Upcycled and DIY Toys

Miles Dalton

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Old Glove Catnip Mice

Old Glove Catnip Mice

Are you looking for a new toy to keep your cat entertained without spending a lot of money? Why not make your own catnip mice from old gloves? This easy and fun project repurposes old materials while providing your feline friend with hours of entertainment. These homemade toys can be a unique way to bond with your cat and add to their collection of fun items.

Materials Needed for Old Glove Catnip Mice

Before starting this project, gather all the materials you’ll need:

  • 1 old glove (preferably cotton)
  • Catnip
  • Needle and thread or fabric glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers (optional, for face details)
  • Stuffing (fabric scraps, cotton, or old socks)

Step-by-Step Instructions

1. Preparing the Glove

Start by selecting an old glove you no longer need. Thinner gloves are easier to cut and sew, but any glove will work. Lay the glove flat on a surface and cut off each finger. These fingers will become the bodies of the catnip mice.

2. Filling with Stuffing

For each finger you cut off, fill it halfway with stuffing. You can use anything soft that you have around the house. After filling it halfway, add a pinch or two of catnip. This will make the toy more attractive to your cat.

3. Sewing or Gluing

Once you’ve filled the glove fingers with stuffing and catnip, sew the open end shut using needle and thread. If sewing isn’t your thing, fabric glue will work too but may not be as durable. Make sure the end is tightly sealed to prevent the stuffing and catnip from spilling out.

4. Adding Details

For an extra touch, you can use markers to draw eyes, a nose, and whiskers on the glove fingers. Be sure to use non-toxic markers to keep it safe for your pet. These small details can make the mice more appealing and fun for your cat to play with.

Why Cats Love Catnip

Catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, belongs to the mint family and contains a compound called nepetalactone. When cats smell catnip, it binds to receptors in their noses that stimulate neurons and produce a range of effects. While not all cats are affected by catnip, around 70-80% will show a response.

Common responses to catnip include:

  • Rubbing their bodies against the catnip-infused object
  • Rolling around on the ground
  • Increased purring
  • Drunken movements or hyperactivity

The effects usually last about 10-15 minutes, after which your cat will become temporarily immune to catnip’s effects for about an hour. This temporary immunity means you can rotate catnip toys to keep your cat interested over time.

Benefits of Homemade Catnip Mice

1. Cost-Effective

One of the best parts of making old glove catnip mice is that it doesn’t cost much. Most of the materials needed are probably already lying around the house. This project can save you money compared to buying new cat toys at the store.

2. Eco-Friendly

Repurposing old gloves helps reduce waste. Instead of throwing away worn-out or single gloves, turn them into toys. Reusing materials in this way is good for the environment and helps minimize garbage.

3. Customizable

Homemade toys can be personalized to suit your cat’s preferences. Whether your cat prefers larger or smaller toys, you can adjust the size and shape to match their preferences. Add more or less catnip according to how strong you want the effect to be.

4. Interactive Fun

Making toys for your cat is a great way to interact with them. Not only will your cat enjoy playing with the finished product, but they may also enjoy “helping” you create it. This activity can provide bonding opportunities for both of you.

Safety Tips

While homemade catnip mice can be fun and easy to make, it’s essential to ensure they are safe for your pet. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Use non-toxic materials: Ensure all the materials you use are safe if ingested, as cats often chew on their toys.
  • Secure stitching or glue: Make sure the ends are tightly sealed to prevent the stuffing and catnip from falling out, which could create a mess or pose a choking hazard.
  • Monitor playtime: Always supervise your cat during playtime, especially with new toys, to ensure there are no unforeseen hazards.

What If Your Cat Doesn’t Respond to Catnip?

Not all cats are affected by catnip. Genetic factors play a role in determining whether a cat has the “catnip gene”. If your cat doesn’t seem interested in catnip, consider using other herbs that can stimulate them. Silvervine and valerian root are good alternatives that might elicit a similar response.

1. Silvervine

Silvervine (Actinidia polygama) is a combination of two components, actinidine and dihydroactinidiolide, which can be attractive to cats. It’s a popular alternative in Asia and is becoming more available in other parts of the world.

2. Valerian Root

Valerian root (Valeriana officinalis) is another herb that may affect some cats. It has a strong odor, so a little goes a long way. Most cats that do not respond to catnip might have a positive reaction to valerian root.

If your cat doesn’t respond to any of these alternatives, don’t worry. Some cats are simply not affected by these stimulants, but they might still enjoy playing with the toy without these additions.

Variations on the Old Glove Catnip Mice

If you’re feeling creative, there are many ways to put twists on the basic old glove catnip mice design. Here are a few ideas:

  • Double-layered mice: If you have multiple gloves, consider making multi-layered mice for added durability and texture.
  • Add tails: Attach a piece of string or yarn to the end to replicate a mouse’s tail. Ensure it’s securely attached to prevent your cat from swallowing it.
  • Variety of shapes: Instead of just mouse shapes, try making other small animals like rabbits or birds.
  • Colorful designs: Use fabric markers to draw more intricate designs on the glove fingers to make them visually appealing.

Engaging Your Cat with the New Toy

Once the toy is complete, introduce it to your cat in an engaging way:

  • Interactive play: Dangle the toy in front of your cat or toss it around to stimulate their hunting instincts.
  • Hide and seek: Hide the catnip mouse in different places around your home to encourage your cat to find it.
  • Rotate toys: Keep a few catnip mice and bring out one at a time to maintain your cat’s interest. Store the toys with a bit of extra catnip to refresh the scent.

Finishing Thoughts

Making old glove catnip mice is a fun and rewarding project that offers multiple benefits for both you and your cat. It’s an excellent way to reuse old gloves, save money, and provide your feline friend with an enjoyable and safe toy. By following these simple steps and tips, you can create an engaging and attractive plaything that your cat will appreciate. Enjoy

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Miles Dalton

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