Green Little Cat

Cat Toys

The Great Green Cat Toy

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Furball’s pals, Brooke and Tim, were kind enough to send Furball a Great Green Cat Toy to play with.  When it arrived, Furball was ever the curious cat and immediately came over to investigate.

Who wouldn’t be interested?  The Great Green Cat Toy is not your typical cat toy stuffed full of catnip.  Instead, it’s an imaginative structure that challenges your cat’s natural instincts to explore, stalk and pounce.

In a nutshell, this cat toy consists of a large tube with a paw-sized window to reach three wooden balls inside.  What makes it different from other “peek and paw” toys is that the entire toy moves when your cat plays with it.

So, instead of sitting still on the floor, when your cat interacts with the Great Green Cat Toy, it rolls and rotates, causing the wooden balls to come in and out of view.  Purrfect for a cat’s hunting instincts.

The Great Green Cat Toy is also eco-friendly. It’s made from recycled and reusable materials, is completely recyclable and is 90{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} biodegradable. As well, the labels are printed on 100{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} recycled paper with soy based inks. And, to top it off, it’s made in the USA, crafted with love from Brooke and Tim.

As with all cat toys, you never know what your cat is going to like and unfortunately, Furball was not a gracious receiver of Brooke and Tim’s gift. He gave the Great Green Cat Toy an inspection and then creeped away from it.

Furball tends to be a little intimidated by cat toys that are bigger than a small rodent, so maybe this cat toy was just too big for him. Given some time, I’m pretty sure he would have had warmed up to it, especially when he gets into his crazy play mode. However, what makes the Great Green Cat Toy look like fun for a cat also makes it fun for a toddler, so I had to put the toy away.

If your cat’s not a fraidy cat and you don’t have a curious toddler, it’s worth checking out this toy because I’ve seen other cats really enjoy playing and wrestling with it. Here’s a video of a cat having fun with the Great Green Cat Toy.

Happy Earth Day! Save on Eco-Friendly Cat Toys for Life

The Earth Day Sale is now officially over, but you can still get your copy of the ebook for the low price of only $5. You could easily pay that much for just one cat toy.

Cover350x350Happy Earth Day!  It’s amazing to reflect that I’ve been writing this blog for almost three years now and it’s grown from just a handful of my cat-loving friends reading it to thousands of readers all over the world.  Thank you so much for greening your cat’s lifestyle.

As a special thank you for Green Little Cat readers, the ebook version of “Make Your Own Cat Toys” is on sale at 50{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} off for Earth Day.  Actually, it’s on sale for the next 10 days until May 2nd.

You’ll save 50{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} off the regular price of $5.  For less than the cost of one un-green cat toy, you can learn how to make 52 eco-friendly toys and games for your cat by upcyling stuff you have around the house.

If you have ever purchased a fancy cat toy only to find arthritis Kitty preferred the bag it came in, this book is for you. Make Your Own Cat Toys shows you how to create new toys from old stuff in minutes. Have fun, save the planet and save money at the same time. Reducing your cat’s carbon paw print has never been this easy!

  • Save money and save the environment! For less than the price of a couple of fancy cat toys, your cat can have a new toy each week for a year.
  • Over 50 toy ideas to suit the different ways that cats love to play, such as catching, wrestling, chasing, swatting and more
  • Fast and simple for your busy lifestyle – 25 toys that can be made in 60 seconds with no special skills required
  • Ideal for new kittens with boundless energy and also for “lazy cats” with a relaxed approach to playtime
  • Plus, plenty of green tips and eco-friendly ideas for you and your pet

Order the Ebook >>

Make Your Own Cat Toys 101:Turn a Toilet Paper Roll Into a Ball of Fun

How to make cat toys from a toilet paper roll
How to make cat toys from a toilet paper roll

I’ve been making cat toys for Furball since he was a wee kitten, almost 10 years ago.  I can’t believe my cat is almost a decade old.  He’s considered a senior, but he still loves to play and runs around like a nut in the house.  He was super high-energy as a kitten, way beyond “normal” and insisted on playing with toys 24/7.  That’s what got me into homemade cat toys in the first place.

