I've always wanted to create the perfect haven for my cats without breaking the bank. Remember when I first adopted Hooli and Pidan? Well, they quickly made their presence known, and I realized that my house wasn't exactly their dream playground. So, I took matters into my own hands and started some awesome DIY projects to create the ultimate cat haven without spending a fortune. You won't believe the difference it's made! Keep reading to find out how you can do the same for your furry friends – trust me, they'll thank you for it!
Re-purpose existing furniture
The best way to cut costs is to spend nothing at all. If you already have furniture at home that is safe for cats, you can make it cat-friendly with a few changes.
Bookshelf – A bookshelf is a good example of a piece of furniture that you can repurpose because it is usually tall and has many levels. You do not even have to clean out the shelf, just tidy it up and leave small spaces for your cats to jump and sleep. Make sure the bookshelf is sturdy and can withstand your cats jumping up and down from it.
Side table – A side table is also a piece of furniture that is usually “hijacked” by cats. So why not make it theirs? The bottom of the side tables makes a good resting place for cats. Or wrap hemp rope around the table legs to turn them into a scratching post.
Stool – Place a cushion on a chair or stool, and your cat will make it her own. Tie the cushion down so it does not shift when your cat jumps on it. Similar to the side table, you can wrap hemp rope around the legs of chairs to turn them into a scratching post.
Buy good condition used cat furniture
If you want to buy used cat furniture, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Check seller’s credibility – First and foremost, make sure you buy from reputable sellers. This means that you should look at reviews and ratings before you buy.
Check for damages – Next, you should pay attention to whether the piece of furniture has suffered significant damage in the past. This way, you can avoid buying something that is useless for your feline friend. Look for damage that can not be cleaned and repaired, such as worn scratching posts or missing columns of a cat tower.
Safety – One thing to watch out for is safety. Make sure the furniture is still sturdy and safe to use. Check to make sure all parts and screws are in place. Gently shake the furniture to make sure your cat is safe when jumping on or off the furniture.
The scent of other cats – Another important consideration is the smell. Cats are territorial and will recognize other cats by smell. If the used furniture has a strong odor that is difficult to remove, I would strongly advise against buying it. This will only unsettle your cats, making them think there is an intruder in the house.
If it’s not a strong smell, you still need to clean the furniture thoroughly with vinegar to kill germs and remove any odors from previous users.
I recommend buying the following items second-hand:
Cat tower/cat condo – These are expensive and you can easily find them second-hand for a fraction of the price.
Window screens – It is CRITICAL to make sure your window is not a danger to your cat. If you only have to buy one thing, it’s a window safety net, even if it’s a used one.
Window perches – These are a good resting place for cats to sleep or watch the scenery outside.
I do not recommend buying used litter boxes or scratching posts. Cat litter boxes have the smell of previous cats clinging to them. Once the scratching boards are worn out, your cat will not be able to use them. Here it is better to buy new, but cheaper alternatives.
Focus on the essentials
When it comes to cat-proofing your home on a budget, you can save money by focusing on the essentials first.
Window mesh – One of the most important things you can do is purchase a window safety mesh or window screen. These devices will protect your cats while they are inside the house, and they are also very affordable.
Cat shelves – Vertical space is an important factor, as cats love to climb and explore. If you can install shelves or other elevated surfaces for them to jump up on, they are less likely to get into areas of your home where you do not want them.
Pet door – If your cat needs to enter or exit one of their rooms, make sure you buy them a pet door that is for cats and fits their size and needs.
Scratching board – A scratching board is a great way to keep your cat occupied and from scratching furniture or walls. They are also affordable and easy to install.
Forget about toys – Cats can play with anything, so you do not have to buy a toy for them to start with if you are short on cash. Here are a few affordable alternatives for cat toys:
Cable ties/zip ties
Rolled up paper
Empty plastic bottle with treats in it
Stick with a bell on the end
You can find more DIY ideas here.
Use cardboard boxes
Cardboard boxes are plentiful and cheap, making them an ideal material for craft projects for cats. Cardboard boxes can be cut into different sizes, painted, or filled with catnip to make toys. By recycling cardboard boxes, we help reduce waste and create fun new toys for our feline friends.
Cardboard house – Cardboard boxes make great homes for cats because they are easy to assemble and can be decorated in a variety of ways.
Playground – This may be a little more difficult, but you can build a small playground. You can use any type of cardboard, but something sturdy like cardboard boxes or packing crates makes the most sense. If you have children or pets, you must supervise them when they play on the playground because accidents can happen!
Tent or tunnel – You can also turn old cardboard boxes into a hiding place for your cats, such as a tent or tunnel. This way your feline friends will have a safe place to sleep and play. A hiding place is very important for cats, as they easily become anxious and frightened.
We recommend always considering safety first when using cardboard boxes or other materials that could be harmful to cats. Make sure that any materials you use are safe and sturdy enough for your cat to sit, rest, jump, and play on.
Create DIY cat toys using household items
It's easy to create fun and engaging toys for your cats using everyday household items. These DIY projects not only save you money, but they're also a great way to repurpose materials that would otherwise go to waste.
Sock catnip toy – Transform an old sock into a catnip-filled toy that your cat will love. Fill the sock with dried catnip and secure the open end with a knot or by sewing it closed. Your cat will enjoy playing and cuddling with their new scented toy.
Feather teaser wand – Create an interactive feather wand using a wooden dowel or stick, some string, and colorful feathers. Attach the feathers to one end of the string and tie the other end of the string around the dowel. This simple toy allows you to engage in playtime with your cat while encouraging their natural hunting instincts.
String ball – Cats love playing with string, so why not make them a ball out of it? Gather different colors of yarn or twine, and begin wrapping them around each other until you form a tight ball. The various textures and colors will keep your feline friend entertained for hours.
Remember to always supervise your cat when they're playing with homemade toys, as small parts can become loose and pose a choking hazard. With these simple DIY ideas, you can create affordable and entertaining toys for your beloved pet while keeping sustainability in mind.
We hope you are inspired to start catifying. It’s a fun process for us, and I am sure it will be fun for you, too.