Thursday, September 11, 2014
Sponsored Post - Crafting with #TractorSupply to celebrate #PAW2014
Being a member of BlogPaws opens me up to sponsored opportunities. Many of them don't fit with my philosophies and my blog, but occasionally one pops up that I can't resist, and this was one of them.
My goal - to go to Tractor Supply and armed with a $25 budget and find something to craft something that benefits shelters and the animals at the shelter, then to share that craft with you and promote their PAW Week September 17-21th with their main instore event on Saturday the 20th which is going to be an event with pet adoptions and giveaways.
I had been to PAW week before, and bought a great deal of cat food for the shelter and my foster kittens so I was all over this. My first time into Tractor Supply surprised me because I was expecting more of a hardware store, but it was a lot like your old time country store with a wide variety of products, from boots, to clothes, gloves, paint, heating, safes, heating, and pet and animal supplies including premium brand food, treats, flea & tick control, beds, wireless containment, crates, kennels, collars, leads, bowls, grooming supplies, toys for cats, dogs, rabbits, chickens, horses and other pets
This being a cat blog, I wanted to do something for the cats at the shelter. Unfortunately for me the shelter has their own crafting crew, so they are crafted to with in an inch of their life. I mean just look at what they have done.
That last one is in the bathroom! this was going to be hard. I spent some time surfing Pinterest and googling cat crafts, (there are some really great ideas here and here) and I even went to the shelter to ask them about their handful of feral cats that wander the property (they have great places to hang out in the winter so making a cat igloo was out)
So armed with a few ideas of things I could make for toys, I thought it best to head over to one of the two Tractor Supply stores near me. Tractor Supply makes its home in rural communities so both stores are about half an hour away in opposite directions, so I just picked one and off I went.
I wandered around for a while and realized most of the ideas I had walking into the store were not going to work out. They do have clothes, and they do have baby socks for quick cat nip toys, but I couldn't spend $5 for something I could probably get for free at yard sales. I had seen a very interesting craft made with wooden dowels, but this store didn't have any. I asked a very nice young man and he said that they did have metal ones, but no wooden, and yes, they might have them in larger stores down south, but I thought it might be cheating if I pretended to buy one and make something with it.
I found some nice metal buckets and I thought I might be able to make something nice with those for holding grooming supplies for the cat rooms, but the cat rooms do have something nice for those. I saw flatter metal pans that might make nice litter boxes for a shelter (since plastic can hold on to bacteria) but once again our shelter uses metal pans for litter boxes.
I saw some egg cartons and thought those could make some fun crafts, but once again I ran up against my ultra frugal ways. I saw a bird house I could paint which might bring some bird TV to the cats, but at our shelter the cat windows face out on to the parking lot and there really is no good place to put them. I thought about making a bird feeder that you could attach to a window, but I couldn't find any suction cups.
I finally stumbled upon a few things that I thought would make some really interesting crafts. This is the first one.. can you guess what it is?
It is a "chick feeder". This one is most likely cheating, but I couldn't help it. I thought this would make a very fascinating foraging toy for cats. Boy was I right. The Crew got treats in theirs while the fosters got a few toys.
But this was a crafting challenge so I purchased a burlap bag and dressage whip. I knew I was going to need some catnip which I had at home (but that they also sold there) and some duct tape that again I had at home (but they also had there) and possibly a nice fat furry mouse (sold there, but I had at home).
When I got home, I realized pretty quickly that the burlap bag was a huge hit.
Skippy was also quite enamoured with the whip just the way it was. I liked the whip because it has a nice hand-weight and it has a nob at the end so when you get an aggressive cat who enjoys pulling on wand toys it would be a lot harder to pull it out of your hand. Wand toys are something cats are very hard on and at the shelter and they do not last. I thought I could turn the whip into a fishing pole type toy with a little duct tape and the string from the burlap.
Skippy thought the whip was perfect just as it was, we had spent about 10 minutes playing with it, and was a little concerned about what I might do to it.
I tied a knot in the string to give a little more resistance when the cat pulls on the other end. I wrapped the duct tape around the end of the whip once, then placed the string with the knot above the next wrap then wrapped over the string and continued until the knot was covered as well. I had cut off a little too much tape so I trimmed it off and finished wrapping it and then gave it a little squeeze for good measure. Unsure what to do with the piece of tape I cut off, I wrapped it over itself so it wouldn't get stuck on anything. I then remembered the favorite toy of the cat of my youth, which was just a piece of paper tied at the end of a string. For the fun of it, expecting I would still end up tying a mouse on the end, I tied the rolled up piece of duct tape at the end and boy was that a HIT!
Twee is VERY hard on wand toys. She has broken quite a few after just a few minutes. As you can see in that last picture, she is yanking on it quite a bit and the tape held, so I have high hopes for this creation. I bet it would hold up quite well in a shelter environment. I still had the much loved burlap bag - I got it for a dollar! I bet these would be nice stuffed with straw or hay for feral cats to sleep on, or dressed up as a cat bed for indoor kitties (heck my cats just loved it as is).
I thought it might be fun to roll it up and make a cat kicker out of it. I folded it in half, sprinkled some catnip on top and rolled it up and tied it up with some sisal rope.
Unfortunately that was not well received. My cats aren't real fans of larger cat toys. So I then cut a two inch or so stip off the bag, cut it in half, folded that bit in half, sprinkled some catnip on that, and simply tied it up; poof, a catnip knot.
This is a huge hit. I pulled out the loose fibers from the burlap to prevent ingestion. I had expected the burlap to completely fall apart when I cut it but it held up very well. I imagine I could make quite a few of these from the rest of that sack - well that is if I can get it away from Fleurp.
I hope you enjoyed my attempt to be crafty and consider this a call to be crafty too and make something for your local shelter, they will appreciate it. If you have a Tractor Supply in your local community, you should check them out. They are on all of the standard social media outlets, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest, so getting to know them is easy.
This post is sponsored by Tractor Supply Company and the Pet Blogger Network. I am being compensated for helping spread the word about Tractor Supply Company, but Tails from the Foster Kittens only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers. Tractor Supply Company. is not responsible for the content of this article.