Thursday, July 21, 2016

Craft for Your Local Shelters Day: DIY Cat Toys Using Dollar Store Materials!

I'm the least crafty person you're likely to ever meet. While I love to wander the aisles at Michaels and imagine all the possibilities on those shelves, it's just not happening. Have you ever seen those cute bunny rabbits made just by folding a washcloth a certain way? I tried that once...the results would have frightened small children.


Today is National Craft for Your Local Shelters Day, a day to use your creative skills to give back to your local shelter by making something: toys, beds, blankets, collars, "adopt me" bandanas. I googled "DIY cat toys" and found a few ideas that even *I* could handle, so off to the Dollar Store I went where I picked up two items: a package of pipe cleaners and a package of feathers.

Here's what I came up with:


1) Spring toy: Simply wrap a pipe cleaner around a pen or pencil to create a spring shape. You could also make a double spring by wrapping a second pipe cleaner between the coils of the first.


2) Aluminum foil toy: Who needs to buy balls when kitties love batting around balls made from rolled up pieces of aluminum foil! Doesn't it look like a fish skeleton when you secure a piece of pipe cleaner inside?



3) Wine cork toy: Please tell me I'm not the only one with a jar full of wine corks in my kitchen? The designs on some are so pretty I just can't bear to toss them out, but they can be repurposed into a cat toy! I cut a pipe cleaner into three pieces, then made holes on both sides of the wine cork with a push pin just big enough to push in the pipe cleaner pieces and feathers. Pieces of rick rack would work nicely too. This toy gives kitty something to sink their claws into, bat, drag, and toss around.


4) Ring toy: Cats love milk rings, but I always worry that with too much chewing a piece could get swallowed. A pipe cleaner curled up into a circle a few times is much sturdier, and you can curl in the ends to make sure it doesn't come undone.

How easy was that??? In no time at all I'll have a basket full of toys to bring to the shelter...and all I spent was $2!!! Each of these toys can be placed in the communal cat areas, inside cages, or even tied to the outsides of cages to be batted around.

A word of caution when using pipe cleaners: Always fold in the ends to remove the sharp edges of the wire!

Have you ever made any DIY cat toys for your kitty or shelter? Tell us about them!

19 comments:

  1. Bear needs to play every day otherwise he gets bored ... trying to keep him entertained isn't easy ... so over time, I've come up with a lot of ideas for homemade toys that are made with things I'd normally throw away ... here's a link to my post: http://mommakatandherbearcat.blogspot.com/2016/04/claws-and-fangs-at-play-homemade-edition.html.

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  2. Those look like they would be a lot of fun to play with!

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  3. Those are just terrific. We know those shelter cats will love those toys. I think I will make some of those for the cats here.

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  4. The mom makes those pipecleaner rings for us. What great ideas for toys for the shelter kitties.

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  5. I love these ideas! I especially think the wine cork toys are brilliant. What's more, the kitties will love them! I'm constantly crumpling up paper as toys for my kitties, but past that I have never actually made a cat toy. While I love to draw, I've never been crafty in that sense. My sister knits cat toys, and my mom sews and crafts all sorts of other kitty toys. I'm no good with that sort of craft. Thank you for sharing this, and for doing this for the kitties!

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  6. I think I might even be able to do these, too, Melissa!

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  7. You did a great job! How did I not know there was a day for this. I love to make crocheted toys for shelters, I even make one that uses a cork :)

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  8. You've inspired me! These are so darn cute!!! I'll have to give it a try! Thank you!

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  9. Super cute but Cody would eat the feathers :( I have to watch him like a hawk with feather...also "tinsely" things .....he would try and eat them. But for cats that don't try to eat everything in sight those are super cute. I have made treat dispensers from empty butter tubs (the small ones) you just have to make sure to cover the edges where you cut out the treat holes. Nice ideas! catchatwithcarenandcody

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  10. What great ideas. We like the cork toy
    Snorts,
    Lily & Edward

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  11. Those are some cool easy-to-do ideas ! Purrs

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  12. mudpie.....we help de food servizz gurl make no sew blankitz for de shelterz round TT ☺☺

    yur toyz total lee rock !! de foil ball one iz R fave !!!

    heerz two a crocodile icefish kinda week oh end ♥♥♥

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  13. These are so cute! Mommy does not make crafts. And trust me when I tell you she shouldn't!

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  14. I forgot about this holiday. Sigh, it brings back memories of catnip toy crafting with my cat rescue team of volunteers 20 years ago! I invented the long 'tail-type' toy which is sold everywhere now. Wish we'd had the Internet then! The wine cork is our fave. Aluminum foil is not safe especially unsupervised. FYI, we added your logo to our press mentions at our Black Cats Tell All campaign #2.

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  15. I'm pretty sure these are at my level of crafting! :-)

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  16. The wine cork toy really got our attention. Cuz TBT has about 2 dozen jars full of identical wine corks. Dont ask us why; he just does stuff like that sometimes. Hes looking fer someone who wants them all so he can stop collecting them... Mebbe some elementery school teacher with an art/crafts idea.

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