Since last October, we have two young cats in our house: Aria and Stella. They are sisters and by now 7 months old.
Our cats are staying inside the house and, as normal young cats, they are either sleeping or running around like crazy! With so active cats, I consider it safer to keep them occupied with games, so as to minimise the small damages that cats do in the house. Of course they have a plethora of small games, such as mice, balls and furry animals, and we got them a scratching post, so that they refrain from scratching the furniture.
Besides all the traditional games that cats have, I have gone through the process of checking about making some games for them myself. There are several ideas in the internet and it can serve as insipiration, but in the end it comes down to three things:
1. how simple it is
2. how much time does it take to make it and
3. how expensive it is.
So here, I will show you two projects I did and explain the three aspects I mentioned above.
- Filled sock
This is a really simple project. You just need a sock, preferrably smaller than bigger, some cotton batting and if you want a bit of catnip. You fill the sock with batting and a bit of a catnip, you tie a secure knot on the top so that the filling doesn’t come out and you give it to the kitten. In the version I saw in the internet, the sock was full of catnip without batting, but I would not want my cats to get so “high”, so I used mostly batting mixed with a little bit of catnip, just for the smell.
It is one of the simplest projects I have ever done and it doesn’t need more than 5 minutes to complete it, once you have all of the ingredients. In addition, its cost is minimum, as socks are usually available around and you can use batting from any old pillow or if you have any for other projects.
- Cartboard scratcher
While I was expecting the kittens to be taken away from their mom I was looking for some type of scratcher, so as to avoid them scratching the furniture. I saw the really nice looking CanadianCat Company XXL Orbit 2.0 Lounge and ordered one, but it was never sent and then the order was cancelled and refunded. In the meanwhile, the cats were here and by luck we had available a big cartboard box from some garden furniture we had bought. So I made my own!
The idea is simple: You cut the available cartboard in stripes of the same approximately width and then you start rolling them one after the other one in a spiral. Once one piece finishes, you align the next one and stick them together with a bit of tape. When you reach a satisfactory diameter, you turn it around and glue on the bottom a simple piece of fabric. This helps so that it does not move that much on the floor and to avoid collecting small pieces of cartboard every time they scratch it.
This project needs a bit more time and patience. Of course, it depends on how big you want to make your scratcher. We made one with 40 cm diameter. But it is definitely not expensive. And it does not get easily destroyed!
From my experience I have a few tips. You can use any kind of cartboard that needs to go to the recycling, but it is better if it is a rather thick cartboard. For this project, the layers in the middle are more important than the flat sides. There is a drawback though: thick cartboard is more difficult to roll and curve as you like. In order to facilitate that, I was creating rimples in every new stripe before adding it to the main spiral. This way it was rolling easier and also nicer, without creating corners in my spiral.
You can add some catnip in this one too, but it is not needed. My cats like it anyway, both as a scratching and as a sleeping point, as you can see in the photos.