Clever DIY Cat Toys

Cats need toys for stimulation and fun and they are easy to make.

Cats today are usually pampered, indoor members of the family. Their food is handed to them on a regular basis. Cat ancestors had to hunt in order to eat and they did this 10 to 20 times a day. They had the ability to pounce at a moment's notice.

Our modern day felines still possess these predatory instincts. Toys are a great way to help our cats embrace these inherent traits while helping them avoid an owner's leg as a good prey substitute.

Why Does My Cat Need Toys?

It is important to supply your cat with the correct types of toys to supplement and emulate years of predatory and instinctual habits. In order to do this, the toys must provide visual stimulation or recreate an intellectually similar environment to what it would encounter outside. Most cats prefer a certain type of prey.

Identifying a Cat's Prey Preference Can Be Done Easily

Start by trying toys resembling mice, birds, and bugs. Mice can be represented with something furry and soft, such as a piece of an old terry cloth robe or sock. A feather on a string can represent a bird and a simple knot tied at the end of a string will look like a bug to any cat. Introduce these "creatures" one at a time to your cat by mimicking the natural movement the animal would make. For example, make the "bird" fly through the air and the "mouse" scurry across the floor. Watch your cat's reaction. Alternate the simulated critters every 20 seconds and see which one garners more attention. Some cats will enjoy all of them and will benefit from a variety of "prey." Any toys that feature strings need to be put away out of reach of your cat when you are not supervising. Cats may get tangled up and injured in strings or they may ingest them, resulting in serious intestinal damage.

DIY Toys

Luckily for us, cat toys that provide the required enrichment can be easy to make from items found lying around the house. Some things that may be needed for DIY toys can be purchased for less than the cost of a commercial cat toy. Newspaper, empty water bottles, old socks, and empty cardboard boxes can all be converted into cat toys.

Easy To Make Cat Toys

Here are some DIY toy ideas:

Rotate your cat's toy collection to keep interest high. Sometimes, a cat will develop a favorite toy and may start sleeping with it or keeping it in a bed or other special place. The message is clear. This toy should be left out of the rotation.

Hazardous Items to Be Avoided on Cat Toys

There are a few things to avoid when making or buying toys for your cat:

All of these are safety hazards. If swallowed, strings can become tangled in the intestinal tract and cause serious, life threatening conditions. Plastic can cause mouth lacerations as well as intestinal tract emergencies. Small objects such as buttons, sequins, and "eyes" should not be used for homemade toys and should be removed from any purchased toys for the same reasons.

Appropriate toys enable indoor cats to express their natural predilections as hunters and prevent a myriad of health and behavioral issues as well. Equipping our felines with the correct toys does not have to be a costly endeavor and can be fun project.

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