Are you crafty? Do you tend to present your family and friends with homemade goodies or gifts? Why not do the same for your pet!? Here are some great ways to stay engaged during the quarantine and create something your pet will love. And now is the perfect time to do so, since July 21 is National Craft for Your Shelters Day! So maybe make a couple of extra projects to give away to the dogs and cats at your local animal shelter.
Cats love to be in things whether you want them to or not: boxes, baskets, backpacks, cabinets, sinks, and so on. Why not create a special space just for your cat?
Does your cat love to adventure? Maybe this Cardboard Airstream is just the thing! Your cat can go glamping whenever she wishes! If your cat isn’t a camper, come up with another fabulous cardboard habitat instead; like this man did. The sky is the limit!
Give them the best view
Cats are curious little climbers. We all know how frequently we find our cats on top of the fridge or hanging from the curtain rod. Check out these options to give your cats something safe to climb or to sit above it all and watch the world go by.
This cat condo combines a scratching post with beautiful baskets to nap in.
Check out this great way to recycle some old dresser drawers with this aerial kitty playground.
If your cat prefers to be close to the windows to watch the birds and squirrels outside, try this cat window bed for the perfect afternoon snooze.
Design a Scratching Pad
If your cat loves to scratch, creating your own scratching posts can help prevent damage to your furniture. Scratching posts can be simple or elaborate and made of various materials. Check out this adorable scratching cactus that would look great in any living room or match your scratching post to your home or apartment with a color-blocked scratching post! Alternatively, try this combo cat cushion and scratching post created from an Ikea hack.
If you’re more into wall art, try hanging a framed scratching pad in a place where your pet can create their own “art.” Refurbish an old frame by giving it a fresh coat of paint, then replace the art with a patterned door mat (coco coir works best) trimmed to fit the frame. You’ll need a deep-set frame and heavy-duty tape to secure the mat inside the frame. Once you’re finished, hang it with proper anchors and hardware so it will stay put during playtime.
If your cat prefers to rub his or her cheeks on the wall, try attaching a bristle brush to the wall, a doorway or your furniture about 12 inches from the floor. Use removable adhesive strips so you can reposition the brush later if needed.
Dog Bed and Cover:
If you like to sew, or even if you don’t, this DIY is for you! You can create a comfy dog bed of any size or create a removable washable cover for an existing bed.
Check out these instructions from HGTV.com to create an attractive cover for your pup’s bed.
If you’d rather make your own bed you can try this raised dog cot, like the ones pups use in shelters or for camping, but keep in mind you’ll need some tools for this one. You can also try this hammock, that’s a tool-free option for small dogs or cats. If that’s not your style, try this no-sew fleece dog bed that is simple and stylish. Using knots in the fleece and stuffing for the inside you can give your pup a cozy place to relax while you work from home.
Recycle one of your old sweaters to create this adorable and fashionable cat bed.
So many cats love to chase feathers and wiggly strings, so why not put both on the end of a stick and give them the best toy ever? These instructions from the DIY Network show you step by step how to create a leather and feather wand for your kitty’s next playtime. If you’d rather not use leather, try felt instead.
Kitty Play Gym
If your cat would rather play with wiggly strings on its own, try building it a play gym like this one with different kinds of strings to attack and play with. Better get out that camera though because you could get some great shots of you cat going crazy for this toy!
Feel free to recycle old stuffed animals for your pets to play with, just make sure the button eyes and noses aren’t swallowed! If you’d rather create your own stuffed toys try this denim design. You can reuse your old jeans at the same time you create a fun new toy! You can even stuff a tennis ball (bonus points if it’s squeaky) into an old sock and tie a knot at the end. Your pup will love to tug and chew on this fun toy! For your cats, cut up an old t-shirt to make these knotted toys. You can add a bit of catnip inside to really get your cat interested!
Is your dog a sniffer? Does your cat love to “hunt” for their food? Try creating your own snuffle mat from a rubber sink mat and some fleece for hours (or at least minutes) of hunting fun for your pet. These step by step instructions from the Honest Kitchen show you just how to do it.
Treat puzzle toys are another great way to work your pet’s brain during meal times. This treat toy is so much fun your dog might ask for it at every meal! To make it, use a PVC ratchet cutter or a hacksaw to trim a 12-inch length of PVC pipe, then drill holes through the exterior of the plastic. (Make sure the holes are wide enough for your pet’s kibbles.) Cap both ends of the pipe with a female adapter and a clean-out plug. The kibbles will fall through the holes – as soon as your dog learns to roll it along the ground.
