Making your cat happy is easier than many people might think. Here are a few simple and cheap cat toys you can use to keep your cat entertained and active.
My cats like many indoor cats are lazy, sleepy, and generally overweight. They have an entire box full of toys that they can get out at any time but they have played with them so much they no longer have use for them anymore except for the occasional bout of playfulness. It takes a constant flow of new things for them to play with or a simple rotation of the same few on a weekly basis to keep their interest.
This being the case, it can be expensive to keep your cat healthy and entertained, as a matter of fact the pet industry is estimated to hit over 50 billion dollars in 2011 (APPA’s 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey).
Most people don’t realize that they can keep a few toys on hand and reuse them. Its all about how often you take them away and reintroduce them at a later date. At my house we alternate between a few toys every few days to make them seem brand new ever time we bring them back out. Here are a few household items we use for our cats:
1 – Elastic Hair Bands:
These are great for a few reasons… they are super cheap and my wife has a ton of them. What’s even better is that the used ones have her scent on them, making them even more desirable to our cats. Keep in mind, cats love things that smell different then they do, its an instinctive thing to mask their own scent.
2 – Balled Paper:
This one is not only easy but you do it all them time with junk mail, and old school papers. These are attractive to cats who like things to get away from them so they get the thrill of the chase. Try different types of paper as well. Binder paper that was ripped from a spiral bound notebook works great because of the small little pieces of paper attached on the side.
3 – Spiral Binding Itself:
Cats like anything that has unusual texture or has the ability to move with little effort. Removing the spiral binding from an old spiral notebook is an easy to make a few toys by cutting them into smaller spring-like toys that are flexible and roll on hard flooring and tile.
4 – Shoe Laces:
Shoe laces are a cat favorite mostly because they get stuck to their claws, and you as the owner can get in on the action by dragging them across the floor or dangling them. Just rip out an old pair from your shoes (unless they are super dirty) and you have a great toy that has a lot of scents from the out doors built right in.
5 – Bobby Pins:
Again my wife has a ton of these and you can get a ton of them for super cheap. Many of them have a textured edge and a smooth edge, which makes them unusual and the slide easy across hard floors. Slightly spreading them into the shape of a V works well to and give it a bit more dimension.
6 – Plastic Milk Container Rings:
Last but certainly not least, the plastic milk container ring. These are obtained when you open a new plastic milk container and its either still attached to the top if the cap of the milk is a twist off, or its a peel off ring that you throw away after. Either way, they smell like milk, sometimes have a bit of crusted milk on them and every cat I have ever known loves them like nothing else. Plus, you’re already buying the milk anyway.
Got any other cheap toys that work for your cat(s)? Let us know in the comments.