In a previous article I wrote about Household Cat Toys – highlighting such items as paper bags, cardboard boxes, string, paper balls – all of which are absolutely free. Many of these items rank among our cats’ favorite toys. Our youngest cat, Jaidyn Gingerbread, absolutely loves her shoestring that came out of an old shoe of ours. She carries it throughout the house and meows when she wants us to play string with her.
Here are some other ideas for free and affordable gifts for your cats.
Homemade Cat Toys
If you are crafty and can sew, you could make your cat a catnip square. Our Sophie Creamsicle’s foster mom (and co-owner of the rescue group where we adopted her) sent home three of these cute and addictive toys. Each is basically square in shape, with fresh catnip inside, sewn together. Catnip is relatively inexpensive to buy, and even cheaper to grow your own.
Similar to the catnip square, for the more advanced seamstress. Cut out a mouse pattern, stuff with cotton (or another stuffing material) and fresh catnip, and sew together. Add eyes, mouth and tail as desired.
Follow above instructions without the catnip.
You can make other cat toys – like catnip balls – using the same basic instructions. If your cat prefers one type of toy over another (balls or mice), craft your toy accordingly. Handsome Cory loves his mice, while Jaidyn Gingerbread (in addition to her string) loves pom-pom balls. Higgins created what we call tater tots out of what used to be pom-pom balls. Now he doesn’t play much with the actual balls, as he prefers his tater tots! Sophie Creamsicle isn't picky; she loves toys - all toys.
Store Bought Cat Toys
There are many cat toys that aren’t too expensive available at department stores and pet stores. We purchased a bag of 12 pom-pom balls from Pet Supermarket for a few dollars. Sometimes dollar stores also carry cat toys at extremely affordable prices.
For most cats nothing says love quite like food! So a special treat of your cat's favorite flavor also makes a great affordable holiday kitty gift.
© Melissa Knoblett-Aman