While it’s not the most durable cat toy you can make, it is certainly one of the fastest and easiest.  And Furball loves it!  This cat toy is a great alternative to the plastic balls that you normally find in the cat toy section at the store.  And, it’s free and only takes a few seconds to make yourself.

What You’ll Need:

  • One clean empty toilet paper roll
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Flatten the toilet paper roll and cut it into 8 equal-sized rings, about 1/4″ to 1/3″ thick.
  2. After cutting the flattened roll into rings, pop the rings back into shape.  You’ll now have a pile of toilet paper roll rings.  If you stop here, you’ll have created the “Ring Toss” cat toy — a bunch of rings that you can toss in the air for your cat to catch.
  3. Or, you can continue to make a ball of fun.  Take three of the rings and loop them around each other to form a sphere.
  4. Continue wrapping the remaining rings around each other until you have formed a ball.

Voila!  Your homemade toilet paper roll cat toy ball is now ready to toss and roll.

I had so many ideas on how to make cat toys that as a pet project (ha ha, bad pun intended), I wrote, illustrated and published a book, Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving The Planet One Cat Toy At A Time. The cat toy described above isn’t in the book, but it was inspired as a result of the “Ring Toss”, which is in the cat toy book. There’s also a “Sweep Away” toy that transforms a toilet paper roll into a broom-like homemade cat toy.

The Ungreenest Cat Product of 2009!

I recently received a catalogue from Drs. Foster and Smith, one of the largest mail order companies for cat products. They’ve added a few more green products, but nothing to write home about. I’m not even sure how they got my mailing info since I’d never heard of them before getting their catalogues. It was easy enough to call them and get my name removed.

Anyhow, while flipping through the pages, it occurred to me that there were quite a number of very ungreen products for cats, so I decided to have a little fun for the end of the year and post what I thought were the least eco-friendly cat products and ask you to vote for the winner of the “Ungreenest Cat Product of 2009”.

Products were selected completely subjectively with no research whatsoever into the manufacturing process. I just went with what seemed rather useless for a cat or used a lot of materials. Vote for your “favourite” using the poll at the bottom of this post.

Also, I’d love to hear from you about what you consider to be ungreen. Please send your nominations for a future poll to furball [AT] greenlittlecat.com.

And the nominees for 2009 are…

1. Play-N-Squeak Whack Attack

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Indoor cats can stalk and pounce and engage their natural predatory instincts in a healthy way. Its also let cats engage in solitary play, which provides mental stimulation and needed exercise. The bouncy mouse promotes hours of frolic and fun.

I chose eta-i.org/valium.html this one because I bought a pom-pom on a spring toy for Furball when he was a kitten. He swatted it once, found it really boring and never touched it again. This looks like it functions along the same lines, only chunkier with more carpet and material. I wonder if the cat has been Photoshopped into the picture.

2. Pawprint Ornaments

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Festive resin ornaments with clever cat sentiments show your love for your feline friends. Perfect for your holiday tree, or as a gift for cat lovers on your list. Includes red hanging ribbon.

I enjoy Christmas as much as anyone, and have purchased ornaments for the family tree.  But this one is aesthetically-challenged.  No surprise it’s on sale now.

3. Memorial Stone

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Use as a stepping-stone in your yard or garden, or use the attached hanger to display on your wall or an outdoor fence.

I have experienced the passing of a beloved cat, but this is not what I would choose to honour their memory.  This “stepping-stone” also weighs about 5 lbs.

 
 
 

4. Kitty Hoots Bobber Toy

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A single paw swipe sends this cat toy bobbing erratically. Weighted plastic cat face won’t tip, no matter how hard your cat swats and bats. Spring steel “hook” and dangling catnip-scented Mouse Lure entice kitty to pounce relentlessly.

My well-meaning brother bought a similar toy for Furball.  The large plastic base scared him a bit and the bobbing action was too tame to interest him.  Lots of material for low play-value.

Videos on How to Make Cat Toys

I was randomly surfing YouTube and came across numerous instructional videos on how to make cat toys.  Who knew there were so many of these how-to videos out there?

