Craft projects, cat shelters, and more

Outdoor cat house

Making items with your hands and using your creativity can make a donated item feel especially meaningful. Here are a few ideas for craft projects that will help the animals in our care feel more at home. 

Items you wish to donate can be brought to the customer service counter at any AHS location during regular business hours; no appointment is necessary. Groups are also welcome to schedule a tour of one of our facilities at the time they bring in their donations.

    Cat toys

    Decorate empty plastic eggs or ping pong balls with permanent makers. These simple rolling toys are popular entertainment for cats.

    Rice pack heating pads

    These heating pads are soothing for animals recovering from surgery. 


    • One five-pound bag of white rice
    • A 12-inch square piece of material (cotton preferred, but old sheets, pillow cases, or flannel work)
    • Thread
    • A sewing machine or needle


    • Fold the material in half with right sides together and sew one long and one short side together. It should look like a tube that is roughly 12x6 inches with one six-inch side open.
    • Turn inside out so that the rough ends are hidden.
    • Fill the tube with rice until it is about 2/3 full.
    • Fold the remaining side in so that the rough ends are hidden and sew closed.
    Outdoor protective shelters for cats

    Help homeless cats within the community by creating outdoor protective shelters. These containers protect cats against predators, environmental dangers, and cold weather. See a sample shelter here.


    • Rubbermaid tote
    • Styrofoam cooler
    • Hay or straw
    • Duct tape
    • Exacto knife


    • Cut a six-inch diameter hole in the tote to act as an entrance/exit for the cat.
    • Place the Styrofoam cooler inside the tote and cut a six-inch diameter hole in the cooler to match the tote entrance.
    • Put hay or straw in and around the Styrofoam cooler. Use as much hay or straw as possible, this will provide added insulation.
    • Place the Styrofoam lid on the cooler and secure the lid with a few pieces of duct tape.
    • Complete the project by securing the lid onto the tote. You may want to place duct tape on this lid as well.
    Snuffle mats (dog enrichment toy)

    Snuffle mats are a fun and entertaining enrichment toy for both dogs and cats! Use dry food or dry treats to encourage a dog or cat's natural skills at sniffing and snuffling for food. 



    • Cut the fleece into strips approximately 2cmx20-25cm. You'll need as many strips as there are holes (and more).
    • Begin making the mat by looping a piece of fleece through two holes and tying a knot. Fill in the edges before covering the rest of the mat.

    • We'll sprinkle dry food or treats into the fleece "ribbons" and give them to dogs and cats in our care.

    Visit for photos.

    For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

    Contact the Pet Helpline