A reader brought this awesome infographic to my attention the other day. It features some cool DIY projects for your cat, including a cat climber, cat scratcher, and cat puzzle, that you can make by recycling old cardboard boxes. Many of the other projects can use up scraps of wood or those odds and ends that you keep, but never know what to do with—turn them into a window perch or food stand.
Now that your curiosity is piqued, check out this infographic for some fun upcycle ideas for your favourite feline friends!
Quite by accident, I discovered an easy way to create an interactive play area for my cat. This playground was so delightful that it inspired my 14-year old cat, Furball to leap and run around like a kitten.
And, I bet you’ve already got what you need to build this kitty playground in your home right now. You’ll need…drum roll please…
10 to 15 books
That’s it. Simply scatter them in a random pile on the floor. You’ll want to make the pile high enough so that your cat thinks it can “hide” behind the pile, aka crouch below so it can’t see above the books.
I discovered this easy way to make a fun game for my cat purely by chance. I was going through my bookshelf and clearing out books that I no longer needed. As I was cleaning, I dumped the books that I was going to donate to the library on the floor. When I started playing with Furball later that day, he ran to hide behind the books and a fast and easy kitty playground was created.
It made his usual game of chasing the Rainbow Cat Charmer absolutely addictive for him. He was having so much fun running and jumping that it reminded me of when he was a crazy kitten and played so much that he once fell down from dizziness because he wouldn’t stop running in circles. It was just like the good old days because Furball went berserk attacking his old toy with renewed vigor.
So, all you need to do is bust out an old cat toy, preferably something interactive such as a wand toy, Cat Dancer or something that dangles. Get your cat’s attention and then make the toy hide behind the stack of books.
It’ll give your cat the opportunity to exercise her natural instincts of stalking. The best thing is that once you’re done, clean up is a cinch. Just gather up the books and put them back on your shelf!
If you’re looking for places to donate old books, here are a few suggestions:
Some libraries will accept used books.
If you have paperbacks, try posting them on PaperBackSwap.com. It’s like a giant online book swap meet.
Gently used books for young children are welcomed by Project Night Night, which gives books, blankets and stuffed animals to homeless children.
Women’s shelters that support families are also a good place to donate books for kids of all ages.
Chase the Hemp Cat Tail from From The Field (no, that’s not a typo there, “From the Field” is the name of the company) is a foot long cat toy stuffed with organic catnip, valerian root and buckwheat hulls. This makes for a fun-filled catnip toy that cats will love to attack and wrestle with.
The Cat Tail is made from all natural hemp fabric which is excellent for strength and durability. It’s also biodegradable so when it gets fully “yuck-ified” from cat drool and tattered to pieces after hours and hours of play, you can compost it for your flowers and plants.
Washington-based From the Field, makes Chase the Hemp Cat Tail and a full line of hemp cat toys. All of their toys are made in the USA with an eye on sustainability and a commitment to providing high quality natural toys for your cats.
You’ll find Chase the Hemp Cat Tail along with a full selection of organic hemp cat toys and natural pet products at From the Field.
Here’s how to make a cat treat dispenser in three easy steps. Rather than spend $20 on a plastic contraption that your cat will outsmart in a few minutes, make your own eco-friendly cat toy using toilet paper rolls by following these simple instructions. It’s lots of fun, easy to do, each puzzle is unique, the cost is free and you can customize the difficulty level depending on your cat.
What’ You’ll Need:
2 empty toilet paper rolls
Small cat treat
Cut one of the toilet paper rolls into rings about 1/4″ to 1/3″ in width.
Place the cat treat inside the other toilet paper roll.
Stuff a few of the toilet paper rings into one end of the toilet paper roll so that the treat can’t easily fall out. Turn the roll around and stuff the remaining rings into the other end.
Now you’re ready to give this treat-dispensing cat toy to your cat. The more rings you put in, the trickier it is for your cat to get the treat to come out. The fewer rings, the easier it is.
Here’s a video of Furball interacting with his toilet paper roll cat toy. He loves treats, so he’s quite persistent in getting the treat out of this homemade dispenser for cat treats. The laughter in the background is my preschooler.
Looking to add a little variety to your cat’s play diet? Here’s an awesome green cat toy from OffBeat Betty’s Etsy store.
These awesome sushi toys are sure to appeal to your finicky feline’s refined palate. These maki rolls look good enough to eat despite being made from fleece and felt as opposed to seaweed, rice and fish.
Each maki roll cat toy is filled with USDA organic catnip, ensuring that your kitty will want to play with her food.
They’re available in a set of three toys and are custom made to order. Just like at the sushi bar!
Looking for some sweet treats this Valentine’s Day for the cat lovers in your life—or something for yourself? Here are 3 eco-friendly ways to say, “I love you.”
1. Send Organic Flowers
Pick up a bouquet of eco-friendly flowers. If you don’t live near a Whole Foods, where you can grab a bouquet sustainably grown flowers, there’s an online option for you to send organic flowers. Organic Bouquet delivers sustainably grown, certified flowers that are affordable and eco-friendly too. Prices are similar to ordering from one of the big flower conglomerate sites.
2. Chocolate Kitty Made With Organic Sugar
This sweet chocolate cat is made with organic sugar by Chocolates by Bernard. Since you can’t share it with your kitty, perhaps she’ll enjoy the heart-shaped toy below.
