As a lifelong environmentalist, I’ve noticed that the phrase “eco friendly” can often be substituted with a less flattering word: “UGLY.” This is often the case when it comes to fashion (sorry, you can’t make hemp look sexy). And it’s especially true when it comes to cat toys — even the ones in the fancy boutiques.
I’d pretty much given up hope that I would ever find a cat toy that was fun for my cat, environmentally friendly and styling, too. Then, one day, while I was searching for eco-friendly cat toys online, Google delivered me to Etsy and I found the motherload of eco-friendly hipster cat toys. Here are six of my favorites.
The creepy and cheeky My Lil’ Zombie cat toy is a kitschy looking voodoo doll made from American merino wool blend felt. Your cat won’t be running scared from this Zombie, but she’ll definitely be running as she chases after it. Each doll is filled with a full 1/4 cup of organic catnip. To keep the catnip potent, the Zombie is packaged in an Earth First EcoBag, a cellophane sleeve made from compostable plant fiber. You can unearth this and other "scary" toys at the Miso Handmade Etsy shop.
Even though the Catnip Slug is slime-free, this slug is oozing with fun because it’s stuffed with organic catnip. The slugs are made from rescued fabric samples from local Oregon interior design firms. Using reclaimed fabrics helps to keep scrap textiles out of the landfill. Designer fabrics also mean that you’ll get trendy colors and patterns. Each slug is unique — and it just might match your sofa, too.
The handmade Catnip Slugs can be found at the Trillium Artisans Etsy shop. They’re a nonprofit community economic development organization that supports low-income crafters in the city of Portland, Oregon. All of their crafters use a minimum of 50-percent recycled or reclaimed materials.
If you’re a wine connoisseur, Bamboleos (Spanish for “rock,” “roll,” and “wobble”) may be the perfect vintage for your cat. They’re made from recycled wine corks wrapped in a sturdy cotton twine that makes it easy for cat nails to hook into them and toss them around. Bamboleos also feature felt endcaps, which are filled with finely ground organic catnip.
These fun cat toys are available in a three-pack. While you don’t get to choose between red or white (or rose), you do have a choice of two color palettes. Blue Lagoon features cool blue and green Bamboleos, while Tequila Sunrise features warm red, orange and gold toys. Get yours from the Hauspanther Etsy shop.
Every city dweller has an urban tale about rats. We’ve all heard stories about rats the size of cats spotted in the subway tunnels of New York City. Here’s a rat from the Big Apple that is sure to inspire hilarious anecdotes of how much fun your cat had playing with it.
Scrappy Rats are made from fabric scraps salvaged from New York City’s fashion district. The latest incarnation features a lumberjack plaid design, and it’s stuffed with a muslin pouch of Certified Organic California grown catnip. You’ll find Scrappy Rats at the GO!PETDESIGN Etsy shop.
The Cat Butt makes a statement and it looks good, too. Who could have thought that a feline derriere could look so appealing? This felt cat toy is handmade and built to last. It’s made with four layers of felt that are triple-stitched for extra durability, and it’s stuffed with fiberfill and 100 percent hand-harvested organic catnip.
The Cat Butt is available in a cornucopia of color combinations from the 2 Forks Design Etsy shop. 10 percent of proceeds are donated to Katie’s Place Animal Shelter, a volunteer-run no-kill cat shelter.
Here’s an artisan pizza slice for the hipster cat. The Fish Pizza is made from premium home decor fabrics and features chenille "cheese" and felt "fish." The ingredient list also includes organic catnip that is filled to order for maximum freshness.
If your kitty’s got a late night craving for a pizza cat toy, you can order one for home delivery at the Wags and Wiggles Etsy shop.
Read more about eco-friendly cat toys: