Cats may laze around all day in the living room but they also need to be entertained. Their daily dose of cuddling and affection should be provided. Right?
Cat owners will agree that most cat-stimulating toys and accessories would cost a lot. These adds on to the more important basic needs your cats have.
Never fear! With the freaked-out-cat-world we have right now, doing your own will be a breeze. We have here five projects that are so easy you can actually do it together with your children. This will also be a good bonding activity with them. The kids will also get to appreciate the results when the cats get to adore the handmade stuff they did.
1. DIY Cat Bed
Cats deserve a soft bed as well as humans do. Having a comfy place to sleep for the cats will also help warm them during the cold weather. All cat lovers would want their pets to be as comfortable as they can.
This no-sew cat bed is easy to make and is safe for children since there are no needles required.
You will need the following materials:
- Polyester Fiberfill (if this is not available, you may also use cotton balls or you can get the stuffing of a very worn-out pillow)
First, cut the fleece according to your desired shape and size. An additional 8 inches of fabric should be included around it because you will need to make strips from this.
Next is, you have to measure 4 inches around the perimeter of the fabric. You will produce four squares from this and you will have to cut out these 4 corner pieces.
Start cutting 4-inch strips or longer if you want. It will be easier for children to knot them if they are longer. The strips should be about an inch apart. For faster cutting, put two fleeces on top of each other.
Tie the fringes by starting from one corner, take one upper and lower strip and tie them together. It would be good to make a double knot to ensure it won’t untie by itself. Please also make sure that you leave an opening enough to fill it in with the fibers.
Fill the pet bed with the polyester fiberfill and then tie off the remaining strips to enclose it.
The amount of filling will determine the softness and hardness of the bed. Fill it according to your preference. Or better yet, to your cat’s preference.
2. DIY Cat Tent
Cats seek out confined spaces for a nice time out from everything. This cat tent will provide your feline friend with a safe and cozy place to take a nap or just play around.
What you will need:
- T-shirt (medium size, preferably)
- Cardboard, cut by 15 x 15 inches
- Two wire hangers
- Safety pins
To prepare for the base, cut off the hooks from the two hangers. You may do this by using pliers or just by twisting it around.
After cutting the hooks, bend the hangers into an arch that will fit from one end to another of the cardboard. You may want to wrap masking tape around the cardboard to strengthen it.
Poke a hole on the 4 corners of the cardboard about half an inch away from the edge. Use the end of the hangers to create the holes. Do make sure that the hanger ends will fit in nicely.
Fasten the two arch hangers together by making a crisscross and taping it in the middle. You may now push their ends through the four holes you made earlier. To avoid tearing the fabric, bend the hanger ends and tape them for safety.
Start inserting the shirt over the tent frame by positioning the neck hole at the middle of the frame. You may ask your children to do this themselves.
For the extra clothing, fold them up on the bottom of the cardboard and put a safety pin in place. You should also do the same for the shirt sleeves.
You are now ready to have an indoor camping activity together with your children and cat.
3. Box Playground
The inborn love of cats for boxes creates a lot of DIY ideas from them. Boxes are easy to find around the house and are flexible. Here’s a nice play place idea that integrates the cat’s box love and various toys.
Things that will be needed:
- Large cardboard box
- Box cutter
- Scrap board
- Paint and paintbrush (optional)
- Sisal or cotton rope
- Hand glue
- Hole Puncher
- Cat toys, catnip, and cat treats
Start by creating square openings on the cardboard box. Lay down the box flat on the floor and create square markings for you to cut out. You may use the scrap cardboard as your guide.
Then use a box cutter to cut out the marked squares but be careful not to cut through to the other side. You may use the scrap board for protection by placing it on the underside of the square that you are about to cut out. Repeat the square cutting on the other three sides of the box to create the openings.
You may now re-assemble the box by taping the top and bottom flaps.
You can paint the box according to your color preference but this is an optional part. Or you can either let the children draw on the box instead.
Add some scratching posts to the playground by wrapping a rope around two of the front posts. Start at the bottom of the post using a hot glue and continue wrapping the rope until you get to the other end. Finish it off by fixing the end of the rope again using a hot glue.
Begin to decorate the playground by punching several holes on the top flap of the box. This would be where you’ll insert the cat toys using a twine. You may put in fuzzy twines, feathers, catnip balls, bells, or other stuff your cat likes to play with. You may also put in treats inside the boxes to lure the cats.
Your all-in playground is all set for your cat’s enjoyment.
4. Cat Wands
It’s always fun to play with cats especially since they have this thing with moving objects. We have here now a cat wand idea from Irresistible Pets that you can make in under 10 minutes.
- Wooden rod
- Jingling Bells
- Fabric scraps like ribbon, shoelaces, yarn, etc.
- A colorful roll of twine
First, wrap the whole of the rod with a colorful twine to increase the interest of the toy with cats. You have to attach the twine to the rod using a glue. Be sure that you leave an excess twine of about 12 inches where you will tie the fabric scraps to the end.
You may now attach the fabric scraps to the end of the twine by tying it firmly.
Add in some small bells to some of the fabric scraps to add clinking sounds. This sound piques the curiosity of cats.
5. Goldfish Cat Toy
This simple cat toy is a no-sew and no-glue craft that your cats will surely enjoy. This is just one of the three easy cat toys that Southern Mom made for all cat lovers.
You’ll need the following:
- Colorful yarns
- Felt fabric
- Polyester fill (or cotton balls)
Make a circular pattern on the fabric by using the ceramic bowl as a guide. Any circular object in place of the bowl may be used. It will depend on your size preference for the cat toy.
Then cut out the pattern with scissors. After cutting, make a hole using your thumb and forefinger then insert the fabric to form a pocket.
Start stuffing the inside of the fabric until you make a ball. Make it so that it will be strong enough to roll and be played with by the cats.
Finish it off by tying the fabric with yarn to close the ball. You may tie on more yarn of different colors to add to your cat’s fun. You may also decorate the toy using markers to liven up its appearance
Pick a rainy day or just a weekend home with the kids and take on some of these fun projects! Always remember to be safe using scissors and other sharp tools with the kids. Also, make sure to clean up any loose pieces of yarn or twine, which can be very risky for cats if they chew and eat them.