A couple of the videos stood out because they were highly watchable and they also featured toys that followed in the spirit of my book, Make Your Own Cat Toys.  The toys were really easy to make with stuff you have around your home.  I haven’t tried making these myself as Furball’s toy box is already overflowing with homemade eco-friendly toys.

If your kitty needs a new plaything, why not give these a try?  The only thing that I wish erectile dysfunction these videos included were a few notes about safety.  The first toy is made from a plastic bag and the second from tin foil.  If your cat eats plastic or tin foil, then these toys are potential hazards.  The toys are also unsafe if your cat is able to bite off a shred.  Cats have small barbs on their tongues, which makes it impossible for them to spit things out, other than pills ;)!  That’s why so many small items are potential hazards and why you should always supervise your cat when playing with toys and put them away when he or she is finished.

Organic Cat Toy by Purrfect Play is Cat Toy Crack

Image: From Purrfect Play website
Image: From Purrfect Play website

I apologize if the crude colloquialism offends you, but there is no other way to describe how much Furball enjoys the Chubby Snake from Purrfect Play.  He was dozing when I introduced it to him, but all it took was one whiff of the robust catnip scent before he was wide-eyed and alert and ready to play.

I tossed him the Chubby Snake and he proceeded to go berserk, wrestling and tussling and biting the hell out of the toy. He even let out a few snorts – he was that excited.  After several minutes of active wrestling, he settled down to contentedly lick and drool all over the Chubby Snake.  The floor was covered in cat drool, which is when we gave the Snake a new moniker, “The Crack Toy.”

Furball was so enamored with the Chubby Snake that my husband had to distract him while I surreptitiously grabbed it and hid it in the garage.  Good thing Purrfect Play makes a replaceable cover for the cat nip core as I have a feeling that this will be one of Furball’s favourite toys.  After I took away the Chubby Snake, I gave him a Wooly Dust Bunny which looks a bit like a pom pom made from organic wool.  He chased that around the room and had a great time amusing himself.

Purrfect Play is a small company based out of the Midwest. They’re dedicated to producing pet products crafted exclusively from organic, chemical free, and fair-trade materials. To quote Head Honcho, Pat Wheelock, “When you buy one of our products you can be sure it was made with dedication and love.”

Ms. Wheelock was kind enough to send us a selection of toys for Furball to review and it’s clear from examining them that they were definitely crafted with love.  Before sending the toys to us, she took the time to ask how old Furball is, how much he weighed and whether he likes catnip.  As the author of Make Your Own Cat Toys, I’ve invented dozens of cat toys myself, and I appreciated the thought process behind her questions.  Ms. Wheelock’s questions were those that only a true cat lover would take the time to ask.

You may be wondering why the author of a cat toy book who advocates making your own cat toys to reduce your cat’s environmental impact would consider “outside” toys.  I did give this some thought when Ms. Wheelock made her offer.  However, when I read more about Purrfect Play (www.purrfectplay.com), I was really impressed with their business philosphy and the quality of their products.

The toys are very simple looking to the human eye, but from a cat perspective, they look like a world of fun.  As well, Purrfect Play only uses fair trade materials, dye-free organic fabrics and organic leaf catnip to make their toys.  The toys are locally made in Indiana and 5{456796300b989ac2391159a2df073ed1ad38074dfcdb28494d5d1df8ab5972d8} of sales are donated to no-kill and rescue organizations.  The toys are great for the green advocate in me, but Furball’s the one who really gave them the greenlight.  He LOVED them.

Related Posts

Homemade Cat Toy Ideas! – Dozens of Eco-Friendly Homemade Cat Toys

Ever notice when you bring home a cat toy that you purchased from a store that your cat usually prefers the bag?  I’ve also noticed an inverse relationship between how much I spend on a cat toy, and how much my cat enjoys the cat toy.  In fact, usually the homemade cat toys that cost nothing are the ones the cat loves.  He seems to derive great fun from homemade cat toys made from stuff that I would deem to be “garbage”.

Here’s Furball enjoying the heck out of this homemade cat toy.  The hum sound in the background is actually him purring as he plays with the cat toy.

