If you're a knitter or crafter, you probably have lots of little scraps of leftover yarn lying about:
Here's a nifty idea for using them up. I got this idea from volunteering at my city's animal adoption fairs, when I noticed that the cat cages often have a braided yarn toy hanging in them.
Yarn cat toys!
Perfect! A use for all my leftover bits of yarn. And, for that matter, a great little hostess gift for anybody who has a cat. And we're talkin' ridiculously easy, here, in terms of crafting talent. All you need is some leftover yarn and a pair of scissors.
First, gather up some leftover yarn and cut a number of equal lengths of yarn--anywhere from 12 two-foot lengths to 21 three-foot lengths. The more lengths you use, the fatter the toy braid will be. (It's best if you stick to non-metallic yarns; you don't want Mr. or Ms. Kitty ingesting anything metallic.):
Find the midpoint of all the lengths of yarn, and loop them around:
Tie a knot out of all the yarns together, forming a loop at the top of two or three inches in length:
Working down from the knot, do a simple three-part braid, then tie another knot near the bottom to secure the entire piece from unraveling:
Trim the bottom end to make a fringe. (Cats like fringe!):
If you want to "tame " the crazy mess of loops at the top of the toy, take a little piece of yarn about six inches long, and use it to tie all the loops together. Or, just leave them as is:
Hang the yarn toy over any available knob, handle, or peg where your cat can see it and play with it:
And wait for your kitty's natural curiosity to take over:
Ahem. Some exotic kitties look a little like pugs:
What? Everybody loves a good, cheap, homemade pet toy, don't they?
(Hint: For extra fun, tie a couple of small bells on the toy. Don't use the spherical "jingle bells" kind--they have narrow slots that could snag a kitty's claw or tooth. Instead, use the open-at-the bottom bells that have a little clapper in them. You can find them in your crafting store.)