Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time BONUS GIVEAWAY!

Mon, Mar 9, 2009

Books, Giveaways, Green Design, Toys

It all started when Holly Tse adopted Furball, a tiny little bundle of energy who never slept but only wanted to play. To keep her sanity, Holly searched through pet stores for cat toys to entertain the crazy little guy. Finally she began to craft her own cat toys from recycled and discarded items. Holly points out that there over 60 million cats in US households and that reducing the resources and waste used to make toys for these cats would certainly have a positive impact on the environment. So she decided to compile her years of experience in making greener cat toys and share them in Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time.

All of the toy ideas in the book are classified into one or more of five different play categories:

  • Catch – Toys that encourage kitty to leap straight into the air and pretend like she’s snaring a bird.
  • Chase – These toys are meant to be thrown across the floor, like a mouse scurrying away.
  • Stalk – Interactive toys designed for you to move, like a mouse rustling in the grass, so kitty can practice sneaking up on her prey.
  • Wrestle – These allow kitty to test her strength as she grasps the toy in her paws and jaws and bunny kicks the stuffing out of it.
  • Lazy Cat - After kitty has played good and hard, she may still want to take a lazy whack at these toys.

Each idea is marked with the difficulty level and estimated time to make the toy. You’ll find ideas for toys made out of everything including packaging, household objects, craft materials, office and school items, and even old clothing. With toys like the Candy Rocket, Tubular Tubes, the Whipper Snapper, and the Kitty Broomstick, you’ll have just as much fun making the toys as kitty will have playing with them. You’ll also enjoy Holly’s tips for greening your kitty’s lifestyle.

Make Your Own Cat Toys is available at Amazon.


One lucky winner is going to receive a copy of Make Your Own Cat Toys! To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your tips for making greener choices for your cat. The winner will be chosen in a random drawing on Sunday, March 15.

We’ll also be giving away 20 rats from Cat Livin’ in the same drawing, so don’t miss out!

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355 Responses to “Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time BONUS GIVEAWAY!”

  1. 251

    I still think the best cat toys are the free ones. The errant twist tie, the ponytail holder, the ring thingy off plastic bottles, a wadded up piece of paper. Maybe I should actually start giving my cats actual toys…

  2. 252
    jen simpson

    My cats like to bat around empty toilet paper rolls. If I win this book maybe my cats will get a nice toy upgrade, haha. :)

  3. 253

    love this book idea! i always try to find things i can reuse as cat toys – already discovered putting balls in the bathtub, it’s super fun! i also use plastic bottle caps as fun throwing toys – they make a great noise on a hard floor. i also will reuse gift ribbons to play with the cats. i want this book SO bad for ever more ideas!

  4. 254

    I’d love this book. I make cat toys out of my sewing scraps, but it would be cool to have an actual book to work out of.

    Our cats are tree huggers. They have switched over to eco/green kitty litter.

  5. 255
    Laura Richardson

    Never buy litter in plastic tubs. If you buy it in cardboard boxes you can then re-use them for other purposes.

  6. 256

    Ooooh fun. We love DIY and would love to learn how to make our kitties special toys just from us!

  7. 257

    We are a very environmentally oriented family and I would love to make cat toys with my son! Winning this great earthfriendly cat toy book would make our day. ;) ))

  8. 258
    Charolette Willoughby

    I have 9 beautiful strays/rescued kitties who would adore some new homemade toys !!!! Currently they like the cheap foil type balls that are Christmas ornaments made for small trees, these can also be bought at Pet stores but they cost more since they are sold individually. About the same “effect” is recreated with any type of foil wrapping made into a ball, tied, knotted, or just rolled up and crunched into a ball. They also like empty soda bottle lids…or the bottles themselves with something inside them that moves if the bottles are clear. They like anything small/light that can be batted around the room.

  9. 259
    Michael G

    I knew my cats were missing some sort of the types of activities they need to keep them active, I’d love to check out that book.

  10. 260
    Alexandrea M

    While I love browsing etsy for cat toys, I’d certainly like to give making my own a try!

  11. 261

    Such an awesome idea!

  12. 262

    I’d love to read this book. It would also provide another perspective on how to get the cats engaged differently with toys they already have.

  13. 263
    Cat lover

    My crafty 7 year old daughter would love this book and my cats would love the toys. The video on the Make Your Own Cat Toys site is very cute.

  14. 264
    Julia Bleakney

    Hi use practice crochet “bits” for toys–little experiments for stitches that I end up not using. Rather than rip them out, I use some as cat toys–and they are the kitties’ favorites!

  15. 265
    Ann Council

    My cat loves an empty shoe box. Sleeps in it all the time.

  16. 266
    Deb H.

    What a great project for Mom that the ‘kids’ will love.

  17. 267

    Love this book idea.