While I’m not against buying cat toys, I feel that the green thing to do is to be much more conscious of the toys we buy.  Is the cat toy made overseas and shipped here?  Can I find a cat toy made locally from natural and organic materials instead?  However, I believe the most eco-friendly thing to do is to make your own homemade cat toys.  Homemade cat toys can inspire the creative use of packaging, recyclables, old clothing, and other everyday items that would normally end up in the landfill.  When you make your own cat toys, you also reduce the carbon footprint required to ship a store-bought toy from China.  Yes, I’ve looked.  With the exception of small local companies, most cat toys have the ubiquitous “Made in China” sticker.

The benefits of homemade cat toys don’t just stop at being green.  Making your own homemade cat toys also saves you some green, especially when store bought cat toys can run upwards of $5 to $15.  Hence today, I’d like to encourage everyone to try making their own cat toys.  You’ve probably already come up with some great homemade cat toys already.  If your cat loves to play with toys, I’m sure you’re well versed in the cardboard box, the paper bag and the crunched up paper ball.

Furball loves to play and was a hyperactive kitten.  He’s approaching 8 years of age now, but he still runs around the house at top speed cholesterol lowering with a wild-eyed expression.  Hence, I’ve invented dozens of homemade cat toys.  Friends have tried making many of my homemade cat toy ideas and their cats love them too.  Because Furball got bored easily and went through so many toys, I found that most of my cat toy ideas simply repurposed “junk” from around the house.  I also didn’t have time to spend hours making cat toys, so the homemade cat toys had to be made in minutes if not seconds.

As a result of this experience making my own cat toys, I have compiled 52 homemade cat toy ideas into a delightful and fun book.  I recently published “Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time“.  The book contains instructions for making your own cat toys from everyday items such as toilet paper rolls, CDs, shopping bags, business cards, old T-shirts, cereal boxes and more.  It’s like a cookbook of homemade cat toy ideas.  The book also makes a great gift for cat lovers of all ages.  The witty writing is geared to adults, but the instructions for making most of the cat toys are so simple, that most kids can easily follow along (supervised by an adult, of course).  It’s like how Toy Story, the movie is enjoyed by adults and kids.

If you’re interested in being more eco-friendly and thinking about making your own homemade cat toys or looking for a great gift for a cat lover, I invite you to please check out the book, Make Your Own Cat Toys to learn more.  In the spirit of eco-friendliness and giving back, I also donate a portion of book sale proceeds to animal shelters and environmental charities.  The book is only $11.95, which is less than the cost of a couple of fancy cat toys.  It’s also printed in the U.S. to be more eco-friendly, using a print-on-demand service so that books are made only when someone orders one.

Please visit:

Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving The Planet One Cat Toy At A Time

Day 22: Homemade Cat Toy FridayThe 30-Day Green Cat Challenge

DreamCatcherFriday is homemade cat toy day, so today, I’m going to share with you the Dream Cat-cher from Furball’s eco-friendly cat toy book.  This one is sooooo easy, but Furball’s been loving this game for the past two weeks.  He actually breaks his nap to come out at the same time each morning to play.

Basically, you’ll need some sunshine, which has been a little hard to come by lately in the winter.  However, we’re fortunate to live in California.  We’re originally from the Northeast, so we know what winter’s like for everyone else.  So, just hang in there until the next sunny day :).

Next, you’ll need a CD or DVD.  Preferably, it’s one that you don’t need or want.  This game shouldn’t cause any damage to the disc, but it’s better to play it safe.  Personally, I’ll use the DVD that I rented from Blockbuster, but I justify that by reasoning that I return the DVD in better condition than I received it.  I’m going to take a little green segue now and you’re welcome to skip by going to the next next paragraph.

Little Green Segue: Here’s why the DVDs are returned in better condition than how I received them.  There are actually some green tips here, so thanks for reading.  Plus you’ll get an insight into a slice of life for Furball’s Mommy.  My DVD player is so old that it has a VHS tape player integrated with it.  The DVD technology from back then isn’t as good as it is now.  If there’s even the tiniest smudge on the disc, my DVD player will freeze up and stop playing the disc.  This usually occurs at the most inopportune climatic moments of the movie.  Anyway, to prevent the freeze, I tear off one quarter of a sheet of recycled paper towel.  Then, I spray a tiny squirt of Seventh Generation all purpose cleaner on the disc and give it a good wipe.  Those discs are sparkling when I put them back in the case.

