by Barbara George, Tellington Ttouch Behaviourist
This is an easy toy to make for a cat that needs no special equipment, tools or skills.
What is needed:
- An old sock or pantyhose – clean.
- Filling of any soft material such as cotton wool, other socks (those with holes!), toilet roll inner, or clean crinkly packet (nothing that has had onion, chilli or anything that may be harmful or distasteful to cats).
- Bonus item, recommended but optional – Dried catnip, Happy Cat, Naturally Green Calmcat, Bell.
- Turn sock inside-out.
- Stuff foot portion with filling.
- Add bonus item – a small amount of catnip or Valerian goes a long way!
- Twist sock at heel twice. If using a foot-only sock, tie a knot with the ankle opening edge.
- Fold leg section over the foot section.
- Stuff to about 10-12cm or use as much stuffing as you have.
- Add bonus items.
- Tie knots from the stuffing to the top of the leg, or cut shorter if it is a double-leg pair.
Toy complete – time to play!
When not in use store in a ziplock bag to preserve the smell.
- Use crinkly packets and bells for cats who enjoy the noise, some cats will not like the sound.
- Kittens and small cats may prefer less stuffing to make smaller toys.
- Bells need space around them in order to make a noise, best used with a toilet-roll inner or laced in a small cardboard box (plastic will deaden the sound).
- Toys with toilet roll inners as can be tied to a door handle or other stable projection. Using elastic instead of string gives a different type of game.
- Monitor the toy, when it becomes less interesting, open, add a little more catnip or Valerian, close and play.
- Alternatively, add catnip or Valerian into the ziplock bag to refresh the smell before each game.
- When the toy becomes too old, or is damaged, throw it away and make a new one.