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Would you buy handmade cat toys?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I have a small online shop where I sell handsewn and crocheted items, and I'm thinking about expanding/starting a line of handmade cat toys. But it often takes alot of time and creativity...and testing with my own cats...before I can come up with new items that really excite them. So I wanted to test the waters here and see if there is a decent market for handmade cat toys before I start getting too far into it. I make all the toys for my own cats, mainly because most store-bought toys have parts that my crazy babies would eat...and I was thinking maybe other people have some of the same concerns about store-bought toys as well.

So, would you consider buying affordable, quality handmade cat toys, or do you already? Or do you prefer store-bought toys from major manufacturers? Any comments and suggestions are very welcome, too!
post #2 of 17
Some of the best toys are handmade. I like the ones that momofmany makes - they are really well received and well made. I find that the ones that are storebought are generally flimsy or have parts that come off and are spendy. I hate spending $6 on a toy that only lasts 5min.
post #3 of 17
I would buy them and keep them away from sasha.
Everything she touches is destroyed except certain types of balls.
post #4 of 17
I would definately buy!!!
post #5 of 17
Yes, I would buy them. They'd probably be a lot safer than some of those store-bought toys...
post #6 of 17
When i was working at the shelter i did. A little old lady crotcheted balls and made little mice. Cleo still has the ball some 2 years later and loves it!
post #7 of 17
I find that the catnip toys I buy at shows are much more potent and enjoyable, and last longer, than any I find in the stores.
post #8 of 17
I make about half the cats toys now and buy another 25% homemade
post #9 of 17
Personally, if I were looking at two toys, that were identical. one hand made and the other on a factory line, I'd take the handmade one any day
post #10 of 17
Originally Posted by fastnoc View Post
Personally, if I were looking at two toys, that were identical. one hand made and the other on a factory line, I'd take the handmade one any day
Agreed. Alot of the factory made stuff is just that, less attention to detail because EVERYTHING is spat out and packed away. It may take longer to make hand made, and maybe a little uneven or such, but a human being can ensure that this item is going to stay in one piece. Not to say all factory stuff is bad, just that the two are different..
post #11 of 17
I prefer the locally "homemade" toys. I love the fabric tubes filled with catnip and so do the kits
post #12 of 17
We have several handmade toys and other kitty items from Momofmany (Auntie Em), including a fabulous little tent, and they are far nicer in every way than anything you get at the store.

Also... when you buy a commercial cat toy made in China (as nearly all of them are), you have no way of knowing what it's made of. Is there lead or some other toxin used in it somewhere?

And although I would never buy a cat toy made with real fur in the first place, I'm sure even those who don't mind real fur would be horrified if they knew it was CAT fur... because the fur and skin of cats and dogs are commonly used in Chinese manufacturing.

So yes, you bet I prefer homemade cat toys!
post #13 of 17
I feel like people who know and love kitties are more likely to design things that they will like and will stand up to the kitties playing with them. So yes, I buy handmade kitty lover toys whenever I can!
post #14 of 17
I've been doing this for about 4 years now. When I first started to make my toys, people would look at them and pass them by because there wasn't a lot of pizazz to them. I don't use feathers, glued on eyes, or dyes that can harm a cat. But once I understood why they were passed by, I started to explain why my toys were better than those mass produced and sold in stores. I did a lot of digging to find out who the manufacturer's are in China and you would be surprised at how many of the big name pet product companies come out of China (Meow Town and Zanies comes to mind).

Some of my products took over a year to develop (the tents that Carol mentioned). I recruited people with the rowdiest cats to break them, so that I could correct failure points. I also handed the toys to my dogs to see how well they fared up in households where a dog could get at a toy. Then I threw them in the laundry over and over to see how they survive that trial.

Then you have to think about how much time you have to devote to making them, versus what you sell them for. If you sell a toy for a few dollars that takes you an hour to make, think about your hourly wage. Then think about the cost of materials in each toy.

I've sold my products in retail stores, cat shows, craft fairs, art fairs, home parties and online. I tried e-bay and couldn't make enough off of it to cover the cost of the material (you are competing with the cheap stuff from China). I've sold them for wholesalers and retailed them myself. If you want to make a living out of it, you have to find outlets to sell your products. This is probably the most difficult part of all.

Yes, it's a home business and mine has morphed from doing it to raise money for shelters, to raising enough money to keep materials on hand to donate more to shelters. The sales I made last Christmas will keep me in new supplies for the next year as I make more toys to give to shelters for them to sell and raise money for themselves. "Auntie Em" has speutered a lot of dogs and cats in the last 4 years. I've learned a lot about running my own business along the way.

PM me if you want some ideas.
post #15 of 17
I would definitely buy them
post #16 of 17
If I came across them in person - probably. I'm not really interested in ordering anything online. Also I wouldn't buy anything I could already easily make myself. I have a bunch of craft stuff so that covers a lot as far as supplies I already have.
post #17 of 17
I don't see why not
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