If you’re feeling crafty, and it so happens that you have kittens and cats under your care, you can make for them any of the following toys highlighted below so that you no longer need to spend so much on commercially available playthings.
Cardboard Cat Playhouse
Kitties, regardless of age and size, will love to wander around places they know they can explore. This is what makes the cardboard playhouse one of the best feline playthings.
You will need:
- Window and door templates
- Three sturdy cardboard boxes of the same size
- Bone folder
- Utility knife or razor blade
- Self-healing mat
- Glue gun
Here’s how you can make it:
- Print the window and door templates and cut them out. Position window and door templates on a box, using your ruler for placement. With a pencil, trace the templates to the box. Slide into the box a self-healing mat, making sure it is positioned behind the cardboard door; cut the top edge, the bottom edge, and the centre. Fold open along the straight parts. Repeat the tracing and cutting process on the second box, this time with the window template.
- Put together the bottom part of the first box: fold in flaps, making sure they are coated with glue, then fold the other flaps over the first flaps. Hold flaps together until such time that the glue has settled. One the open portion of the box, cut off the flap of every long side. Then cut half the flap from a short side off, then fold it in. Get hot glue and use it to secure flaps to box side. Hold in place the flaps until the glue has settled.
- Start creating the roof. At the top part of the second box, get a pencil and ruler and use it to create a line from top centre of a short-side flap to a bottom corner; draw another line from top centre to another bottom corner. Repeat at the opposite flap. Cut a long-side flap off; set aside. Proceed to remove a triangular shaped part from a short-side flap by cutting along a penciled line; cut along second line. Do the same with the other short-side flap–cut along a line and score the other.
- Cut the long-side flaps of the bottom portion of box number two. Cut a short-flap so once you have assembled and stacked this box to the one at the bottom, all holes are aligned. Secure flaps to side of box using an application of glue. Hold these flaps until such time that the glue has set. Coat top portion of bottom box with hot glue. Position bottom of second box over top portion of bottom box, and hold until the glue has dried. Use a short side flap you have reserved and apply glue to one side. Set this flap, coated side down, to top box floor to serve as reinforcement.
- Cut roof piece from box number three with crease down centre when it is folded from one short end to another. To attach the roof, you need to fold along scored lines on all short-side flaps located at the topmost section of the house. Glue the long flap to folded triangles from short sides. Coat pieces you have folded in with glue generously, and then set the roof on top of them. When doing this, make sure to hold pieces until the glue has settled. (Note: Do not glue shut the opposite side of the roof, as kitty will love to peek his head out from under there.)
Feather Cat Toy
Feather toys resemble birds, which kitties also love to hunt. Here’s how you can make your own wool felt feather toy.
- Using a template as your guide, cut one big feather and one smaller feather from differently-coloured wool felt.
- Use a hot iron and crease down the middle parts of every feather.
- Get a jump ring and add it to the jingle bell.
- Slip the end of a yard-long length of cord through the jump ring. At the bell, tie the feather stems to a cord, making sure that a square knot is used to secure the cord. Aside from securing the cord, knotting can also help prevent it from fraying.
A ring ball is a ball made of cardboard rings. A treat can be placed inside this ball to serve as an incentive to the feline pet. You only need a cardboard toilet paper tube to create this toy.
- Cut four rings out of the entire cardboard tube, making sure that scissors are used to do so.
- Insert a ring to another ring. Insert the third ring, then the fourth ring, until a ball is formed.
As proven by the many toys that you can get from a pet shop, cats love to play with so many things. But there’s no need to spend so much on cat toys as long as you take time to learn to create your own kitty playthings from recycled materials.