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 markers. These simple rolling toys are popular entertainment for cats.

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.

AHS can accept outdoor cat shelter donations during the colder months, October through March. 

Snuffle mats (dog and cat enrichment toys)

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. 


  • A rubber mat with holes (like this one, cut in 9 smaller squares)
  • Sharp scissors
  • Fleece


  • 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.

Snuffle balls (dog enrichment toys)

Snuffle balls will be used as enrichment toys for dogs staying in our shelters. We'll place a number of snuffle balls and small treats in a large bin. Dogs can then dig and forage through the bins for a tasty reward!

Required materials:

  • Scissors
  • Fleece
  • Zip ties

Watch the instructional video

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

Contact the Pet Helpline