This whimsical fish-shaped toy is sure to become one of your cat's favorite playthings. Although available in any pet store, catnip (Nepeta cataria) can be grown in a range of soils, dried, and used to make this project.
Tools and Materials
Cotton batting or wool scraps
Piece of paper
Needle and thread
Upholstery needle and thin sturdy twine, for hanging
Catnip Toy How-To
1. Trace template onto two layers of fabric. Cut out shapes.
2. Pin right sides together, leaving 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew seam, and leave 1 1/2-inch opening for filling.
3. Trim seams with pinking shears.
4. Turn right side out. Press seams flat.
5. Stuff with cotton batting or wool scraps until firm. Shape a piece of paper into a funnel, and use it to add 1 to 2 tablespoons of dried catnip or to fill the whole toy with catnip.
6. Hand-stitch opening closed.
7. If desired, make fishing line: Thread an upholstery needle with 30 inches of thin sturdy twine, and sew through the seam of the fish's mouth. Tie knot to secure.
Marc Morrone, pet expert
Parrots of the World