Not only do I think about cats all of the time, but I also spend countless hours crocheting blankets by hand for senior cats at local animal shelters.
I could spend days at a time with a crochet hook and skeins of yarn, knowing that what I make will help bring comfort to animals who need a little extra love.
Helping Cats in Need with Crafts
It all began when my cat, Snickers, first started getting sick. She was 15 years old, and going through countless rounds of medication and vet visits. It was the hardest time I have ever experienced, but what got me through was all of the quiet moments we got to spend just sitting together. Even though she wasn’t feeling well, I enjoyed being able to be there for her to give her comfort and love.
And that’s when I discovered crochet.
It was the purr-fect craft to teach myself during all of those days by her side. Slowly, I learned how to make her small toys that she would play with on the rare good days. Crochet gave me something to focus on during the worst time of my life, and gave the two of us something fun to distract ourselves with.
After a long battle, I had to say goodbye to my Snicks. My very best friend. My heart was broken, and even years later, I can say that it will never be the same.
But my heart did have room for two new kittens in need, Belle and Rainbow. A couple of days after losing my best friend, these two were welcomed into our family from Great Plains SPCA here in Kansas City. They quickly brought new life and energy into our house, and during the weeks of them acclimating to our family, I started to pick my crochet back up to make them fun little blankets.
They loved them, and I loved making them. The only problem was, the number of handmade blankets in our house was quickly becoming too many—even for us.
Then it hit me. I can make blankets to give away and donate to cats in local shelters.
Made with Love – Each Blanket Has a Purrpose
I started small, only crocheting a few blankets at first. I chose the brightest yarn I could find so that they could help the cats stand out in their kennels, sized them to be about a foot and a half by two, and got to work.
The stitches flew by, and before I knew it I had made a stack of blankets that were ready to be donated. They were washed and driven across town, back to the same shelter where Rainbow and Belle were adopted.
I’ve made a number of trips to donate countless crocheted blankets now, and each one is more special than the last. I love getting to meet the senior and long-term cats as I give them their blankets. My favorite part of it all are the pets and purrs that we share in those sweet moments together.
The blankets I make are given specifically to senior and long-term cats because of my Snicks. As she got older, we became inseparable. I can’t imagine the loneliness and fear the sweet older cats in shelters feel. If I can give them anything, I just want them to know that they are loved. Each blanket is made with these kitties in mind, and often are sent home with the cat when they do find a family, serving as a comforting item that helps them transition into their home.
How You Can Help Cats in Shelters
Each one of us has something to offer cats in need. Whether your time, talents, or even a simple post share on social media, the more attention and love we can give these animals, the quicker they will find their furever home and the more fulfilling their lives will be.
If you’re a maker who loves cats and wants to help out your own local shelter or rescue, here’s how I crochet my blankets:
How to Crochet a Blanket for a Cat
1 skein of Loops & Threads Impeccable Yarn
1 crochet hook
(That’s seriously it!)
- Create a slip knot and then chain stitch about 60 until your line is approximately two feet long (you want it to fit inside of a kennel easily).
- Turn and single crochet into every chain stitch.
- Chain stitch two, turn, and then double crochet into every single crochet.
- Chain stitch one, then repeat steps 2-4 until you have just enough yarn left to create a single crochet border around the perimeter of your blanket.
- Create the perimeter, tie off, weave in the ends, and you’re done!
It’s a very simple pattern, but the cats love them!
Before you load up the car to donate your blankets, contact the organization to make sure crocheted blankets are accepted. While we’ve never personally had any problems with snagging claws—or washing machines—some shelters and rescues will be more open to receiving them than others.