Want to keep Kitty entertained on a budget? Use your do-it-yourself or crafting skills to make some fun cat toys.
- Make a fishing rod using an empty foil or paper towel roll. Tie a piece of string securely to one end and tie colourful feathers or pieces of ribbon to the end of the string.
- Fill a plastic container with small gravel stones. Use a container with a childproof lid (a plastic pill container works well). Teach your cat to roll the shaker along using her paws or nose.
- Make a simple ‘catch the mouse’ toy using a pompon and long ribbon.
- Collect sturdy cardboard boxes and glue them together. Cut out doors and flaps and your cat will have hours of fun!
- Join a few toilet rolls together using string. You can also string together some curtain rings.
- Make a game using a laser pointer – most cats can’t get enough of these! They’re so popular that some manufacturers have actually made special cat laser toys.
Catnip (Nepeta cataria) contains nepetalactone, an ingredient that has an effect on the olfactory system of cats. It is a mild hallucinogen and while some cats react strongly to the smell of catnip, others are unaffected by it. Using catnip in toys to stimulate your cat is safe, but cats who ingest large amounts of the herb may vomit or get diarrhoea.
Catnip is a perennial herb and member of the mint family. It can be grown in the garden and also used in cooking. You can grow catnip from seeds or plant out small seedlings in garden beds or pots. Plant in well-draining soil in a sunny to partially shady area. Keep your cat out of the flower bed until the plants are established. You can make a simple catnip toy by drying catnip and placing some inside an old sock. Tie securely with a knot.