The Ultimate Recycled Cat Toy: Customized Hairballs

Wed, Jul 29, 2009

DIY Projects, Green Design, Toys

Moderncat reader Stephanie sent in these photos of her cats with some truly eco-friendly cat toys. Stephanie recently purchased a FURminator and gave her kitties Miko and Rodney a good grooming, resulting in lots of loose fur. Instead of throwing it out, Stephanie rolled the fur into tight little balls that have the texture of felt, and voila! free, recycled cat toys that are not only durable and fun to play with, but they match each cat perfectly! Miko and Rodney love them!

Stephanie says that if the kitties give the hairballs too many bunny kicks, all you have to do is roll each toy in your hands to re-form the ball. You can even add a little catnip in the middle of the ball for extra fun.

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32 Responses to “The Ultimate Recycled Cat Toy: Customized Hairballs”

  1. 1
    illy tung

    I want a furrrzz ballzz to play with too! meow! I have nothing to do all day anyways!….=)

  2. 2

    Sometimes I also make balls from the cats’ hair (rather for my fun :) ) and the cats are interested in playing with them but I am always concerned over the fact the cats tend to bite and eat the balls! And as we are combing the fur also to minimize the hairballs in their bellies, this seems to be a bit counterproductive :)

  3. 3

    that is hilarious! I actually saw a show on TV about this lady in CA that is taking the hair from groomers or from your vet if you have your cat shaved for medical reasons and spinning the fur into yarn and then making keepsakes out of that yarn for the pet’s family! too neat!

  4. 4

    I also brush my kitties with a FURminator and they love to play with those small hairballs. But I’m also concerned that they will eat them, so they are only allowed to play with their hairball under supervision. It’s probably one of their favorite toy!

  5. 5

    My cats seem to like their Furminator toys rolled into cigar shapes. I do have to watch and re-roll the toys if they get to ragged, or the cats will switch over to ‘groom the fur’ mode and start ingesting the loose stuff. Which defeats the purpose, of course!

  6. 6

    It’s an entertaining idea, but I like bright fun kitty toys. I guess I could dye my cats’ hair to get some bright furballs. Just kidding!

  7. 7

    What an ingenious idea, now I know what to do with the results of Furminating my Magnolia, and she’ll get to enjoy it!

  8. 8
    Ingrid King

    Now that’s creative!

  9. 9

    Yes, I’d worry too that they’d eat them! I guess these (like a “fishing rod” toy that our Sam loves) are only for supervised play. Now if I could only persuade my little darlings that the Furminator is not a toy. The moment I bring it out they get ready to play so I’m lucky if I get a couple of good strokes each.

  10. 10

    I would have more toys then I do cats after one brushing!

  11. 11

    I was doing this for a while until I noticed that they were throwing up more hairballs. Really great concept, but it may not work for every cat.

  12. 12

    LOL! How funny, that happens with my cats also. The other day I was grooming one of the cats out on the porch and as I formed a ball with Sasha’s fur so it wouldn’t fly all over the place, Shakespeare started to play with it, graved it and run with it like it was it’s pray. I only let him play with it while I finished grooming Sasha because I didn’t want him to swallow it.

  13. 13

    I can see by the posts that a lot of us out here in cyberspace are probably scratching our heads and wondering why WE didn’t come up with such an incredible idea. And those who did, have mixed results…and yes, how about that lady who knits kit fur into handbags and such? ;)

  14. 14

    It’s so funny to see this because my vet’s wife does the exact same thing with her cats!

  15. 15
    Luciano Truzzi

    Oh my!
    I want a FURminator!!!
    But I’m in Brazil!!!

  16. 16

    So far…Miko and Rodney don’t seem to be having any problem with ingesting hair from the ball. They mostly just bite, gnaw and bat it around the house. No licking…which is strange because you’d think they would want to seeing how they are so hygienic and all!

    Oh and Teresa is right….I am starting to acquire quite the collection of fur balls. Perhaps some hairball kitty art is in order :)

    Thanks for the feedback everyone….happy hairball-ing!

  17. 17

    Just an FYI for Furminators, in case people don’t know. The Furminator doesn’t just groom loose fur, it also cuts the fur and thins the underlayer. My vet hates the product, and she could tell instantly that I used one just by touching my cat’s fur. If you have an outdoor kitty, you might want to cut back on using it so that you don’t inadvertantly cause your kitty to sunburn through her thinned out fur. In the winter, she might be too cold. I still use mine. I have an indoor kitty, and these days, I think she is happy to have a thinner coat. Just trying to help folks keep their kitties happy and comfortable!

  18. 18

    We have a furminator, but the cats try to eat the fur! So I put the fur outside, and the birds steal it for nests =) Do the same thing when I clean my own hairbrushes.

    Just stick hair or fur in the crook of a tree, and watch the birdies go crazy for it.


  19. 19
    Missive Maven

    We did this yesterday with 2 out of 3 cats… they went NUTS over these, especially when I added a bit-o-nip.

  20. 20

    This is so neat, I’ll definitely have to give it a try. I usually use Fur-Zoff to collect all of my cat Mister’s hair from the furniture. It works really great though, I like it because it’s a “green” product made of recycled materials and lasts forever. You can find it at for about $10. Afterwards ill have to roll it up and see if he likes it just as much now! Thanks again

  21. 21

    Wow. Maybe I’ll roll my hair up and let the cats play with it.

  22. 22
    Kuroneko 4

    We are 4 black cats. and we have a lot of hair to share. So our humin always rolls the hair-balls after brushing us. But greedy as humins are: used it herself.
    For her art work.
    And before we where her model for her art photography as well.
    Nobody talks about illegal underaged kitty-work.
    But still, we are proud that we give so good and plenty insparation to our humin. Here we talk more about OUR life:
    We hope to inspaire more.

  23. 23

    I’ve been doing this with my cats’ fur for ages. It’s their absolute favorite toy and they’ve never eaten them. Stashed a handful under various pieces of furniture, yes. Lick or eat, no.

  24. 24

    I have also been making these balls for a while too. I will say, when I first discovered that I could make a ball out of their hair, I was very watchful when I let them play with them. However, the cats loved them and did not try to swollen the balls.

  25. 25

    I saw this idea on another site when I was looking for ideas on how to make homemade cat toys and I can’t wait to make them for my cats, I just need a furminator tool, they look cool and would eliminate some of the floating hair

  26. 26

    I make little balls for my cats, too, but I felt the fur to keep the balls solid. Just take the wad of fur, add a tiny bit of dish soap and hot water, and start rolling in the palm of your hand. Add more fur as you go, keep it soapy, run hot water over it, and it will turn into a very hard ball of felt! The cats love them because they’re very fast on wood floors, and I think they’re funny because they match the cats perfectly :)

  27. 27

    I was thinking about this earlier and wondered if working the furball with a felting needle might not make it an even better cat-toy. I plan to try. As for worry about them eating the resulting ball, I plan to just keep collecting hair until I can make a sizable one for them.

  28. 28
    Audrey Yane

    I’ve made these for may cats for years, but I make them into modern mice by piercing the ball and knotting cord through the whole leaving a tail on one end and a knot nose on the other.

  29. 29

    I’m sorry but that is when recycling has gone way to far,discusting!

  30. 30
    LipMae and Smores the cat

    Lol I think Im more likely to play with them than Smores XD Im that weirdo teen who plays with her cats’ toys when shes not looking lol

  31. 31
    LipMae and Smores the cat

    btw I have a bamboo brand “hair buster”. its alot cheaper than a FURminator and its basically the same thing.


  1. [...] fur transformed into… spun yarn, cat play toys and yes, even [...]

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