In this tough economy all of us have been effected in some way. However, our kitties shouldn’t have to suffer from boredom all day.

It seems our society is very dog friendly, but when is the last time you saw a cat running through a park playing? Just because we don’t take our cats outdoors to play doesn’t mean that they can’t experience something new and exciting. Here are a few ideas for cheap toys for your feline.

Easy

Cats love tight spaces so why not bring home a cardboard box? Use your imagination, turn the box upside down and cut holes in the box for your kitty to play in and poke out of.

If you don’t have access to a box, any tight container with holes will work such as a laundry basket or even a bucket. If your cat seems uninterested at first, drag a string through the holes and watch her play! You can even throw a crumpled piece of paper into the box with her if you don’t have toys. Cats love shoestrings, yarn and anything small enough that they can imagine hunting and going in for the kill.

As for toys, you can look around the house for some items you don’t necessarily need. For example, take a toilet paper or paper towel roll and punch holes in it. Tie some yarn or string in and out of the holes and toss! Your cat will love sticking her paw in the tube to get out the string.

Or if they are my cats, they will drag the tube around by the string and poof up (hair stands on end, spine goes up in the air) when it follows them- haha! You can tie some rope or shoestring into a loop and most cats will be happy with that. My cats enjoy plastic bags, straws and the stretchy netting that oranges come in. It just takes a creative mind.

Moderate

You can take old furniture or scraps that you are no longer using (or find on someone’s curb) and refashion it into a cat play land. The amount of space you have to work with determines what you can make.

For example, I found the back of a couch with no cushions one day and brought it home. Cleaned it up and tipped it on its side so it was tall against the wall. The cats loved climbing and jumping up it for days. You just need to discipline them to stay off your couch this way; I recommend a water bottle and firm voice.

Another thing I found was an old entertainment center without a back. You just cut circular holes and add flat pieces of wood for a stairway and you can make a maze or play area from shelf to shelf.

In the toy department, I would recommend taking an old sock and filling it with small beans, perhaps pea size. Whatever you put inside should be edible incase they break through the sock. But you just tie a knot in the ankle section of the sock and give it to them. They like the sound of the beans moving past each other and also like to hunt this new toy since it has the pressure and strength of a rabbit or small animal they may hunt if they were wild.

Or if you want a more interactive kitty, you could tie small objects that make noise to a long string or rope, bells, plastic bag, or anything you can think of. Then attach the end of the rope to the back of your pants or belt loop. Now everywhere you go, your kitties can follow in amusement as you get things done around the house.

Hard

If you are labor inclined, you can look at our article for tips on building your own cat post. The sky is the limit when you are the architect and builder. If you are not so inclined with tools, you can always make a certain part of your house more cat friendly, perhaps a cat room or space.

As I am sure you have noticed, cats like to climb and jump to get high up. If you can build him a tower of safe items to jump on, it will be his own post without needing the screwdriver and hammer. You could stack storage bins (they can be full; duel purpose) and cover it with cloth that kitty can scratch at.

Make sure you secure the cloth then tell your cat it’s ok to play in the area by placing him on top of the tower and playing with him. Maybe his tower can be in the closet, take a door off and it can be out of the way and fun for him.

More difficult toys to make involve sewing or craftiness, there are plenty of ideas if you use the GoodSearch.com search engine (and help raise money for EverCats) and search for “homemade cat toys.”

However here is a quick idea for the crafty cat owner. You can make little mice by cutting out a wide triangle of fabric and sewing the edges together – the seam would create a backbone. You can fill the mouse with cotton and a sprinkling of catnip if you would like. For an optional tail, tie a large knot in the end of a piece of rope. Sew the knot inside the seam with the rest of the rope hanging out.

All it takes in a little imagination and the mindset of a cat to come up with quick, easy and most importantly safe, free or cheap toys to keep your cat playing all year round!

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