At the risk of becoming
more of a crazy cat lady… I love making my own homemade cat toys and have recently been plugging away at my sewing machine. Working as a cat sitter means that I get to meet so many lovely little furry things and I’m constantly delighted by their personalities and character traits! I always try to get to know my furry customers by asking their pet-parents what their favourite toys are at our first meeting and some are always a bit sheepish… before bringing out weird and wonderful playthings! It just goes to show that all cats are different and what better way to try out my cat toys, than with my very own (and very willing) cat focus groups. First of all this is Fogle having a go on a leopard spot cat kicker (click to watch a video of Fogle);
Cat kickers bring out the huggy side of some cats. They can wrap their arms around them, roll round the floor and fall asleep on them like they’re special cat pillows (click to watch a video of Billy). Or, for Fogle above, they’re great for cats that like to hunt. He sneaks up on the kicker… pounces… wrestles it around – and gives it a good kick with his back legs. I sew a bit of high quality catnip, carefully hidden inside the squishy stuffing which means you often get a cat happily licking and nuzzling into his cat pillow (that’s why it’s a good idea not to share!).
I’ve always loved to make toys for my own two moggies and thought my extended cat family deserved a treat too. Cats by nature are inquisitive and most are especially taken with new toys – they love a novelty! I make little squashy mice with a tiny bit of catnip inside and ribbons for tails. This means they’re good all rounders for lots of types of cats;
- Those that like to carry toys in their mouths
- Cats who are catnip-mad
- Moggies that jump up for dangly toys love to bat the ribbon tail around – I add a piece of string attached to a hand-held stick for my comfort.
- For cats that enjoy a chase I sew in a long piece of string with a finger loop on my end, then trail it behind me as I do my patrol round houses closing curtains etc! Great for pouncing round corners and running up and down the stairs!
- For those cats who like to get their paws stuck in – they’re squashy and satisfying to the claw!
For younger cats, or ones with lots of energy and love a chase, I bring round my catit senses maze toy. It can be added to (a bit like scalextric!) so you can make a biiiiiig one – but I find this simple ‘S’ shape is great. You can position it round a corner, or hooked round the bottom of the stairs – so your cat can hide and pounce and follow the ball round. I even take it outside if it’s a nice warm day. The ball I’ve put inside lights up when the cat moves it so it’s especially fun. Here’s Bret and Jemaine, two teenagers, burning off some energy (click to watch video of their football skills)!
I love finding out which toys each cat prefers to make sure they get a bit of exercise and stimulation as well as a cuddle and some fuss. So whether it’s chasing shoelaces, jumping for danglers, batting at furry mice on elastic string, maze toys, cat kickers for cuddling, feathers, cat bubbles … I definitely believe there’s a toy for every cat! (And for some cats, they just love them all!)
(The Cat Whiskerer)