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  • Writer's pictureOlga Shavrina

Eco-Friendly Cat Toys: How to Make a Cat Happy While Saving Money

I’m a happy owner of two cats who like to play a lot but get bored with new toys in a matter of hours. And the more expensive the new toy, the faster they lose interest in it :)

Eco-friendly cat toys

The majority of cat toys in pet stores are made of plastic, which is not good for either the environment or for cats who can swallow small pieces. Toys frequently contain bright dyes that may not be healthy either.

How to Choose Cat Toys?

Most cat toys are single-use items, so they should be sustainable, recyclable, or compostable, and ideally inexpensive so that owners can afford to get new toys every now and then to keep their furry friends happy.

An ideal toy for a cat is a mouse, but since most cat owners don’t have this luxury, the next best option is any toy that meets these criteria:

New: To spark interest.

Free: So the owner doesn’t worry about it being eaten or forgotten.

Natural: No plastic or other toxic substances.

Safe: The toy should be free from choking or injury hazards, and ideally hypoallergenic in case of allergies.

Compostable: So when disposed of, it doesn’t harm the environment.

The best solution is to play with what you can find at home or in nature. An Amazon box is a favorite. Other options include cones, nuts, pieces of pasta, papers, cotton buds, and other clean and safe debris you can find. Almost every day, I invent a new toy out of nothing and pick natural small items in the forest whenever I have a chance to visit.

Free eco-friendly cat toys found at home and in nature

Sometimes, however, I want to buy my cats a “decent gift” from the store, for instance, as a Christmas present. In this case, I choose eco-friendly toys that match all the criteria above except for being “free.”

Cat’s Eco-friendly Toys 

More cat toys made from natural materials such as bamboo, wool and linen:

And several chewing toys with catnip. My favorite option is wooden sticks, which last for months as I give one at a time.

What Materials Are Acceptable for Use in Eco-friendly Cat Toys?

You can call a cat toy eco-friendly if it’s made of natural, non-toxic, sustainable materials such as organic cotton and other natural fibers, bamboo, sustainable wood, cardboard, hemp, wool, and natural dyes. The rule of thumb is “safe for a cat and safe for the environment."

Can I Make DIY Eco-friendly Cat Toys?

Absolutely! Start by using cardboard boxes, toilet paper cores, old t-shirts or socks, ropes from natural fibers, paper cocktail tubes, etc. There are plenty of DIY tutorials and ideas on how to create safe and creative cat toys on YouTube and Pinterest.

An additional bonus is that crafting a DIY cat toy is a great opportunity to spend meaningful time with your furry friend. Cats are very helpful and enjoy doing something fun and new with their human more than anything else.

Have fun with your furry friend!


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