Dog asking to go outside

Friday's Furry Friend is a weekly feature that showcases pet photos we receive from our customers and Facebook fans. Email us a photo of your pet with the subject, "My Furry Friend."

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pet parents

Angel napping under a desk

A picture is worth a thousand words already, so why add more?

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How to Make Homemade Cat Toys

If you’ve ever lived with cats, you probably know how much fun they can have with a paper bag. Here is a list of some of the other common household items that make excellent cat toys.

•   Plastic Eggs- Fill them with unpopped popcorn kernels, peppercorns, dry beans, grains of dry rice or coins. These are great for visually impaired cats, and all cats love the sounds.
•   Empty Cardboard Rolls- Pull treats or toys through the opening or place them inside the roll. Your cat will have fun chasing the rolls or swatting at the toys inside. 
•   Crinkled Tin Foil- Crumple up a sheet of tin foil to provide an interesting change in texture and sound from a cat’s usual ball toys.
•   Rope/Cable/Tubing- To make string-like toys that are safe for unattended play, use materials that are thick and short, such as mountain climbing rope, bicycle break cables (with caps on the ends) and flexible plastic tubing. 
•   Drinking Straws- Look for straws in colors that contrast your flooring. Brightly colored straws are very popular with kittens!
•   Driftwood/Firewood- Both are excellent, natural scratcher options that can last for decades. 
•   Corks- Corks are loads of fun to chase, and they also absorb scents. Store them in a bag of catnip for a few weeks to make them an even more enticing toy.
•   Tissue Boxes- Place toys or treats in side to make these recyclable options irresistible to curious cats. Most pet supply stores carry studier, ready-made holey boxes.
•   Finger Puppets- These toys are especially fun when filled with catnip and sewn shut. Be sure the puppets don’t have loosely attached beads, buttons or other baubles. Also, painted features should only contain non-toxic paint or fabric dye.
•   Wrist Watches- Offer your cat your old, broken watch before throwing it out. Cats love them because your scent is on the band.
•   Pom-Pom Balls- It is important to select balls that are too large to be a choking hazard. You can store pom-pom balls in catnip for an extra treat.

What other toys have your cats found around the house? Share with us in the comments or on Facebook!

Find more ideas about homemade cat toys here.

This blog post was written by guest blogger Kari Kells, a professional pet sitter and pet parent to Raggedy Andy, Emma and Rumi. Read more tips and advice from Kari on her blog.


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pet parents

Rebecca the Chihuahua

“We placed Rebecca’s food in front of her in the morning as usual, but she placed her tail between her legs and began to shake and scream. She cuddled up between my legs, so I picked her up and reassured her by patting her on the back. She then burped and began wagging her tail. I put her down, and she began to eat her food normally. We recently took her to the veterinarian about this behavior, and we think it has something to do with her heart murmur. When she gets excited she gulps air, which seems to create the unwanted gas. We’ve have been trying gas relief medication to help relieve the issue.” –Michael R., Reno, NV

We'd love to hear if we've helped your pet. Share your story and it may be featured on our blog.

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pet parents

Black Labrador with an American flag scarf

Friday's Furry Friend is a weekly feature that showcases pet photos we receive from our customers and Facebook fans. Email us a photo of your pet with the subject, "My Furry Friend."

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pet parents

Melo in an orange scarf

A picture is worth a thousand words already, so why add more?

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Cat laying on wooden floor

Our pets can do some quirky things, but even the strangest behaviors may have reasons behind them. Here are explanations of some common pet behaviors. Does your furry friend have any of these habits? Tell us about it in the comments!

Q: Why does my cat knead his paws?

A: Taking so many naps is hard work, and for some cats, kneading against the floor is like a nice stretch after a well-earned rest. They may also do it to mark territory, comfort themselves, as an instinct to start a mother’s milk or, if the kneading is done on your lap, as a sign of affection. For females, it can also indicate that they’re in heat and ready to look for a suitable mate. Learn more

Note: Please consult your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s specific behavior. Your veterinarian can give you advice about your individual pet's needs and rule out any potential medical issue.

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pet parents

Protecting Mom

“I stepped outside with my dog Kyle one night and was surprised to get knocked down by a stranger waiting in the dark. Kyle leapt into action to keep me safe, chasing the man away after a short struggle.

Luckily, Kyle only suffered a minor back injury that was treated by my veterinarian the next day. I’m so thankful for my pup who protected his pet mom and happy to protect him with ASPCA Pet Health Insurance!” –Virginia P., St. Louis, MO

We'd love to hear if we've helped your pet. Share your story and it may be featured on our blog.

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pet parents

white cat lying next to a bed

Friday's Furry Friend is a weekly feature that showcases pet photos we receive from our customers and Facebook fans. Email us a photo of your pet with the subject, "My Furry Friend."

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pet parents

Crosby in his Pittsburgh Penguins jersey

A picture is worth a thousand words already, so why add more?

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WELCOME,
PET PARENTS!

As we’re dedicated to making a difference for pets, we want to keep you informed about pet health topics and your ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. Our blog will provide you with fresh, interesting and informative topics—from pet health tips and customer stories, to the latest industry news and a Pet Parent Q&A column. Most of all, we encourage you to share comments and join the discussion!

Meet the Author

Julia H.

Social Media Coordinator

Pet Parent to:

Lucy, a 7-year-old rescued Golden Retriever/Chow Chow mix

Blog Guidelines

While we’ll strive to present all viewpoints on this blog, comments will be reviewed before posting. Offensive or inappropriate language, off-topic remarks and comments containing personal policy information will not be featured.

Also, conditions discussed in this blog aren’t necessarily covered by every ASPCA Pet Health Insurance plan. For full coverage terms, conditions and exclusions, please refer to your plan.

As always, if you have a question about your plan, call us at 1-866-204-6764.

*Note: While these testimonials may include examples of recent claims payouts, reimbursement is subject to the terms and conditions of your plan. Identifying information has been changed.