Too Noisy

Because cats can be easily startled, avoid any loud squeaking toys. This shouldn’t be a problem with plush toys, since your dog will most likely “kill” the squeaker long before your cat gets the toy.

Keep It Clean

Remember that cats can still be particular, so if the toy can be cleaned or washed, do so—using a nontoxic and non-fragrant soap or detergent—before giving it to your cat. Toy balls can be rinsed. Your cat may not appreciate dog slobber.

Safety First

Whatever the toy may be, make sure you inspect it for safety before giving it to your cat (or dog, for that matter). There should be no missing or loose pieces, unraveling of seams, holes, etc. If there is, toss it.

Before heading out to buy your cat an expensive new toy he may or may not like, pilfer your dog’s old toys and tweak them for some feline entertainment.

Meet the Author: Jessica Peralta

Jessica Peralta has been a journalist for more than 15 years and an animal lover all her life. She has had dogs, cats, birds, turtles, fish, frogs, and rabbits. Her current children are a German shepherd named Guinness and a black kitten named Riot (and he lives up to that name). It’s because of her love for animals that she focused her journalistic career to the world of holistic animal care and pet nutrition. In between keeping Riot and Guinness out of mischief, she’s constantly learning about all the ways she can make them healthier and happier.

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