If your cats are anything like mine, they are really rough on their toys. After all, good toys should mimic prey because cats are on the hunt when they play. If you’re rotating and replacing toys regularly, it can get pricey to stay on top of your cats’ needs. That’s why I’m a fan of repurposing and reusing toys and household items as cat toys.
Here are five items you can turn into toys that you probably have in your house right now.
Cardboard – Whether it’s boxes, bags, or scratchers, kitties love cardboard. It makes fun noises when they scratch, bite, and chew. Plus it can provide your cat with a hiding place or nap spot when he needs a break. Or, turn a cardboard box into a challenging food puzzle that will keep your cat busy foraging for treats.
Blanket – Cats love to attack prey that is hiding from them. I like to use a blanket and an old toy to attract my cat’s attention. Or run a stick under the blanket to simulate a bug crawling and watch your cat attack it. You can also let them hide under the blanket or you can even build a blanket fort for the whole family to enjoy.
Bits and Pieces – With cats one thing is for sure, they can turn anything into a toy. I’ve used receipts and old napkins more times than I can count. In fact, that’s what inspired our Looper attachment. Cats love the crinkle and texture of paper, whether they’re batting around a balled up receipt or shredding a bit of junk mail.
Odds and Ends – One of my clients says her cat loves to play with the end of a Wiggly Wand. But not with a toy attached—just the metal clip. Her cat will chase it for hours! It’s a really great way to keep using your wand toy when the attachment is worn out. The small metal clasp moves and skitters just like a bug, which can be a bit more of a challenge for your cat.
Treats – Sometimes to keep things interesting I will hide treats or kibble for my cats to find. It keeps them interested in their food and lets them flex their foraging muscles. Some cats also enjoy a game of fetch, so you can try tossing the treat for them to catch.
Whatever you do for play time, it doesn’t have to be expensive. Your cat loves spending time with you and catching her “prey.” Keep it interesting but keep it in budget.