Have volunteers use disc shooters to send foam discs hurtling in front of cages in the cat room—you can entertain many cats at once using this easy method.
Use a variety of paper products to keep your curious cats stimulated:
Paper bags—There's no easier or cheaper form of cat entertainment!
Crumpled-up paper, old scrap paper, or even wrapping papper can be used as an inexpensive ball to be batted around by a bored kitty. Just make sure any choking hazards, like tape, have been removed.
Empty paper towel rolls—or better yet, rolls with paper still on them—make for hours of fun.
Trash to Treasure
Don't be too quick to consign all your household bits and pieces to the garbage can:
Milk caps and wine corks are loads of fun for bored kitties.
Shower curtain rings can be placed loose in the cage or on a cage bar—or you can attach other objects to them for even more enjoyment.
Carpet remnants are cheap and highly desired by cats since they satisfy their need to scratch. And, like in this photo, you can hang small carpet squares from shower curtain rings.
Arts and Crafts
Get crafty to keep your kitties clever and serene:
Cats like to play with pipe cleaners all on their own, but add a paper fan and you up the entertainment value tenfold!
What cat can resist batting around a simple pompom or cotton ball?
Cloth and ribbons of all lengths and textures can entertain cats—and shelter visitors as well. In this video, corn husks were tied to the fabric to pump up the fun factor even more. All of these free or low-cost toys have an added bonus: They engage your community members who can both make or donate the toys—and then volunteer their time to engage the cats with them. "Cats grow tired of toys, so it is important to introduce new toys every few days," says Animal Alliance's Bollen. But with toys as inexpensive as these, that shouldn't be a problem!