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Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to start really thinking about the holidays. Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hannukah, or another winter holiday, do you have a pet or two on your gift list this year?
Because our cats are truly members of our family, I always like to give them a little something for the holidays. This year I put together a gift basket of all of their favorite things to put under the tree for them to share. Putting together a gift your cats will love doesn't have to be expensive either.
Along with the necessities and treats, included in the basket are some adorable DIY catnip toys for them to play with. My boys love catnip so I know they will be a big hit! You can use any shape you'd like for these catnip toys, but I made them into gingerbread people and stars to fit into a holiday theme.
Holiday Gift Basket for Cats
There are so many things to choose from when making a gift for the cat or cat lover on your list. You can go with just a basket of fun products like treats and toys or decide on a mix of fun and practical like I've done. If you have cats, you know how fast they can go through the essentials so I have also included Tidy Cats® litter and PurinaONE® cat food as part of my cat gift. My cat Orion is very picky about the food he eats and he especially loves Tender Selects Blend while Pete prefers the canned food.
My cat, Pete is also a treat addict. I know that many cats are, but he takes it to the extreme. Whenever I go in the kitchen pantry and move something that sounds even remotely like a treat bag, he loses his mind. It doesn't matter if it's just a bag of rice, he will stand there and scream at me to give him some. As a result, this Christmas he is also getting Friskies® Party Mix, Whisker Lickin′s®, DentaLife treats, and a Friskies® Pull N’ Play® that should make him happy into the new year.
Pete says thank you for the treats and the catnip toys. Now to show you how to make them . . .
How to Make DIY Catnip Toys
To say that my sewing skills are incredibly basic would be an understatement. The point is that if I can make these, so can you. You don't even need a sewing machine or any special skills. As long as you know how to use a needle and thread, you're good to go.
- Gingerbread man and star stencil
- Several sheets of colored felt
- Fabric scissors
- Needle and thread
- Embroidery floss
- Fabric glue (optional)
- Decorative ribbon or other cat-friendly embellishments. ** Please do not use glitter, beads, googly eyes, or other materials that could easily come off and become a choking hazard.
- Dried catnip
If you are good at freehand drawing you can make your own stencil. I am not, so I found a stencil that was the right size and shape for the toys I wanted to make. I prefer rounded edges for this project because they are easier to cut out and easier to stuff than, say, a star with points.
Trace your shapes on a piece of felt in the color of your choice and cut out two shapes per toy with a pair of fabric scissors. One will be the front and the other will be the back of the toy.
Easy so far, right?When you have your shapes cut out, decorate the front side. Remember, no beads, googly eyes, glitter, or other materials that can be dangerous if swallowed. I used fabric glue to stick on some ribbon, the eyes, mouth, and buttons so they would stay in place for sewing. This step is optional. Once the glue dried, I used a needle and thread to sew the pieces on to keep them secure and used black thread to create the pupils of the eyes.
When the front of your gingerbread person is decorated, take some embroidery floss and sew around the edges of both pieces of fabric. Leave one end open, fill it with catnip, then sew it shut with the embroidery floss. To fill the catnip toys I used a folded piece of stiff paper as a funnel.
The star toy was even easier since I just sewed the edges with an ombre embroidery floss for decoration.
Orion approves of his new catnip toy!
Do you need even more incentive to shop at Target? I found everything I needed to fill my holiday gift basket for my cats at Target in the Pet Care aisle. As a bonus, the PurinaONE® cat food and Tidy Cats® litter were both on sale! Since a trip to Target always means purchasing more than I originally walked into the store for, saving money is very welcome, indeed.