Friday, April 20, 2012

4 very cheap toys for cats

Jasper models one of the greatest cat toys of all time.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about cheap dog toys (see it here). This got me to thinking: Aren't there good options for cats, too? When I spotted Jasper lying in a box I had set out for recycling, I knew I had my answer. In fact, I've come up with a whole slew of things I've used to entertain my cats.
  • The box is a perennial favorite for cats of all ages. Most cats like to explore things they think are tunnels, and they will happily crawl right into a box, just to check out what's inside. Some cats (like Jasper) end up using the boxes for beds, but I've had cats use the boxes to stage sneak-attacks on other cats walking by.
  • Paper bags fill this same need for beds and camo. I tear the handles off paper bags we bring home from the store, and open them up on the floor for the cats to play with. Invariably, one climbs into the bag, and another cat pounces on the cat hiding inside. Pretty darn fun.
  • Crumpled paper is also a fabulous toy, especially for cats who like to bat things about from place to place. My cats will even pull paper out of the recycling bin, just so they can get a few good swats in. 
  • Containers of milk and juice sometimes come with plastic screw-top lids. Again, fabulous toy for the cat that likes to bat, as these things will literally fly across the room with just the tiniest of nudges from a little cat paw. 
Any homemade, makeshift toy like this should be used only when you're in the room. They're (obviously) not designed to be used this way, and cats can get into a lot of trouble when left to their own devices, eating things they shouldn't and tearing holes in things they should leave alone. If you choose to go cheap, you'll need to stand guard. But chances are, the cats will be so cute while they play, you'll want to watch the action anyway.