Homemade Cat Toys vs Commercial Toys: Olga’s Unusual Favorites

Lifestyle


I give Olga a pack of catnip mice to play with every Christmas, and she loves batting them around for about a week. Whether she’s only attracted to toys with fresh catnip or gets tired of playing with the mice, I don’t know, but I’m lucky she doesn’t have expensive taste. My yearly catnip purchase is the extent of my pet toy budget, and for the remaining 51 weeks of the year, Olga chases paper balls and plays with a three-pronged plant holder.

Premium Pet Toys

Several years ago, when I was in college, I met a student who spent nearly $1,000 on a carpeted cat tree. It was shaped like a giant mushroom and was at least 4 feet wide and 8 feet tall. It took up most of the space in her bedroom, and although it was a bright green monstrosity, I was impressed that her hefty cat slept on the tree and seemed to like it.

At the time, I thought it was careless for anyone, especially a college student, to spend that much on their cat, but I’ve changed my mind. I still think it’s excessive, but I understand how owners feel about their pets. In this age of digital purchases, there are plenty of moronic ways to blow your paycheck. Is a $1,000 cat tree more ridiculous than buying a rare non-fungible token (NFT) featuring an animated pickle for the same amount?

Luckily, Olga doesn’t have expensive taste…

Homemade Toys for Olga

I’ll spend any amount at the veterinarian’s office to ensure Olga stays healthy, but I’m unaccustomed to buying expensive toys since Olga prefers homemade ones. She loves dribbling a paper ball around the house like a soccer player, and if she gets tired of playing with it by herself, she hits it in my direction.

A few months ago, her paper ball hit me in the head while I was watching a movie and ignoring her performance. When she’s had enough exercise, she’ll rub her head on the paper and cuddle it. She’ll do the same with her plastic plant holder, and it’s the only time she’ll let me rub her belly like a dog. Even more than the paper balls, the plant holder puts her in a trance that makes her more tolerant of petting.

Olga playing on the couch
Getting a plastic plant holder face massage

When Olga Was a Kitten

I didn’t let Olga play with the plant holder as a kitten because I was worried she would tear it up and swallow the plastic pieces. However, the plastic is braided and tough and isn’t damaged after years of abuse.

She was a wild beast as a kitten who loved to bite anything in sight, including my hands, feet, and writing utensils. As an almost mature adult, she’s less fond of biting but still enjoys hitting my leg when I walk by to encourage me to play tag or fetch. Playing tag is another of her favorites, and most of the time, she hits me without using her claws.

Some cat owners aren’t as lucky, and their cats aren’t interested in playing free games like tag or cuddling a $2 piece of plastic. However, I don’t think spending a bundle on a cat is odd if the toys or equipment make them happy. If I owned an elitist feline demanding premium products, I would probably relent and buy a hurricane-proof catio decked out in stone, an automated litter box resembling R2D2, and a 14-karat gold cat brush.



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