Cats are very playful animals, you will know this if you have ever had the pleasure of watching a litter of kittens interract with each other and environment. They generally never lose this impulse to play, even into old age so providing toys for your pet cat(s) is important for their wellbeing.
Pet stores are full of toys for cats but many of these seem expensive and given the often destructive nature of kitty-play, it can become even more costly as items need to be replaced. However, it is very easy to create simple but effective cat toys at home, from everyday objects which will provide at least as much enjoyment as shop-bought examples.
Paper bags are fabulous cat toys – they seem naturally drawn to these and love to sit in them, dive in and on them and eventually shred them! The rustling noise seems particularly inviting to kitty ears and after play these bags apparently make comfy beds too. Sturdy brown paper bags size at least the same as your cat work best, just be prepared to clear up shredded paper afterwards.
Cardboard boxes of all sizes are seemingly irresistable to most cats and like paper bags can become a toy or a bed. Try linking several boxes together to create a tunnel, cutting additional holes in the exterior for paws and noses to be poked through. Additional interest can be triggered by hanging lengths of string, perhaps with balls of screwed up paper on the end from the roof of the box.
Cats love to chase things, it is a part of their natural hunting instinct and something as simple as a screwed up crisp packet or sweet wrapper can be rolled around the floor invitingly. An old shoelace is perfect for wiggling and dangling for your cat to chase and bat. Another suggestion is to stuff an old trainer sock with screwed up paper then sew up the hole and attach a shoelace or thick piece of string.
Ping pong balls are perfect for cats to chase, especially on hard floors and it is so amusing to watch them runningly frantically in pursuit as the ball bounces off walls and cupboards. One of the simplest games to play with your cat is wiggling your toes or fingers beneath a thick blanket or duvet – there are few cats that can resist these “bed mice”!