I was inspired by Kathy Sheldon’s ‘Tis the Season to be Felt-y and decided to convert one of the projects into a cute toy for my cat.
Please note that the author hasn’t endorsed the use of her projects in this way, and that the nature of felt makes these toys less sturdy than manufactured cat toys. Please supervise your cat while she’s playing with her handcrafted toy! Additionally, when you’re choosing a project to convert, avoid projects that require glue or beads/buttons. You don’t want your cat to end up eating anything that could be potentially harmful.
The gnome from the stocking project was too cute to pass up even though it involved more pieces to sew than other options in the book. Here are some things to keep in mind when converting a regular felted toy into a cat toy:
1. Double up on your thread to add extra strength to your stitches
2. Keep your stitches close together to help prevent teeth and claws from snagging on them.
3. Add an extra layer of felt behind the outer layer to help keep the top layer sturdy.
4. Don’t forget to buy catnip for the filling! I alternated layers of catnip with layers of fiber fill, but you can also make a separate pouch of catnip to insert into the body of the toy before sewing it up.
Pause for a “cat scan.” She has to be sure you’re putting in enough catnip!
5. Again, due to the nature of felt, this is not a project that’s meant to last forever. Keep an eye on your cat to make sure she’s not shredding through it too quickly!
6. It doesn’t have to be perfect! Whether for cats or kids, everyone loves a bit of whimsy with a handmade toy. Imperfect stitches just adds a flair of individuality!