OK, back to the Dream Cat-cher and a quick and fun way to play with your cat.  Flip the disc so that the underside is in the sunlight.  Move the disc around so that the light reflects onto the wall and floor.  The lightbeam will quiver like a moth and it’s simply irresistible.  Sit back on the sofa and with a few flicks of your wrist, your cat will be chasing that beam all over the room.  Be sure not to shine the beam in your cat’s eyes!

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

Today’s green actions are for you and your lifestyle.  After all, this blog is about green living for YOU and your cat.

  1. Before buying the latest gadget, consider whether you really need it.  When you do purchase an item, buy a quality product and use it until it completely stops working and can no longer be repaired.  Then, find some geek on recycle.org to take it and recycle it into a cat feeder like this one on Make Magazine.
  2. Be conscious of how you use paper towels and whether you can use a reusable cloth instead.  If you do need to use a paper towel, do you really need a whole sheet?  I can’t tell you how many times I see people in a public restroom wash their hands, then grab three paper towels, graze them lightly for a  second, and then toss the whole pile out without any thought.
Dozens of Eco-Friendly Cat Toy Ideas Furball, my cat, loves to play and he was so hyperactive as a kitten that I invented dozens of toys and games for him and even wrote a book about them.

Make Your Own Cat Toys features instructions for over 50 cat toys that can be made in minutes, if not seconds, from stuff you have around the home. If you’d like to learn more about the book, please visit www.MakeYourOwnCatToys.com.

Day 15: Weekend Homemade Cat Toy Idea — The 30-Day Green Cat Challenge

homemade cat toyWith the long weekend approaching, I’ve decided it’s time for another homemade cat toy project. On Day 8, I posted my cat toy idea for the Flippity Flappity Flag. That cat toy was a cinch to make and great for cats who love to run, chase and catch. Today, I’m posting what I call the “Wrestle Sausage” from my Make Your Own Cat Toys book. As with all the homemade cat toys in the book, this one is eco-friendly and reuses an old T-shirt. However, because you’ve got an extra day off, I’ve chosen this project because it takes about 30 minutes to make. This toy is great for cats who love to wrestle or play tug-of-war.

Don’t forget that when you make your own cat toys, safety should always come first. Remember to play safe and play smart. Only make a toy if you know your cat won’t ingest the materials and never leave your cat unsupervised when playing. This goes for all cat toys, not just homemade ones.

WRESTLE SAUSAGE

Wrestle Sausage, as its name implies, is for cats who love to wrestle. It’s the size of a small rodent, but it makes a Kitty-satisfying crinkly crackle sound when she attacks it. As an added bonus, Wrestle Sausage does not leave a bloody mess on your doorstep.

Ideally, you should make Wrestle Sausage from one of your old T-shirts so that Kitty can enjoy that lived-in smell, giving Wrestle Sausage the added “scents” of realism. Soft jersey cotton is also an excellent texture for Kitty to sink her claws into. And, you’ll have fun recycling your T-shirt into something other than a garage rag.

What you’ll need:

  • Old cotton T-shirt
  • 1 crunchy plastic bag, grocery store style
  • 1 Tbsp organic catnip (optional)
  • 1 sturdy shoelace or the Utility Belt (page 72)
  • Needle and thread
  • Scissors
  • Chopstick or pencil
  • Threaded sewing machine (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cut two 9” x 5” rectangles from the old T-shirt.
  2. Place the rectangles one on top of the other. The material is being doubled up for durability. Fold in half lengthwise. See Figure 1.
  3. Using either a needle and thread or a sewing machine, stitch the rectangles together. Start from the folded end on the short side and continue down the long side, leaving a 3/8” seam allowance. When you reach the end of the long side, finish off the stitching if you are using a sewing machine. If you are sewing by hand, go back and sew a reinforcing seam along the inside of the first line of stitching. See Figure 2.
  4. Turn the sausage inside out. Use a chopstick or pencil to help you. See Figure 3.
  5. Cut a 7.5” wide section from the plastic bag lengthwise. See Figure 4.
  6. Lay the section of plastic bag flat and sprinkle catnip evenly across its surface. Begin loosely rolling the bag so that it will be the right width to fit inside the sausage. See Figure 5.
  7. Insert the rolled up plastic bag into the sausage. See Figure 6.
  8. Tuck in the unfinished ends at the open side of the sausage. Use the needle and thread to sew it closed.
  9. Tie a slip knot in the shoelace. Secure the loop over the Wrestle Sausage about 1.5” from the end. Now you’re ready to wrestle with Kitty from a safe distance.

