Cats are incredibly easy to keep entertained. They usually spend large parts of the day sleeping but will have the occasional spurt of energy which is best steered towards toy play rather than destructive play. Here are a few things I did to keep my cats entertained.
One: Scratching Post
The number one toy a cat really needs is a scratching post. This can cost a few pennies depending where you buy it from, or you can make one yourself. But it is a good idea to have one as soon as you bring a cat home so that they know this is where they do their scratching – not on your furniture.
If your cat doesn’t use a scratching post and is insistent that the corner of the sofa is the perfect place to sharpen their claws, there is hope. My two cats didn’t like using one either so I feel your pain. To get around this my partner created a wooden corner panel that sat in front of the sofa creating a barrier. He used 2 lengths of plywood and attached it to a base plate, so it looked like two sides of a box. He drilled a hole in the base large enough so the sofa leg could sit inside it. This anchored the corner panel to the sofa and kept it in place. I then fixed a carpet square (purchased from the hardware store) to the panels, and that’s it. Instant scratching protection. Tip: buy yourself a spare carpet square to keep as a handy replacement – trust me, you’ll need it.
The cats loved this and used it all the time. We were lucky that they only went for one corner of the sofa so only had to make this one, but you can do this for any areas they’re fond of scratching.
Cats love chasing things so any kind of lightweight ball is perfect. A thrifty tip is to simply roll a piece of alfoil into a ball and throw it across the floor. Your cat will flick it around for hours until they lose it under the fridge. But, easy fix. Just give them another ball of alfoil.
Another option is to give them a ping pong ball. These are super cheap to purchase and are light enough to bounce around the house without breaking anything. Just watch out for the cat behind it.
A simple length of string or wool can, for some reason, be incredibly entertaining. It’s obviously a cat thing, because I just don’t get it. You can also tape a length of string/wool to a stick and flick it around for your cat to enjoy.
Four: Pipe Cleaners
I found pipe cleaners to be a handy little toy for my cats. Tucked away in the craft cupboard, I threw a pipe cleaner on the floor and they flicked it around for ages. Cats love being able to chase things around the house, and I found that pipe cleaners had more structure than string or wool, which made them easy to chase around the floor. Plus, you can bend them into different shapes, like a spring, to roll around and make it easier to flick.
I hope your cats like these thrifty toys as much as mine did. If you have any other inexpensive cat toy ideas you’d like to share, please leave a comment below!
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