The Best “Free” Cat Toys
Cats, especially those with CH, can be expensive. But the great thing is their toys don’t have to be.
It always amazes me how fascinated our cats become with some of the most mundane things. In fact, most people would view this list below as things most commonly found in the trash — but to our cats, they can be treasures.
So if your cat is bored with all of his fancy toys you’ve purchased for him, try out one or some of these:
Paper: It’s probably the simplest toy in the world, as well as the biggest hit. Crumple up a piece of paper and give it a toss. It’s amazing how long it can hold your cat’s attention.
Empty toilet paper tubes and paper towel rolls: I didn’t believe these until I tried them, but there certainly is something magical about the tubes. I think part of the intrigue is due to the noise they make when they fall on the ground. Cats can’t resist!
Milk rings: The rings that you can pull off the top of a gallon (milk, juice) container are a staple in my home. So much so that each Christmas my brother gives our cats *dozens* of these rings that he has collected through the year. The cats love them.
Straws: If you have straws at home or happen to bring one back from a fast food restaurant, tie it into a knot and toss it to the floor. Like milk rings, your cat will likely bat it all around your house (and under your furniture!). The plus side to straws and milk rings is that they’re lightweight so your cat can carry them around your home.
Soda bottle caps: Like ping-pong balls, these plastic caps can roll (a plus!) and tumble.
Plastic prescription containers: Try filling (emptied and clean) plastic prescription containers with rice, beans or something else that would make an intriguing sound. To make sure your cat won’t somehow get the top off, glue the lid on.
Sock toys: Take a sock that has lost its partner, fill it with some stuffing (fiberfil, cotton, etc) and perhaps a bit of catnip. Tie the end into a tight knot, and toss it to your cats. Depending on the size and length of the toy, it can turn easily into an inexpensive Kickeroo.
And if you want to take it up a notch, put any of those things in a:
Paper bag: The classic cat toy. There’s just something about being able to hide in it — although usually their rears are sticking out(!), combined with the crinkly noises it makes. Remember to cut off the handles just to be safe!
Box: Just like little kids, cats love boxes. I think a box-loving cat is one with a great imagination. If your cerebellar hypoplasia cat has trouble climbing into it, place the box on its side or cut a hole in it so they can walk in.
And don’t bother with purchasing a laser pointer — often my cats find light reflecting from a mirror, cellphone, or other shiny surface just as intriguing. We move the small mirror so the spot of light shines on the ceiling and walls. The cats just love it. If the reflected light isn’t working for you, try a flashlight.
As with all toys, please supervise your cats while they play. They can be quite silly and curious, which can definitely end in some sort of accident — either getting their head stuck in a bag’s handle or trying to swallow something they shouldn’t. Please make sure that anything you give your cat cannot be chewed into pieces, swallowed, or injure them in any way.
What are your favorite “free” toys to give to your cats? Please share in the comments!