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Homemade cat gym/toys

March 31st, 2005, 03:51 PM
My little foster kitties are getting big and quite playful and I want to help keep them entertained but don't have much money to spend on cat toys beyond the mini scratching post I bought them. Anyone have any ideas of around the house items that could be used as a cat toy or to build a cat gym?

March 31st, 2005, 03:57 PM
We use the plastic eggs inside of kinder eggs and put either her fav treats (as mya doesnt like catnip) or you could use cat nip. and then I put a little hole at the top thread string through it and tie it so that the string is attached, put the egg back together again and hang it from a chair, instant swingy toy :D and it costs about $1 plus you get the chocolate :D

March 31st, 2005, 04:24 PM
Kayla,kittens will play with anything,paper rolled into a ball,my cats favoured foil-paper,a rolled up "smelly"sock,strings,paper bags they can hide in,boxes...and you can go outside and pick some cat-nip(mine is coming up now)it grows everywhere.
Hubbie built a gym from scrap-wood we had at home,not very decorative,but they still love it,years later.
I've shown this picture a million times :D

March 31st, 2005, 04:25 PM
ooooh, i just got a kinder suprise for easter too, wonder if the case is still lying around somewhere! silly question, is catnip ok for kittens?

March 31st, 2005, 04:27 PM
We have a very, very playful cat. We have to play with him a minimum of 1/2 hour every day or suffer the consequences ;) . But that's OK - it's fun!

Sunny loves fishing line type toys the very best (Da Bird is his all-time marvy fave.) I've made a few (tie a toy on a string), and he likes them, but he loves his "Bird" the best.

Besides Da Bird, he puts his nose up to most store-bought toys and loves to play with tin foil balls and wine corks. He like it best when we "hide" them under his little mat. It's a riot to watch him 'slide in to home plate', attack and wrestle with the mat and "catch" the toy. Then he bats it around for a while until he tells us that it's time to hide it under the mat again (he goes back to the mat, meows and puts his paws under the mat -- dh says we have a gifted cat :p )

He also likes to play with bags -- brown paper bags, or the krinkly kind you get from most stores. We 'hide' one of his toys inside a bag and watch the fun!

Lastly, he loves to play hide and go seek with us (he taught us the game! :thumbs up ). No toys required! He hides and meows and then when we get near his hiding spot he bolts to a new spot. We hide and he playfully bounds to our hiding spots meowing and very proud of himself :crazy:

Since we'll be playing with Sunny for many years to come -- I'm also very interested in other folks home-made cat toys or no-toys required cat games!


March 31st, 2005, 04:32 PM
Kayla,not a stupid question,I am actually not cats even eat the leaves from the plant,I do not buy it in the store,my kitties have their own patch and I dry it in the winter.
I've had cats and kittens all my life,I don't remember any adverse reaction in kittens from cat-nip,I actually don't think they were even interested,not until they were grown up.
Also,go to the dollar-store,they have cheap cat-toys...balls etc...

March 31st, 2005, 05:35 PM
Puss-Puss never showed any interest in catnip. She loved it when I'd trail a long canvas type belt behind me. She'd try to catch it. T'Grr was addicted to the lazer pointer.

March 31st, 2005, 05:50 PM
MeghanK posted instructions for making your own kitty gym awhile back, you should be able to do a search and find it pretty easy. My fiance and I (okay...mainly my fiance ;) ) made one and it was suprisingly simple. My cat and our two foster cats really love it. Also Tink's favorite games are very cheap...she loves to play fetch with a little soft ball, and she also loves hide and seek and big brown paper bags.

March 31st, 2005, 06:06 PM
I would love to make my own proper gym with wood and carpet but don't really have the time, supplies, or space for it. I look forward to the day when I can make my own giant gym though!

Chico- Did you find a catnip plant or did you grow from seed? I've been keeping my eye open for either but haven't seen any, where do you get it?

Also, are brown paper bags safe? For some reason I had it in my head they could be dangerous but I think that's just all the warnings on plastic bags playing with my head.

I love the hide and seek game! Wonder if you could actually teach a cat that. Sounds like you have above average IQ kitties SunnysMum!

March 31st, 2005, 06:16 PM
I just put this together with some boxes, scarfs, pieces of cardboard, a kennel, pillows and the scratching post. They seem to be enjoying it so far! I want to find something to use as a tunnel now, any ideas?

