Cat hair is a fact of life for most cat owners (unless you own a Sphynx), so if you have to live with it, why not make the most of it? I first became intrigued by the idea of crafting with cat hair after the release of the eponymous book in 2011, and have since learned about just how versatile the natural fiber can be.
Since then, I’ve made a cat toy out of cat hair, created a felt finger puppet in the likeness of my own kitty, and even had a reader send me a beautiful cat-hair bead necklace that she created using fur from my cat, Priscilla. (And yes, it felt a little weird sending someone I had never met an envelope of cat hair, but the end result was totally worth it.)
Last year, FURminator held a competition amongst cat bloggers from across the country to create a celebrity using excess cat fur. My creation was a blue-haired Katy Perry (er, Katy Purry), and guess what? I won! The grand prize was a $1,000 donation to the animal rescue of my choice, proving once and for all that crafting with cat hair can pay.
I know some people have trouble getting over the idea that cat hair is “gross,” but it’s clean, doesn’t smell, and comes in plentiful supply. I hate finding stray cat hairs in my food as much as the next person, but when it comes to crafting, it’s fair game.
If you’re not ready to get your paws mixed up in your cat’s excess fluff, there are quite a few Etsy artists who are happy to do the heavy lifting and create the cat hair project of your dreams. Whether you’re commissioning a custom piece or are content with using the cat hair of another, these five unique items are sure to give you fur-ball fever.
1. Felted Kitty Finger Puppet
This adorable, embellished finger puppet was made using a tutorial from “Crafting with Cat Hair: Cute Handicrafts to Make with Your Cat,” by Japanese artist Kaori Tsutaya. The process for making your own keepsake puppet isn’t particularly difficult, but can prove to be time consuming, as I learned when trying the project out for myself.
Simplify the process by picking up a perfectly sculpted, pre-made cat hair puppet from Monika of Felt Like It 222. Sure, it may not be made out of your own cat’s fur, but you’ll still own a cool conversation starter, along with a piece of Monika’s adopted cat, KC.
2. Cat Luv Necklace With Your Cat’s Hair
Flora Davis is a talented jewelry maker who gained fame after turning her Ragamuffin cat Gaia’s hair into unique, cat hair-inspired accessories. Davis’s catty creations include earrings and sculptural necklaces, which are bonafide works of art.
In addition to working with Gaia’s fur, Flora is also open to creating commissioned pieces using your cat’s own fluff. My favorite design is the Cat Luv necklace, which includes a felted heart made from your cat’s hair, enclosed between two squares of wire mesh. You might not always be able to have your kitty by your side, but you can always keep them close to your heart!
3. Cat Hair Catnip Mice
Another fun, easy, and weird use for cat hair is to make cat toys out of it. Since it can be molded, it’s easy to roll into little logs or balls, which cats love to toss around. But why stick to simple shapes when you can go all out? The artist behind Nine Live Twine Cat Hair Creations got creative and fashioned her cat’s fuzz it into a traditional cat toy shape, which is sure to drive your kitties wild.
These adorable catnip mice have a felted cat-hair exterior and wool core stuffed with organic catnip and organic catnip spray — which will definitely help soften the blow once the cats realize that their mousies are really just kitties in disguise.
4. Handknit Ragdoll Cat Hair Bag
I feel like I’m obligated to make some kind of “cat’s out of the bag” joke here, but in reality the cat here actually IS the bag. Entwined Spirits creates handknits out of dog and cat hair, including bags like this one, and something called “spirit baskets.”
This particular bag was made using the fur of a handsome Vancouver Island Ragdoll kitty named Gabriel. According to the seller, Ragdolls tend to be “affectionate, playful, and easy-going,” and it is her hope that owning the bag will also help bring some of those qualities into your life. On an unrelated note, imagine carrying around this furry pouch and having someone ask you where you got it! They’d either end up running for their lives or thinking it was the coolest thing ever.
As morbid as the name might sound, Meowmorials are actually touching feline tributes, which can be commissioned long before your kitty makes her journey to the great litter box in the sky. These cool little figures can be made to look just like your kitty using his actual hair, and they provide a lasting memento in a way that’s much cuter (and less creepy) than taxidermy.
The custom made critters by Nine Lives Twine Cat Hair Creations come as small as 3 to 4 inches tall, or as large as 5 to 6. The artist also encourages embellishments like cat whiskers (if you don’t have any, she’ll add her own), and other long hair accents like mane, paws, and tail. As far as custom kitty items go, this one of the coolest I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for something a little more personalized, it’s an interesting, if not unusual, alternative to a traditional felted figure or portrait.
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