3. Heart-Shaped Organic Cat Toy
Yeowww! makes heart-shaped cat toys filled with organic catnip. The Heart Attack Pack includes 3 bold red hearts to help you win over your kitty’s affections. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Here’s a purrfect gift that’s fun, cheery, eco-friendly and IDEAL for last minute shopping. It’s Furball’s amazing book on how to, Make Your Own Cat Toys. Now available in digital format (PDF format), you can get your shopping done in just a couple of minutes without sending carbon into the atmosphere by driving to the store and spending 20 minutes circling the parking lot looking for a space.
Avoid the hassle and give a gift that keeps on giving. This fun book features over 50 toys that you can make in minutes from stuff you already have lying around the home.
If you have ever purchased a fancy cat toy only to find 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.
It’s the purrfect green gift for cats and cat lovers all over the world. Great for kids too!
Purchase the digital version and you’ll immediately receive a single use link to download the PDF file of the book. Send the link to your friend along with a personal message and presto! Your shopping is done!
Green Little Cat recently had the opportunity to review Catty Stacks, stackable, eco-friendly cat furniture. We were lucky to get the inside scoop from Catty Stacks’ creator, Frank Callari.
Furball loves cardboard boxes as much as any cat–and so does my preschooler. Boxes are cozy, great for hide-and-seek and basically, you can imagine them to be whatever you want. So what’s not to love?
Well, they’re butt ugly for one thing. When we were in full-on box mode, my living room looked like the packing department for Amazon. I once had someone ask me when I was moving, that’s how bad it was.
When guests came over, I’d frantically grab all the boxes and stack them in a corner. I couldn’t throw them out because my kid would notice if even one out of the ten boxes went missing.
Frank Callari, creator of Catty Stacks eco-friendly cat furniture, experienced some of the same frustrations when he got the idea for making Catty Stacks. In his words:
“The idea for Catty Stacks was born out of necessity. I am very particular with aesthetics, so I wanted to find something that would not be an eye-sore in my living room. I set out to find the most beautiful cat furniture on the market and was very disappointed in just about all of my options. Not only are most cat trees ugly, but they are also bulky, heavy, and expensive.”
It was during the holiday season that Frank noticed that his cats, Tito and Stains, loved all of the big boxes that arrived when he was buying gifts. As a result, he got crafty, cut doors, started stacking and built a kitty castle. But, he still had a few problems.
Frank said, “My cats were thrilled, but there remained several fundamental problems with what I was doing. First, regular boxes and duct tape remained ugly and was nothing that I cared to display in my living room. Next, the whole process of cutting, stacking, and securing was very time consuming. Lastly, most of the regular boxes that I was using would not last very long, as they would eventually collapse from the big boy jumping up and down while chasing his smaller sister.”
Over a couple of years, Frank created many prototypes until the final Catty Stacks eco-friendly furniture was born. He created sturdy, modular, easy-to-assemble boxes that could be stacked in a multitude of ways and rearranged whenever your cat (or you) got bored.
Most importantly, Catty Stacks are damn fine looking. They blend attractively with your decor, without making your living room look like the loading dock at UPS. Catty Stacks are also eco-friendly. They’re made with post-consumer recycled fiber, printed with vegetable-based inks and they’re 100% recyclable.
Frank was kind enough to offer to send us a couple of Catty Stacks to review. When I told him my kid would probably fight with the cat to play with them, Frank generously sent an additional two boxes for my son.
When the Catty Stacks arrived, both Furball and my son were so excited. Assembly was a breeze, even with a “helpful” preschooler. As I predicted, my son hogged the box for a few hours before Furball finally got a turn to play. In terms of the fuzzy review of Catty Stacks, let’s just say Furball loved his Catty Stacks. The box was a safe little cocoon for him to hide in and when I poked a wand toy inside, he was in kitty heaven.
Most importantly, I can proudly display the eco-friendly Catty Stacks in full view without upsetting my sense of design aesthetics. Now, if only there was something that could make the children’s toys scattered all over the living room look good…
Catty Stacks are available in five fashionable and eco-friendly colours including Sky Blue, Chocolate Brown, Snow White, Pistachio Green, and Tickled Pink. And, you can buy them individually so that you can create the purrfect cat home in your home. You can find Catty Stack on Amazon for under $15.
Disclosure: The link to Amazon is an affiliate link. If you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a teeny tiny commission of about 60 cents. I’m sharing this link not because of the commission, but because Catty Stacks are an awesome eco-friendly alternative to ugly boxes and overpriced “Made in China” cat furniture. Your support also helps me to continue growing this site and sharing eco-friendly news and ideas with the world. Thank you.
Here 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.
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.
Are you looking for US made cat toys filled with organic catnip that your cat will actually play with? Check out this review from Furball as he plays with Imperial Cat’s CAT N AROUND organic catnip filled toy bird.
With the plethora of cat toys made in China, it’s refreshing to see Imperial Cat offer a selection of high quality cat toys filled with organic catnip that are made in the USA. The good cats at Imperial Cat were kind enough to send Furball a kitty basket of toys to review along with one of their eco-friendly cardboard scratchers.
When the box arrived in the mail, Furball immediately knew something fun was inside. He started sniffing the box intently as soon as I set it down on the floor. I’m sure he could smell the freshness of the organic catnip straight through the cardboard box.
We received a selection of Imperial Cat’s CAT N AROUND toys and here’s the first review from Furball. If a picture says a thousand words, a video must say a million!
Furball loved the CAT N AROUND bird toy, stuffed with fragrant organic catnip. If you watch the video, you’ll hear him snorting (YES SNORTING) with delight. My toddler adds his commentary in the background.