Make a Homemade Cat Toy

Got any lone socks hanging around? It turns out kid-size socks happen to be just right for making homemade catnip mice—for your own kitty or for a neighbor’s.

It’s a mitzvah (Hebrew for “commandment”) to care for animals, and there are many laws about caring for animals in the Torah, including providing animals a day of rest and feeding your animals before you eat. The Hebrew phrase tza’ar ba’alei chayim (literally “the suffering of animals”) refers to caring for animals, and today that includes spaying and neutering pets to help stop overpopulating.

This kid-friendly activity is a fun and easy way to show you care for your own pet or a friend’s, and it makes a great handmade Hanukkah present.

This Activity Works With These Books:


  • Old sock
  • Yarn
  • Catnip (available in pet stores and online)
  • Permanent marker


  • Stuff catnip into the sock, then tie it closed with yarn, leaving a few inches behind for the mouse’s tail.
  • Draw a mouse face on the toe of the sock. Eeek!


11 Books About the Jewish Value of Caring For Animals
6 Ways to Show Kindness to Animals