Cheap 'n' cheerful homemade pet toys

in Pets & Pet Care
16 replies 832 views
MSE_Laura_FMSE_Laura_F Community Admin
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I'd like to get a few examples going, if possible, of people's homemade pet toys.

If it's true for your pet, as it is for my cat, that bits of packaging can elicit more excitement than any full-priced toy, please show me your free/cheap 'n' cheerful makeshift pet toys.

My cat loves feathers. Especially if it's a really good flyer. I stand on the stairs and float them down to her to catch. She also enjoys jumping about in tissue paper, so I save it up and stick it in a box for her. By poking small holes in the box, I can push a stick through and make the tissue paper move - she goes wild for that.

I remember keeping loo roll cardboard tubes for my hamster when I was a kid too.

Now how about yours?


  • TripleHTripleH Forumite
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    Cardboard boxes are loved by all.
    Judging by the destruction this afternoon a fly makes a great toy.
    Wherever you go, whatever you do Richard Marx is right there waiting for you.

    Sweet dreams!
  • MisslayedMisslayed Forumite, Senior Ambassador
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    When my Patterjack (Patterdale/Jack Russell cross) was younger she loved wrestling with a small plastic bottle containing a handful of cat biscuits, and stuffed in an old sock. Took her ages to get them out! It would take her about an hour initially, but she's very clever and soon learned the way to get them out in about ten minutes.  I used cat biscuits a lot for training treats, they're much smaller than dog treats, and she can't read! 
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  • TripleHTripleH Forumite
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    Our recently departed tortie got one of those cat treat dispensers they bat with their paw to get treats out.
    She emptied it in about 5 seconds.
    She also once slapped me for taking a toy out of her little box she'd tidied them away in.
    Wherever you go, whatever you do Richard Marx is right there waiting for you.

    Sweet dreams!
  • MnoeeMnoee Forumite
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    My cats are also big feather fans. I have some stuck to an old (musical) drum stick - string to tie them together, hot glued to the stick with electrical tape around it. Keeps my fingers safe when they pounce! There's also some just dangling from string. 

    One of mine is also obsessed with fuscias - I'm not sure if it's the shape or the smell, but he'll throw them around for ages. 

    Lots of toys they seem to have lost interest in are suddenly far more interesting when placed in a paper bag, or covered in packing paper. Anything smelly, wiggly or noisy. 

    Shallow boxes with holes cut out to stick toys in are another big hit. 

    I've turned an old sofa cushion and blanket into a huge cat bed for them - to be honest that was more of a project for myself as the cats would have been just as content with the blanket on the cushion, but hand sewing the sides and adding a zip kept me from doomscrolling for a few evenings and looks a lot nicer. 

    Literally any box with a blanket or packing paper in is a fine bed. 

    I grow my own catnip, which is good value DIY cat entertainment. About £10 spent over a few years for seeds, compost and ever larger pots for more catnip than I'll ever need. I tend to just dry it for them to eat, but it could easily be stuffed in socks etc if they prefer. I'm not green fingered at all, but catnip is incredibly easy to grow.

    Same for 'cat grass' - it's happy enough in a normal pot with soil, instead of a fancy kit. I'm growing valerian this year too after discovering they love valerian root which seems to be going OK! 
  • edited 17 May at 10:18PM
    elsienelsien Forumite
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    edited 17 May at 10:18PM
    Gitdog does love a plant pot. To the point where he’ll tip the plant out to get the pot, 
    All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.

    Pedant alert - it's could have, not could of.
  • sherambersheramber Forumite
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    The leg off an old pair of jeans tied in a knot makes a strong tuggy.

    A knotted tea towel soaked and then frozen is good for teething puppies.
  • SensibleSarahSensibleSarah Forumite
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    Don't have any pics but I use a lot of 'homemade' enrichment stuff for my dogs. So things like rolling up some kibble/treats in an old towel so they have to unravel it etc to get the food out. I also use cardboard boxes and paper packaging a lot for similar stuff, so loads of scrunched up paper in a cardboard box, some with treats in the middle, then the dog has to root through everything to find the food. 
  • MSE_Laura_FMSE_Laura_F Community Admin
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    I didn't expect to get so many brilliant replies. Thanks all - clearly a lot of happy pets out there. @Mnoee your photos are a delight. 💛

    My cat also loves elastic bands. She's like a streak of lightning chasing after them when you ping them across a room.

    The photo on the right is a £1 card accessory from Flying Tiger. You wind it up and release so that it flits and flies for a good few seconds. It's meant for putting inside greetings cards but I've discovered it also intrigues the cat no end.
  • MurphybearMurphybear Forumite
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    A fine beam torch pointed up the wall was great fun for one of my cats.  She was agile when she was young and she could almost make it halfway up the wall in one leap.  Cats are amazing :)

    One thing to steer clear of.  I passed a house that had a lot of pampas grass and one piece was broken off and the owner, who was gardening, said I could have it.  Big mistake, cats and pampas grass.  The same cat destroyed it totally in less than a minute.  It took me ages to clear it up.

  • MSE_SarahMSE_Sarah MSE Staff
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    My cat loves the cardboard tabs you pull to open boxes. And the long plastic ties you sometimes get in/around packages - I think it's the way they bounce around. She also loves it when the tape measure comes out.

    She's a big hairband stealer, so I've given her some of my old ones to play with. (The one pictured is not one she has permission to play with.)

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