Alternatively, stand cut up pieces of PVC pipe in a Tupperware or food bowl and drop treats or kibble down into them. Your pet will have to figure out how to take all of the pieces of PVC out if he or she wants to get to the tasty snacks at the bottom!
For some more cat-friendly puzzle toys without the PVC, check out these designs for at home treat puzzles.
Design an Agility Course
If you have space in your home or yard, try creating an agility course. PVC pipes make great weave poles or jumps. Try hula hoops or your child’s tent/tunnel to run through. Just make sure your pet is on stable surfaces (ie, carpeted floors or level ground outside) and is fully grown. Young puppies should not be attempting agility courses until their bodies are finished growing. But for puppies, try to create unique surfaces to walk on or step over (no jumping) or through to keep their minds active while wearing out their bodies.
Treats, Snacks, and More
Most cats love catnip, but did you know you can grow it yourself? How about other plants that cats love? Check out how to create your own indoor cat garden for your kitty’s snacking pleasure here.
Many people think meatloaf is the ultimate comfort food. Why not try out this recipe to make a healthy muttloaf full of healthy ingredients for your pup?
Freezing some of your pet’s favorite treats is a great way to give them something fun to do in the summer while keeping them cool. Some pet owners like to freeze their pet’s bones while others try recipes like these, including PB and J and chicken soup for pups! Check out this video from Chewy on how to create the ultimate pupsicle:
Giant Ice Block
To make this fun summer toy, freeze some blueberries, carrots, or kibble (or all three!) into a bucket and then let your pup dig and gnaw through the ice to get to his tasty snacks. If your pet needs some encouragement you can add a bit of sodium free chicken broth to the water to make it even tastier! For an alternative option, freeze your pet’s favorite toys in the ice bucket and let them try to get them out. This treat gives your pet some physical and mental exertion and keeps them cool while they’re at it!
Your dog walks on its paw pads every day, through all types of weather and terrain. Give your pup a spa treatment with this homemade soothing paw balm to help keep their pads in tip top shape.
Elevated Food Bowls
Many dogs prefer to have their bowls right at head level, it actually helps them with digestion! If you enjoy woodworking, why not try to create your own elevated feeding station like this one or try this one with built in storage? To get extra creative, come up with an elevated feeding station for your cat and mount it on the wall where they can enjoy lording their fabulous self above you while feasting on the delicacies you provide.
When your cat or dog gets older, it becomes harder for them to hop into your lap or onto the bed or sofa for a snooze. Try building some stairs to make it easier on your pet. There are many ways to build stairs for your elderly pet to climb, but the DIY Network has created this design that comes with below stairs storage for toys or blankets. Or try their design for an adjustable ramp for your pet to make it even easier for them to move around your house.
For Your Home
Consider making a “Pet Station” near your door to hold your dog’s collar and leash. You can even add places for poop bags, some treats, and a jacket or two! Here’s a simple version of the leash holder for you to create. You can put your dog’s name or a cute saying above. If you are artsy, try painting your pet’s silhouette on the board and using the hook as their tail like this design does. If you want something with a little more pizzazz check out this treat station plus leash holder.
Treat or Toy Jars
Decorate an old jar with cute designs, paw prints, labels, or your pet’s name to turn a boring jar into a fancy pet jar to store your pup’s treats or kitty’s toys. If you want to get super creative, try making a jar like this one that looks like a fish tank!
If you’re a crazy cat lady (or guy!) and want to showcase your love for cats everywhere, these cat magnets are for you! Just spray-paint tiny, plastic cats in fun colors, then glue magnets onto the back (or bottom) of the figures for an instant dose of catittude. You can do the same for dogs too!
Organized Pet Closet
Is your pet’s stuff scattered around the house? Do you forget where their leash or the extra poop bags have been put? Try creating this all-in-one pet cabinet that includes a safe place to store food and treats, hooks for collars and leashes, a chalkboard for reminders and shopping lists, and space for all the extras your pet needs to live a happy cozy life.
Don’t forget about your pet’s grooming supplies. Organize your pup’s things in an efficient toiletries holder or silverware caddy to put into your pet closet so you don’t go searching for lost things (courtesy of your pup) again and again. Get creative and customize your design. And don’t forget to label it with your pup’s name!