If you have an old or unwanted shirt lying around, don't just throw it away. Instead, re-purpose it into some fun toys for your feline companion to play with. Make both interactive toys to dangle in front of Fluffy and soft toys for her to bat around the house.
You don't have to be a tailor to make cat toys out of your old shirts, nor do you need any additional items to craft toys that your cat can enjoy. Create simple toys to dangle in front of Fluffy by cutting your shirt into three, 1-inch wide strips that go down the length of the shirt itself. Knot the strips together at one end and braid them together, knotting them again at the other end, recommends the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County. You can also create toys by laying two 1-by-5-inch strips of shirt fabric over each other in a cross-shape. Tie each strip around the middle of the other to form a four-sided toy that Fluffy can bat around.
Create toys for your kitty that contain dried catnip, an herb beloved by most felines. Cut out squares of fabric from your old shirt, around 3 inches on each side. Place the squares over each other, with the right sides facing inward. Hand stitch or machine-sew the pieces together along the edges, leaving an opening of about 2 inches along one side. Turn the square inside-out as you would if sewing a pillow. Stuff the inside with either dried catnip or a mixture of small pieces of shirt fabric and catnip. Sew up the opening you used to stuff the toy to complete it. Give the toy a little extra kick by sprinkling extra catnip over it before offering it to Fluffy, recommends WebMD.
Cut your shirt into 1-inch wide strips down the length of the shirt itself. Double-knot the pieces together to form a long "string" around 48 to 60 inches in length, recommends CatChannel.com. Tie the completed piece to a rubber band and wrap the band around the end of a chopstick or un-sharpened pencil. This creates an interactive wand you can dangle in front of your kitty to engage her attention, keeping her in shape and helping prevent obesity, according to Vetstreet. Enhance the appeal of your wand toy by tying a jingle bell to the end of the string of shirt pieces. You can also tie a few bells into the string itself when you are knotting the shirt pieces together.
Skip the sewing when creating catnip pillows for Fluffy by using fabric glue instead of stitches to secure the shirt pieces together. If you excel at sewing, create more decorative shapes than squares, like fish, cat faces, stars or even full cat shapes. Not all felines enjoy the scent of catnip, so substitute something like dried valerian or honeysuckle wood, both of which have cat-attractant properties, according to the Messy Beast website. Don't wash your shirt after wearing it and before using it to create your kitty toys. This way, it will retain your scent, which is comforting for your feline friend, according to the Adobe Animal Hospital.
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County: Crafts
- CatChannel.com: Two Incredibly Fun Cat Toys You can Make at Home
- WebMD: Truth About Catnip
- Cat Toys: How to Make Your Home a Feline Paradise; Lura Rogers
- Be Thrifty: How to Live Better With Less; Pia Catton and Califia Suntree
- Catster: 12 Awesome Eco-friendly Cat Toys
- Messy Beast: Catnip, Valerian, Honeysuckle and Other Cat-Attractant Plants
- Vetstreet: Feline Obesity
- Adobe Animal Hospital: Getting Your Cat To The Veterinarian
- BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images