Okay, I confess! My two cats rule! They are the complete and total bosses of our home. And all of us pet-crazed people need to keep our pets busy over the winter, right? Robert and Maxine (my shelter cats) love romping outdoors in our cat safe world, but with cooler weather, I find them in more and looking for extra-curricular activities.
My cats are older so they love to watch me knit, crochet, and weave. They are more engaged weavers than the other crafts! This time of year I need to keep them active- a bit like me, they need to be coerced into action. Play is important for all of us in our house and during the winter it keeps us nimble of mind and body! Yes, think yarn!
Cat Scratch Fever!
Yarn balls are a great winter activity for cats, dogs, and their humans! Here is one idea for yarnballs thanks to makingtimeformommy.com and I would love to share my thoughts on this, too. Do you have extra yarn? Why, of course you do! Taking some yarn, stash busting at its best, and you can easily create a yarn ball for your cats (or dogs!).
Wind the yarn much as you would for a ball for yourself EXCEPT wind it tighter. The yarnballs I make for my cats are wound as tight as possible for the core (avoiding the need for a styrofoam or other inner core). Basically, I love using a lace yarn wound very tight because that means it is not going to unravel.
So now, do you want a small toy (my cat's preference) or a large one? After a taut ball is started I tightly knot a bulkier fiber and wrap this around the core layer. The bulky yarn has more texture for claws and creates a bit of intrigue (after all they are curious!). If you want a bigger yarnball, obviously you need more wraps.
Lastly, I create a long, loose end on the ball that serves two purposes. I can hold the yarn ball end while the cats and I get our chilly weather diversion and family time of fun! Or, the cats can have fun with the long string (preferred method in my home) while I hold the ball. Wild abandon ensues!
Going to the Dogs
And yes, we love diversity so whether you have a dog, cat, or pet rabbit that enjoys yarnballs and winter play, it's time to create those holiday gifts for your pets. How about a matching scarf and cowl kit for you and your favorite dog? Be sure to check out all the other holiday gift idea blogs we've shared for more help with gifting.
The Darn Good Yarn Team and all of our menagerie of pets can't wait to hear what yarn toys you make for your pets. And if you use up some of your stash making yarnballs or other quick toys that means you can buy more unique yarn!