5 Cat Toys That Won’t Cost You Anything

This is a post for all you cat lovers out there. I know my cat, Malka (It means queen, because that’s exactly what she is), loves to play, and play, and play. We call it “Getting the Zoomies”. Unfortunately, toys for our little furbaby can get expensive. It isn’t always budget friendly to go out and buy toys every time your cat gets bored of the old ones. So here’s a list of the toys we’ve found work best for our cat, that she can’t get enough of, that didn’t cost us a penny.

Old Earbuds

Close up of earbuds

PHOTO: huffpost

You know you have these hanging around, those old earbuds, I mean, the ones you refuse to throw away because even though they sound terrible, one earbud works, right? Half the time? When you angle that earbud just right, you can sort of ear music out of it. You’re avoiding buying new ones, because they still kind of, sort of work. Well, go out and get new earbuds. It’s high time you bought some. Besides, those old ones make a great lure toy for your cat. Cats really couldn’t care less if you were waving one of those flashy toys from the pet market, or a pair of these around. They’ll chase it either way. My cat goes nuts for these. Run around the house dragging them around, or, attach them to your belt loop while you clean and let your cat entertain herself. Easy as pie.

Shoelace or Drawstring

Okay, similar idea to the earbuds. You probably have those old running shoes or converse lying around that have holes in them that you aren’t using. Or, your drawstring came out of your ratty sweatpants and you don’t feel like taking the time to get a safety pin and threading them back in. Have no fear, they make great cat toys! (Especially the draw string). It’s another lure toy. You can attach things to the end of it (like those really cheap catnip mice from walmart), or a hair tie, or toilet paper roll, and watch your cat go nuts. Cats love this toy because of its elasticity. They bat at it, cat it, it bounces back and out of their reach without you even trying. Retrospectively… maybe this just frustrates them. You decide! Either way, the cat expends some energy and gets to play. It’s a win-win situation.

Hair tie

Okay, I don’t know what it is about these things, but my cat is obsessed with them. It’s like she has a hair-tie radar. I’ll take it out of my hair, and within three seconds there she is, standing on my bathroom counter, knocking it off. She’ll run off with it in her mouth, settle beneath my roommate’s desk chair, and play with it for hours. It’s like crack, or something. It’s round, it’s brightly colored, it’s resilient to their little teeth and claws and it’s bouncy, stretchy, springy. What’s there not to love? Just wave one around your cat. They’ll probably go nuts for it. Mine’s even been known to chase them down if you throw them for her. She won’t bring it back, of course, but whatever. If you wanted to play fetch, get a dog.

Paper Bag

Ah, the age-old cat toy. Chances are, you have a horde of these wadded up behind your trash can under your sink. Break one out for hours of cat fun. They’ll jump right inside and explore its magical depths. You can even tap your fingers up and down the outside and they’re likely to go crazy trying to catch them and figure out where the noise is coming from. Change it out every once in a while, though, because once these things lose their crinkly, papery, stiff goodness, cats seem to lose interest, too. Never drop a paper bag in the same location twice, because that gets boring fast. For more fun, hide toys, cat treats, or kibble inside.

Good, old fashioned boxes


PHOTO: nexter.com

The mystery still remains unsolved as to why our little furry friends love boxes so much. Some scientists have put it down to a safe place to hide, to hunt, to watch their surroundings. Whatever the reason, the consensus is that cats love boxes, and there’s so many ways you can use these to their benefit! Set them upright, turn them on their side, or turn them upside down and cut a hole in them (cats love that crap). You can stack them up on top of each other, attach them with duct tape, and cut holes in a bunch of them to create a DIY cat palace that your cat might even like better than the real things, or just leave them on their own, lying around the house. Same idea as the bag: for more fun, hide cat treats, little toys, or kibble in the boxes for your cat to discover and occupy herself with while you’re gone.