If you’re a cat owner, you know how important it is to keep your feline friend entertained and engaged. While there are plenty of store-bought toys out there, sometimes it’s fun (and budget-friendly) to get creative and make your own. In this article, we’ll share some unique toy ideas that are sure to keep your pet happy and playful.
1. Invest in A Scratching Post
Scratching posts are a must-have for cats, as they provide mental and physical stimulation. Scratching also helps them naturally wear down their claws, which keeps them from getting too long. These posts give cats something to do and a safe way to express their natural behaviors without damaging furniture. Thankfully, there are countless store-bought models available in all shapes and sizes.
For larger cat toys, look for models made from sisal rope across the outer surface—they should meet the “claw” test of continually withstanding sharp claws. For added fun, find one with toys on it or around it so your pet can physically and mentally challenge themselves while scratching away.
2. Buy a Laser Pointer
Laser pointers are a great way to engage your cat’s natural hunting instincts and provide them with hours of entertainment. They love to chase the red dots that lasers make and jump up and catch the light mid-air. It is recommended that you keep the laser sessions relatively short in order for your pet to maintain interest— about 5 minutes is ideal.
To prevent repetitive motion injuries, be sure not to point the laser at any one area for too long, as felines will continuously chase it in a circle if given the opportunity. Also, some animals may become obsessed with chasing the laser dot if allowed too much freedom, so it’s important not to forget about their other toys as well.
3. Purchase a Cat Tree
Cat trees provide felines with a place to scratch, climb and hide while they explore the world around them. Buying a tree is one of the best ways to help your pet stay active and entertained. Having something that satisfies their predatory instinct can also reduce negative behavior, such as scratching furniture or other inappropriate surfaces.
Generally, they enjoy having perches to look down on and platforms that offer nooks for privacy. Many trees now come with extra features such as tunnels and swings, which further entertain cats with hours of playtime fun. Look for those made from quality materials like durable carpeting or untreated wood, which won’t harm your cat if she decides to chew on it.
4. Invest in A Harness
One creative toy that your cat can enjoy outside is a harness. A harness allows you to take your kitty out with you on walks and other outdoor activities while keeping them safe and secure. Cat harnesses are designed to fit snugly around your pet’s body so it can’t wriggle free. Many even have an integrated lead that can be used if you need to control the kitty’s wandering.
If your feline is likely to get overly excited outdoors, then opt for a lightweight mesh style with adjustable straps — unlike heavier materials like leather or vinyl, this won’t weigh them down as quickly when running around or climbing trees!
5. Buy a Tunnel
Cat tunnels provide an exciting environment for play and exploration. They love to crawl through mazes and feel the thrill of being surprise attacked from the other end. Not only does a tunnel add an element of fun to your feline’s daily activities, but it also serves as a great form of exercise.
Take your playtime outdoors with a pop-up tunnel! The mesh material is designed to stand up to wear and tear, making it perfect for running and jumping around in the yard or park. Plus, the looped side opening is big enough that your kitty can enjoy time with friends too!
6. Create a Window Perch
A window perch gives your cat the best view in the house and is an excellent way to entertain her as she enjoys the sights and sounds from the great outdoors. You can easily make a window perch with a little bit of ingenuity and some basic materials.
To make a window perch, you will need fabric strips of sturdy material, like denim; foam padding; batting to cushion your cat’s feet; heavy-duty adhesive or sewing supplies for attaching the fabric pieces securely together; wooden trim pieces to frame the perch; screws and drill if needed for mounting it to your windowsill or wall.
7. Invest in An Automated Feeder
If you’re looking for a toy that will keep your feline entertained while you’re out of the house, consider investing in an automated feeder. Automated feeders can help regulate your cat’s eating schedule, providing timed meals throughout the day. This means that even when you’re away from home, your pet can continue to enjoy structure and feel fulfilled.
What’s more, some automated feeders come with interactive features including unconventional textures, movable parts, and LED lights — all of which offer plenty of opportunity for play and mental stimulation. Make sure to choose one that has easy-to-clean parts and adjustable settings so you can customize it according to your pet’s individual needs.
8. Purchase a Robotic Mouse
Robotic mice make larger, realistic-looking rodents that your cat can stalk and pounce on. Many models feature a long tail that moves when your cat bats it and they usually require batteries. Some models come with an automatic timer that lets them move every few minutes so even if your pet gets bored, the mouse will set off again on its own. This type of toy is especially great for cats who may be deaf or have impaired vision and wouldn’t otherwise be able to sense motion.
9. Buy an Interactive Ball
Interactive balls offer plenty of playtime fun for your cat. Look for a ball that has battery-operated features, such as lights, remote controls, and color-dispensing compartments that give your pet something to find inside.
These toys require your cat to be active and engage her curiosity, which is great for keeping her entertained. You can also use interactive balls as part of a training program you create to teach your cat tricks like fetch or hide-and-seek.
10. Create a Cardboard Box Maze
Cardboard boxes are a classic cat’s playground. And when you take it up a notch, you can turn this everyday item into a great DIY toy for your feline friends!
To create your own maze, find an open cardboard box that’s big enough for your cat to move around in. Cut and fold the sides of the box so it has different levels, twists, and turns. Then tuck some of their favorite treats in the nooks to give them something to look forward to as they explore.
In conclusion, cat toys are essential for providing mental and physical stimulation to our feline friends. Whether store-bought or homemade, the right toys can help prevent boredom and encourage exercise and playfulness in pets of all ages. So go ahead and spoil your furry friend with some new toys – they’ll thank you for it with endless purrs and playtime!