homemade cat toy

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

  • Set aside a half hour this weekend to make this deluxe cat toy for your Kitty.
  • Please feel free to share this “make your own” cat toy idea with friends by clicking the “Share This” link below.

The Wrestle Sausage is copyrighted so if you’d like to reproduce this homemade cat toy idea, please contact me at permissions AT makeyourowncattoys.com with your request. Thank you.

Dozens of Eco-Friendly Cat Toy Ideas

Furball, my cat, loves to play and he was so hyperactive as a kitten that I invented dozens of toys and games for him and even wrote a book about them.

Make Your Own Cat Toys features instructions for over 50 cat toys that are can be made in minutes, if not seconds, from stuff you have around the home. If you’d like to learn more about the book, please visit www.MakeYourOwnCatToys.com.

Day 8: Make a Homemade Cat Toy TodayThe 30-Day Green Cat Challenge

FlippityIt’s “make your own cat toy” time! Furball’s been getting a little bored lately as evidenced by his unwarranted attack on the couch this morning. So, today, I’m making him one of his favourite homemade cat toys, the Flippity Flappity Flag. This cat toy takes less than a minute to make and it’s great for cats who love to catch stuff in the air or chase after toys. The following homemade cat toy is an excerpt from my book, Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time.

FLIPPITY FLAPPITY FLAG

Kitty may not have expressed any prior interest in patriotism. However, the Flippity Flappity Flag, with its crisp snapping sounds and wildly erratic movements will have her standing at attention in no time. Selecting the right plastic bag is key to creating this toy. The bag should be made from a crisp and heavy plastic. To test the bag for effectiveness, do the “symphony test.” Place an object in the bag, go to the symphony and then take the object out of the bag. If everyone around you gives you nasty looks, then this is ideal Flippity Flappity Flag material. After you’ve reused your bags multiple times and they’re too dodgy for groceries and full of too many holes to be used for garbage (especially cat litter), you can use them for cat toys. In an ideal world, everyone would carry reusable totes and I would have to invent new toys because plastic bags would no longer exist.

What you’ll need:

  • Plastic bag
  • Heavy shoelace
  • Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Cut a 5” x 1.5” rectangle from the plastic bag.
  2. Tie a slip knot at the end of the shoelace. See page 112 for instructions on how to tie a slip knot.
  3. Slip about 1” of the plastic bag through the loop in the shoelace. Pull tightly to secure the shoelace around the plastic bag. Flippity Flappity Flag is now ready to be waved.

HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION

  • Make your cat a new toy this weekend. It can be the Flippity Flappity Flag or create your own homemade cat toy idea. Just remember to play safe and play smart. Choose materials that you know your cat won’t ingest and never leave your cat unsupervised when playing with cat toys. This applies for all toys, not just homemade cat toys.
  • Please feel free to share this “make your own” cat toy idea with friends by clicking the “Share This” link below.

The Flippity Flappity Flag is copyrighted so if you’d like to reproduce this homemade cat toy idea, please contact me at permissions AT makeyourowncattoys.com with your request. Thank you.

Dozens of Eco-Friendly Cat Toy Ideas

Furball, my cat, loves to play and he was so hyperactive as a kitten that I invented dozens of toys and games for him and even wrote a book about them.

Make Your Own Cat Toys features instructions for over 50 cat toys that can be made in minutes, if not seconds, from stuff you have around the home. If you’d like to learn more about the book, please visit www.MakeYourOwnCatToys.com.