In the spirit of giving thanks, I decided I would give thanks to Peanut (even though she's bad all the time) and make her some Thanksgiving inspired handmade cat toys!
These are pretty easy to make, and they don't require much in the way of supplies or skills. You will need some felt, catnip, embroidery thread, needle, scissors, crinkly trash, and something to stuff the toys with--I used some acrylic yarn I had around. I purchased these sheets of felt at JoAnn's for $0.35 a sheet.
If you are making these toys for your own cat, they will try to help. Peanut went on a rampage and ruined everything for about 10 minutes after she got her paws on some of this catnip.
See figure a.
Once you have restored order (or at least some semblance of it) cut out two identical feather-shaped pieces of felt in the color of your choosing.
Add a few felt bits of flair to jazz up the feather and add some dimension. It's a cat toy, so it doesn't have to be perfect.
Next, you'll want to embroider some detail on the feather. I just went for it and added different lines and shapes. Again, it's a cat toy, so don't spend hours on the detail--that would be silly!
After you're satisfied with the level of detail, it'll be time to stuff the toy. I stitched my feather together around all but one of the sides. You'll need to grab your catnip that you've probably had to hide somewhere because of the swarming cats. You'll also want to cut off a piece of the crinkly waste packing I mentioned earlier. The idea here is to have something that makes noise and sounds like it's dying for the cat's enjoyment.
Very, very carefully stuff the toy with yarn, crinkly bits, and catnip. Try very hard to keep the kitties away. I'm very aware of what this feather with the catnip looks like. Stitch up the final side, knot the end, and you're ready to go!
I made Peanut a feather, a pilgrim/Scarlet Letter inspired dress, a turkey (because she is a turkey), and a maple leaf.
Peanut could hardly wait to play with all the toys. She particularly like the Scarlet A dress. Before long she was on her handmade cat scratching post upstairs and going nuts.
I hope you make your kitties some toys and they love them as much as Peanut did!