March 31st, 2005, 07:11 PM
Wow you guys are so creative !
I've stopped buying toys for my cat now because she likes to play with "cheap" stuff only such as paper bags, cardboard boxes, plastic bags, coffee stir sticks etc. She hadn't touched any of her old toys anymore so we donated them to the shelter. I would love to get some ideas on how to make her homemake toys too. I had wanted to make her a cat tree but it looks really complicated and i took too long to plan it out my bf ended up buying her one :o

As for an idea for a tunnel, i've bought one of those tube they use to make cement with from homedepot, for my bunnies. They LOVE it. And they're pretty cheap cos its just cardboard, they chew it up and its okay. I dont' remember what they are called though... they have many diameter sizes and you can cut them to different lengths too.

March 31st, 2005, 07:20 PM
I just brought back the how to builld a kitty gym.
Check your "new posts"

March 31st, 2005, 07:32 PM
Thanks happycats! I can't wait to get my own cats one day when I have a permanent home with more space. I love building things (not good at it but love doing it ;) ) so I'm going to have lots of fun with my future cats, they will be very spoiled!

March 31st, 2005, 07:35 PM
No problem ;)
I love building things to, and I'm not very good at it either...LOL :D

March 31st, 2005, 10:47 PM
Oh - those little guys look so adorable!!

My sister's cat loves cardboard box tunnels. She usually has to replace it every few weeks (grabs a box from the pile at her Price Club). She just turns it upside down, and then cuts "doorways" on both ends -- voila! A tunnel, hiding place (her cat loves to hide his toys in it).

Yes - the hide and seek game was Sunny's idea -- at first we thought he was just a little uptight when he ran and hid. We hadn't had him very long and figured he was adjusting to a new home, new people and all - but quickly we realized he was happy and having fun, and that it was a game. He gets a little bossy if you stop before he's done though (head butts you and meows something fierce :p ). A couple of times he started to get a little over excited and we just stopped and got him some treats, pet him a lot and told him how clever he was to end the game (before he pounced on us or something :rolleyes: ). Most of the time he just has fun and we all get tired at the same time (our house is not big and there are not that many hiding places.....) Anyway, we figure someone in his past must have played it with him - but I guess we'll never know!

April 1st, 2005, 09:33 AM
Cats grow into catnip between 6 and 9 months, you can buy it at the pet store for like $3 for a huge pack. Mya went nuts for it for the first time last night.

April 1st, 2005, 10:23 AM
My cat also likes to play hide and seek. Though, it's more like a game of tag between us. Generally, if he's feeling playful and bugging me, I'll get up, slowly walk by him, then mock charge at him. He jumps and runs away and hides.

Now I get the choice of walking over and looking for him (where he either runs to a new hiding spot, or creeps around a corner and jumps out *behind* me and then runs off, making me laugh like crazy)

If I don't look for him, I can also hide behind something myself. Then he has to either run or creep over and and jump out at me. Whereapon I chase him and he runs and hides again.

It's a good way for both of us to burn energy, but I havn't a clue how you can initiate something like that. Just play and maybe games'll evolve. I also wrestle with him.

Unfortunatly, he all but refuses to play with toys on his own, making it my job to entertain him. I'd suggest getting a laserlight. Beetle knows the jingling sound it's chain makes, and it draws him quicker than a can opener. He absolutly loves it. I don't really bother with catnip, he's wacky enough.

Anything wadded up into a ball is a good toy and my old cat used to like to swat anything dangling. Heck, I've seen Beetle play with a single strand of grass on the floor. He also loves boxes and bags.

April 15th, 2005, 07:05 PM
Kayla's Foster kittens will be going home with me and my husband at the end of April. . . .

My father in law (who lays carpets) has made us a nice big sturdy wooden and carpet Kitty Gym, but we don't get it until mid may when the In Laws come to visit

So in the mean while, I made a Makeshift Kitty Gym out of Cardboard. . . .here is a picture. . . . I hope they like it when they come home with us!


April 16th, 2005, 08:48 AM
JDG,that is great...those little ones are beautiful,you are lucky to get them and they are lucky to get a home :thumbs up
Catnip grows as a weed just about everywhere,my cats prefer the plant to the dry stuff in the store and they have a little plot in my backyard,where they roll in it and smell wonderful..also if you rub any toy with catnip,they'll play with it.
Here's a pic of Rocky in his"garden"in seventh heaven :D

October 24th, 2005, 08:59 AM
I thought I'd bring this thread up again since people since people were asking about "good cat toys."

JDG, you should post a pic of the moggies new and improved cat gym! :p