Please find below a guest post from our friends at Cats Protection
From boredom-busting feeding toys made from toilet roll tubes to simple catnip pouches to encourage play, Cats Protection has come up with a host of ideas for the crafty cat-owner.
Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 200,000 cats every year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 32 centres.
The charity’s Events Manager Emma Osborne said: “We all know that cats will sleep anywhere, but they’re also well-known for finding fun and mischief with all sorts of things around the home. It’s this spirit of fun and adventure that makes it so rewarding to make creative homemade toys and games for cats.
“Creating your own toys and enrichment activities for pet cats is a great way of preventing boredom which can help in avoiding unwanted behaviours such as scratching furniture or tensions between cats in the household. It’s also a great way of ensuring your cat gets exercise, which becomes particularly important during the colder winter months.”
Some ideas for crafty cat owners are:
- Feeding enrichment activities: Cats love different ways to make feeding time more interesting. Commercially-produced food balls are available in shops, but homemade versions are cheap and easy to make. Hiding dry food in a clean, empty egg box will give cats the chance to enjoy batting their way to their food. For a different take, try suspending a large, clean yoghurt pot with some holes in it to allow biscuits to fall out just above the cat’s head height – cats will love working out how to bat the food out.
- Catnip knots: Most cats love catnip and will spend hours engaged in energetic play with it. For a simple homemade toy – which also finds a use for odd socks – simply fill a sock with a couple of tablespoons of dried catnip, knot the end and trim off any excess.
- Toilet roll puzzles: Collect a good supply of toilet roll tubes and stack them on top of each other to create a mini wall of tubes, secured with sticky tape. Hide a portion of your cat’s daily allowance of dry food or a cat nip toy within the tubes – cats will love using their paws to fish out the goodies hidden inside.
- Get knitting to help other cats: Knitters can make their own blankets and catnip toys to keep cats cosy and entertained over the winter months. Cats Protection’s knitting bee is a great way to get involved in helping the cats currently in the care of the charity as they wait to find new homes. Simply come up with your own design or use the popular Captain Cat-Battler knitted mouse – originally designed by Lauren O’Farrell (http://www.whodunnknit.com/). Donations of knitted goods can be taken to any of Cats Protection’s branches, shops and adoption centres across the UK.
For more information about the charity, please visit http://www.cats.org.uk/