  18. 268

    My cat’s favorite toy is a paper ball and her favorite scratcher was hand made with left over cardbord boxes (DIY project featured in Moderncat). We like DIY projects and this book would give us more ideas to have fun with.

  19. 269
    Janet L

    With five busy kits, this looks like a great book to have.

  20. 270

    looks interesting

  21. 271
  22. 272

    honestly, my cats will play in any cardboard box! that’s the best toy ever!

  23. 273
    Liz C

    I’ve made are cats beds and shelves out of recycled items. Made scratching post out of card board boxes. Used cans fron their food to make decorations & tea light holders

  24. 274

    Wonderful book full of great ideas, loved to add it to my cat library. Thanks!

  25. 275

    i try to be as green as possible when it comes to my 2 kittehs. only natural litter, and i only use natural cleaning products around them.

  26. 276

    Super book idea!

  27. 277
    amanda h

    if i don’t win this book, it’s totally on my wishlist at amazon – our li’l boy chad LOVES to knead, so we stuffed a couple of old sweaters & fleece tops and they’re in each room – saves the comforters and couches from his claws. sox’s favorite toy is a 2-foot long piece of thick white elastic that she managed to steal from the sewing box. we hang it up in different spots (usually from the rack that we air dry clothes on) for her to hunt down.

  28. 278

    I’m an eco friendly cat (I use the human toilet, but don’t flush in order to save water), so this book will be perfect for me.

  29. 279

    my cats love anything. especially cardboard stuff.

  30. 280

    I used wood pellets for litter. This is cheaper than clumpy clay and uses scraps from lumber, reducing waste. Also, what isn’t brown can be composted. Scoop poop daily and don’t sweat the toxoplasmosis.
    ‘To enter, please leave a comment on this post with your tips for making greener choices for your cat.’

  31. 281


    This book would be great to have for making cat toys. One idea I would like to share that has been a godsend for our furniture is using the purple apple box liners. They are wavey recycled cardboard and the cats love to scratch them. We scatter them on the floor throughout the house. At a certain point we throw them in the recycleing and go get more at the grocery store. Best of all, they are FREE!!!

  32. 282

    I need this, I just made my first catnip toy and I need more ideas.

  33. 283

    What a great little book! And the video is the best!

  34. 284

    romeo needs to win this!

  35. 285

    Whoops! There’s more! I’ve found the best thing to keep a little kitty happy is to tie a long rather thick string through the back of my jeans and then kitty runs around after it as I buzz around the house doing misc “human” stuff. It’s so funny to feel a little tug on that string every so often.

  36. 286

    I love making my kitties toys! I hope – I hope – I hope I get drawn! I could use some new ideas.

  37. 287

    Serave always loved stealing my hair scrunchies—the flashier-trashier the better!

  38. 288

    I’m thrilled to see the Green movement branching out into the feline world. My kitties have this title on their Birthday wishlist. :)

  39. 289

    Thats awesome cool.

  40. 290

    This book is great! Cardboard boxes keeps our cat entertained for hours!

  41. 291

    I would love a copy of this book. Crafting for my cats is so much fun!

  42. 292

    I really want this book!

  43. 293

    What a great book. My wife loves to craft toys for the cats.

  44. 294

    my cat likes to play with milk caps from the gallon bottles

  45. 295

    I actually just ordered the book for myself (haven’t received it yet, though) but I’d like to get a copy for my 11 year old friend, Olivia. She recently got her first cat, Jetter, and boy does he ever LOVE to play!

    In terms of making greener choices for my cat, my tip is to buy multiples of the canned cat food plastic covers (they also come in the small Fancy Feast size: Mini Pet Food Can Covers from Go on, you know those aluminum foil pieces and/or plastic wrap are just not cutting it.

    I find my cat is more interested in his food and eats all of what I put out for him when he is given a small portion at a time (about the size of a small mouse seems perfect — go figure — speaking of which, so how come cat food doesn’t come in “mouse” flavor!).

    I also provide a variety of flavors within a single day — a different one for each meal in the day (hey, just like us!).

    The plastic covers allows me to keep a few opened cans fresh in the ‘fridge for the next day so there is NO MORE WASTE!

    Your cat WILL quickly get quite used to eating chilled food and gobble it up, especially if it is a different flavor than his previous meal.

    Try it! You’ll see . . .

  46. 296

    What an awesome idea for a book! I would really love to win this!

  47. 297

    Very cute!

  48. 298

    How cute, my Johnny 5 likes playing with those little aquarium grass things, it’s pretty cute to see him play fetch with them

  49. 299

    Greening my kitty – I stash feather and string toys away when he and I aren’t playing with them – since otherwise he’d destroy them too fast and we’d have to buy more. I leave him with paper grocery bags, rubber bouncy balls in the tub (a huge favorite), and lots of climbing things to keep him busy.

  50. 300

    This would be fun–I love crafty things.


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