For creatures that seem so regal and intelligent, cats are blissfully simple to entertain.
They’ll spend hours chasing a little red dot or batting around a rubber ball. There’s no sense in spending a bunch of money on cat toys when you’ve probably got the means to make your own lying around the house. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.
Refabulous recycled mouse toy pattern (photos above) PATTERN HERE.
Recycled Mouse Toys
–Cotton balls or soft filling
Cats love chasing mice, and making a few out of fabric won’t cost you much at all. Even better, they’re not very time consuming!
Begin by laying out your fabric, which can be old t-shirts or button ups you no longer wear. You’ll need to draw two half-ovals, somewhat shaped like an egg, for the sides of the mouse. Cut them out. Then trace a full oval to use as the bottom.
Stick the two side pieces together along the top, following the curved edge and not the straight bottoms. Once you’re done it should look similar to an egg that was cut in half length-wise and emptied out.
Now you’ll want to sew the bottom onto your half-oval top you just made. Do not sew it the entire way around just yet. Leave enough of an opening to stuff in a couple of cotton balls or filling, then finish sewing the hole closed.
Cut out a new strip of fabric from the shirt to use as a tail. Consider tying a knot at the end, if you’d like. Now sew the tail unto the back of your mouse on the back end.
For eyes, you can simply glue beads onto the front of the mouse or sew on a couple of small circles from the shirt. For the ears, cut out two triangles and, with hot glue, carefully fold them and place the ends onto the mouse so they stand out. You might have to hold them in place until the glue dries.
–Cord or rope
–Various fabric (felt works well)
Feathers on strings are popular at just about every pet store, so save little cash a make some of your own. You probably have extra cord or rope lying around the house somewhere you can use.
Lay your fabric out on a flat surface so you can draw the outline for your feathers. You’ll want to create feathers your cat can play with, so realism isn’t something you need to fret over. Trace out he basic design of a feather and cut it out.
Now, use the scissors to begin snipping lines into the sides of your feather. You should probably create at least two feathers for each length of cord. No more than three feathers per toy should be necessary. Your feathers should also have stems on them.
Lay two or three feathers on top of one another fanning them out in different directions. Now, take your cord and tie one end around the stems of the feathers to tie them together. You can also add some glue if you’re worried about it coming lose.
If you’d like, you can also thread the cord through a small bell, like those you see attached to Christmas ornaments, at the base of the feathers to help give them noise.
Once you’ve tied the cord around the feathers you have two options. You can leave it as-is and you’re done, or you can attach the other end to a stick to have something to hold onto. You can find a stick thick enough that it won’t break lying around a park or in your backyard, most likely.
That's it! You've got yourself a couple new toys for you cat without spending $20 at your local pet store.
Ben Kerns is a freelance writer, photographer and outdoor adventurer based out of San Diego. When he’s not busy working you can find him hopping across the world looking for new places to climb big rocks. He’s also fanatically obsessed with funding his outdoor obsessions for as little money as possible.