Upcycled Cat Toys

When looking for new ways to support our partners, we like to take a variety of things into account.  How long is each item going to take us to make? How many of each will we need? How often will we be picking up or dropping off? Will we be replacing items we have already made with new items on a regular basis? How "hard" will this item be used? Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera...

When we find a way we want to serve our partners, like making dog treats or cat toys for local rescues, we then try to find ways we can also help the environment with our projects.  We LOVE to recycle and upcycle our "trash." It really becomes obvious how much goes into those dumpsters once you start making things with stuff you threw away last week.  A favorite around here are cardboard tubes...like the kind paper towels or toilet paper come on.  That's the main "ingredient" in these tested and cat approved toys.

These super simple toys are a HUGE hit with the local cat rescues to which we donate.  Because rescues have a many cats in a variety of locations (in a shelter, in foster homes, and in pet stores), we can continuously make these and the need never runs out.  They are made out of cardboard tubes, so they aren't going to last forever...but the best news is that you don't need them to.  When you use the last of your paper towel roll, you can have three more made in a matter of just a few minutes! See how below!

Step 1: Gather your supplies

For this activity, your supplies equal one cardboard tube (we use paper towel rolls cut into thirds), brightly colored duct tape (if desired, it really isn't necessary but it is fun), and a pair of scissors.  That's it.

Step 2: Cut your cardboard tube

Obviously, this is only if it is a longer tube like a paper towel tube.  If you choose to use a toilet paper tube, you do not need to cut it down unless you want to.

Step 3: Apply your tape to the middle of the tube

Again, this is only if you choose to add the color with the tape that you do this step.  This could also be a chance for you or your kids to use markers or other fun art supplies to decorate your tubes, as well.

Step 4: Cut 1-1.5 inch slits in your tube from each end every 1/8 inch (or less) all the way around the tube

We use the tape as a marker for how high to cut.  You are making fringe on each end with the cuts and we all know how much kitties like fringe!

Step 5: Toss it to your cat and admire your handiwork!

We are sure your kitty will LOVE it as much as ours did (yes, we use our cats as guinea pigs with all our new toy designs and ideas).  We would love for you to share your cats playing with the toys you make on our Facebook page!