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5 DIY Projects You and Your Kids Can Make for Your Cats

Rainy day? Ignore the TV. Create no-sew cat beds, simple cat toys, and kitty clubhouses.

 |  Jul 11th 2013  |   16 Contributions


Summertime is here and there are no shortage of outdoor activities for you and your child. Sometimes, however, Mother Nature doesn't feel like cooperating and you're stuck inside. Cabin fever can set in quickly, so it's great to have some hands-on activities at the ready so the day doesn't turn into a TV or video gameathon.

Why not collaborate with your kids and create some cool goodies for you cat? There are many options for simple do-it-yourself kitty-crafting projects, which are suitable for children of most any age.

Here are a few possible rainy day projects:

1. No-sew cat bed

This fleece no-sew cat bed is incredibly easy and fast to create, and you cat will love it. My kids and I created one, and it took a little over an hour, from start to finish, to complete the project. Wanna try it? Here are the details:

Phoebe "helps" my daughter cut the fringes around the fleece.

You'll need:

  • Two pieces of fleece that are exactly the same size -- I used two 1/2-yard pieces.
  • One bag of pillow stuffing.
  • Scissors.
  • Ruler.
  • Tape to mark the fleece -- I used masking tape.

Even younger children can tie the fringes of the fleece.

Instructions:

  • Line up the fabrics, with the "good" sides facing the bottom and the top.
  • Place a line of tape four inches from bottom of each side. This will leave a square in each corner -- cut out the square.
  • Cut 1-inch-wide strips from the edge to the line of tape. This will create a fringe around the fleece.
  • Tie the fringed pieces of the top piece of fabric to the fringed pieces of the bottom fabric.
  • After you've tied three sides, break up the stuffing and place it evenly inside the bed. I used about 3/4 of a bag for my bed.
  • Finish the bed by tying the last side's fringes together.

Cosmo gives his seal of approval.

2. Toilet paper-roll cat toy

An empty roll of TP is a simple, easily-obtained item from which a variety of cool cat toys can be created. Like the kids' book says, everybody poops, right? So you must have an empty roll or two laying around the house. Grab one! Now!

Find your scissors -- just don't run with them.

 You'll need:

  • An empty cardboard TP roll.
  • Scissors.
  • Treats (optional).

Insert the rings into one another, creating a ball.

Instructions:

  • Mark four, 1/4-inch (or finger-width) marks on the side of the cardboard roll.
  • Use the scissors to cut each ring (the rings alone are great cat toys -- the cats love 'em!).
  • Insert the first ring into the second ring, then continue with the third and fourth, until you've formed a ball.

My cats love batting around the little ball on its own. You can also place a treat inside the ball so she has to work at removing it. Your child may enjoy drawing shapes and cat faces on the cardboard rings. The cats don't especially care about the doodles, but we humans like to bling things up now and again.

Phoebe likes this one way more than the fancy jingle-bell ball I bought for her. Of course.

3. Fleece catnip toy

This one is quick and easy. I had some leftover fleece from making the cat bed so I decided to whip up some catnip toys. Even if your child can't yet tie, she can have fun sprinkling the catnip. Who doesn't like to sprinkle catnip?

Cosmo knew something delicious was afoot.

You'll need:

  • A square piece of fleece (or most any type of fabric), any size. I used an 8x8-inch piece.
  • Catnip.

The finished product isn't especially pretty, but cats couldn't care less -- that want what's inside!

Instructions:

  • Cut the square of fleece and lay it on a hard surface.
  • Sprinkle a little catnip in the center of the square. 
  • Tie all the diagonally opposite corners together tightly.

Cosmo is pleased with my craftiness!

4. Kitty clubhouse

I think at some time or another, we've all created a version of this for our cats -- even if it's just a simple box tossed on the floor. To us, it's a cardboard box; to a cat, it's a castle, a secret lair, a clubhouse.

My friend Marina used simple markers to add a little flair to her cat Frances' box. Again, the decor is for our amusements -- cats are happy with a plain box. I find they do enjoy they peepholes, though. And kids will have a blast decorating the hideout!

Frances is carding everyone at the Klub Houz door -- no dogs are getting past her. Photo: Marina Dickey

You'll need:

  • Box.
  • Markers, paint, stickers or any other type of cat-friendly embellishment.

I petted Frances through the "petting hole"/"peep show" hole. Photo: Marina Dickey

 Instructions:

  • Cut holes in box, if desired.
  • Place a selection of art supplies on a nearby table and let your child go wild! 

5. Pipe cleaner springs

Cats love spring toys. I've purchased them for my three, and now that we've made the pipe cleaner spring toys, I'm never doing that again! This is a super-easy project that's perfect for kids of most any age.

You can curl one or multiple pipe cleaners around the pencil.

You'll need:

  • Pencil.
  • Pipe cleaners.

Phoebe likes to "hunt" these toys and carries them around in her mouth while howling.

Instructions:

  • Fold down the sharper edges of each end of the pipe cleaner.
  • Hold one end of the pipe cleaner against the pencil and wrap it around the pencil, forming a spring.
  • Remove from pencil.

Do you have any DIY project ideas you and your kids created for your cat? Tell us about it in the comments!

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About the Author: Angie Bailey is a goofy girl with freckles and giant smile who wants everyone to be her friend. Loves pre-adolescent boy humor, puns, making up parody songs, and thinking about cats doing people things. Wrote a ridiculous humor book about cats wheeling and dealing online. Partner in a production company and writes and acts in comedy web series that may or may not offend people. Mother to two humans and three cats, all of which want her to make them food.

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