Tag Archives: homemade cat toys

5 Eco-Friendly Tips for Playing With Cats

Playing With CatsHere are five simple tips for playing with cats that will make your kitty’s playtime eco-friendly and lots of fun.

1. Channel Your Inner Cat

Let’s face the truth.   When choosing cat toys, you tend to buy the ones that appeal to you.  The toys are bright, colorful and awfully darned cute.  Don’t think this applies to you?  Well, here’s the litmus test.  Ask yourself when was the last time you sniffed a catnip toy and pontificated on its herbaceous bouquet?

Instead of choosing toys that appeal to you as a human being, think like a cat.   Your cat already gives you lots of clues on what she enjoys playing with.  Cats let you know in an instant whether a toy is a hit or a miss.

Take an inventory of the toys that your cat loves to play with and notice what characteristics they have in common.  And, do this from a cat’s perspective.  Maybe your cat’s favorite toys all make a rattling sound or are stuffed with catnip. The next time you’re looking for new toys to play with your cat, choose ones that have similar characteristics.

You’ll help save the planet by choosing toys that your cat will actually play with instead of ones that she’ll never use.  Buying fewer toys is not only greener, it’s also great for your wallet.

2. Buy Locally Made Cat Toys

Transportation emissions are a significant source of greenhouse gases.  When a cat toy is made on the other side of the world, it needs to travel a very long distance in order to arrive at your local pet store. Reduce your carbon footprint by buying toys made closer to home.

Ask your favorite retailer to carry locally made pet products.  And if you need more inspiration for playing with cats, search online for cat toys made by local businesses and craftspeople. An added bonus will be that you’ll be helping to support the local economy.

3. Examine Cat Toys for Quality and Durability

Before buying a bag of cheap mice for a few dollars, stop and consider how long these cat toys will last.  Are they the kind of toy that your cat will chew up within seconds?  Will your cat tear through it in a matter of minutes?

While quality cat toys might cost a bit more initially, you’ll end up saving money in the long run because they’ll last longer.  Check fabrics for durability and tug at attachments to see if they’ll stay attached when playing with your cat.

4. Upcycle When Playing With Cats

Your recycling bin is a delightful source of inspiration.  When playing with your cat, you don’t need to be fancy. Something that you might consider to be garbage is probably the cat’s meow to your kitty.  Get creative and turn that trash into an eco-friendly cat toy.

Scrap paper crumples nicely into paw-sized balls to chase.  Toilet paper rolls can easily be morphed into a multitude of cat toys and plastic rings on a string are cat heaven. For even more homemade cat toys, check out the eco-friendly book, Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving the Planet One Cat Toy at a Time.

5. Go Organic

A 2008 study by the Environmental Working Group found that pets had much higher concentrations of chemicals in their bodies than humans do.  Given that cats spend a lot of time licking and gnawing on their toys, it makes sense to reduce your cat’s exposure to potentially hazardous toxins.

Choose organic cat toys made from organic fibres and filled with organic catnip.  Organic products are grown without the use of synthetic pesticides. Your cat and the planet will both benefit.

Going green when playing with your cat is easy and fun to do.  Your cat and the planet will appreciate your efforts.

What are your favorite green ideas for playing with cats?  Share them below.

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

The end of a journey is really the beginning

On August 2, 2008, I decided I was going to get serious about publishing my eco-friendly cat toy book. See www.makeyourowncattoys.com.

Now, about four months later, I can proudly say that my book, MY book, is now available for sale on Amazon.com. I really can’t describe the feeling of seeing my book cover and my name up there on the list of book results on Amazon. It was quite thrilling.

This book is in alignment with my beliefs and my passion to save the environment. I chose a print-on-demand service so that the books would only be printed when requested unlike the typical print runs in the industry. I didn’t want my book ending up in the bargain bin at the bookstore. There was even one book publisher I worked for that readily admitted it was cheaper for them to print excess books and throw them away than to print what they projected would sell.

Print-on-demand (POD) also enabled my book to be printed in the United States where most of my readers reside, as opposed to China or Singapore. I would have other liked to print it on recycled paper, but decided local POD was more environmentally-friendly until the book outgrows POD. Then, I’ll be looking for a local eco-friendly printer.

I realized that my journey doesn’t end with the listing of my book on Amazon. This is only the beginning. My mission for this book is to save the planet one cat toy at a time by raising awareness of conscious consumption and introducing millions of people to greener options for their pets and themselves. Imagine if people thought before they bought low quality toys made overseas. What would the world be like if we supported local businesses that used natural materials and made quality products and sustainable choices? And, I’m not just talking about cat toys.

Now, I have to figure out how to tell millions of people about my book…

P.S. This book is a fabulous gift for the cat lovers in your life. Since it was just published days ago, you can be pretty sure that no one you know will have it yet :). Please visit: www.makeyourowncattoys.com


Green Little Cat is the only blog that's all about eco-friendly ideas for cats and cat lovers. This blog is a labor of love, created by Holly Tse, author of Make Your Own Cat Toys.