Make Your Own Homemade Cat Toys
Why Homemade Cat Toys?
Homemade cat toys are super easy to make and way more fun for your cats than expensive store-bought toys. On this page you can learn how to make many many homemade cat toys.
On this page you'll find ideas for homemade cat toys made out of things you'd normally throw away.
There are homemade cat toys made out random stuff.
There are homemade cat toys to knit and crochet and build.
Spend a little time making these cat toys and your kitty will have tons of fun!
Donate to Shelters
Make a few extra toys and donate to your local animal shelter. Making a couple more cat toys so you have some extras to give away is a wonderful way to help homeless pets and a great Girl Scout project.
Always Be Careful!
Toys should only be used under appropriate supervision.
Always be cautious. Strings can get tangled around kitty, buttons can come off, they can easily swallow and choke on millions of things.
Always use common sense, and remember, if your cat can get himself in trouble, he will.
Making Cat Toys Out of Trash
Make these Cat Toys out of Simple Household Items
- Make a Free Toilet Paper Tube Cat Toy
It only takes a few moments to make a super simple and free cat toy that your cats will love to whap around, using just a toilet paper tube and a pair of scissors.
- Make Another Cat Toy Out of a Toilet Paper Tube
This is another idea for a cat toy made out of a toilet paper tube, again only needing scissors and an empty toilet paper tube to make it. All of my cats go nuts for these, but three are absolutely obsessive about them.
- How to Make a Shiny Cat Toy
Cats love shiny, reflective things and this cat toy gives it to them.
- Make a Cardboard Mouse
Make a mouse using cardboard and a template.
- Knotty Mouse for Good Cats
This is an adorable mouse cat toy made from rope. It is a bit complicated though for the average crafter.
- DIY Eco-Friendly Cardboard Ball for Cat
This is a simple project, it only need few pieces of cardboard and glue. Your cat will love this cardboard toy.
Crumpled Paper Cat Toy
This is basically the easiest and cheapest cat toy to make. Just take a piece of paper and crumple it into a ball.
Cats love to bat this around and some even try to carry it. Mine like to rip the toy to shreds. It makes a bit of a mess, but it's worth it to see them have so much fun.
Kitties Playing with Carrots
The Carrot Killer
My cats really seem to like things that have fallen off the counter. Celery pieces, leafy lettuce or kale, and carrot circles are all favorites.
The top of the list though, belongs to baby carrots. Brightly colored and a great shape, those little things are great for slapping around on the kitchen floor and slide really well. Occasionally, one of the cats will carry the baby carrot around in his mouth, like some sort of conquering champion.
Give your cat a baby carrot to play with and see what they think.
Empty boxes make great cat toys.
Cats will usually claim a box as soon as it enters my home, and a few of mine try to jump inside them while I'm carrying them in.
My bunch's favorite is probably soda boxes, they're a nice size and have a built in viewing port that doubles as an attack spot, lol.
Any old box will do though, and adding holes to it makes it even more enticing.
Kitten Playing with a Wire
The video below shows a kitten playing with a piece of wire, it seems like it would make a great homemade cat toy. If you do give your kitties a piece of wire to play with, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to bend the ends in so they aren't sharp points.
No Crafting Needed
These household pieces are cat toys just the way they are:
- Empty thread spools
- Paper Bags
- Toilet Paper Rolls
- Plastic Milk Jug Rings
- Pine Cones
Pill Bottle Cat Toy
Many cats love to bat around a medicine bottle, but there's always the chance they could somehow get the child-proof cap off (seems like everyone but us can get those lids off) and the result could be death for your kitty.
So the best way to turn a medicine bottle into a toy is to remove all the pills and scrub the container really well. Take a couple of dry beans or a small amount of dry rice and put them in the container, then put the lid back on.
Cats love swatting this around the floor, and if they somehow get the lid off they won't get hurt.
Get the Crafty Cat Activity Book
Pizza Box Kitties
Pizza Box Kitties
My kitties recently made another household item into a toy for themselves. We bought one of those premade pizzas that come in a regular pizza box, but are in a shrink wrapped package inside, specifically the Sam's Choice brand though I've seen other companies with the same style box.
Well this pizza box has a nice hole in the top so people can see the pizza before they buy it and when the pizza box is closed, that hole is perfectly cat sized. My cats figured out that the pizza box is a super comfortable place to lounge in and any small toys chucked into the open hole are great fun to fish out from inside the box.
Also, a couple of pizza boxes stood on end to make a square makes a fun hidey cube to play in.
Altering Household Items to Make Cat Toys
Altered Normal Household Items
A little bit of work can make these household items into a toy any cat would love
- Easy Pipe Cleaner Cat Toy
Make a super simple cat toy from a couple of pipe cleaners in mere minutes.
- DIY Sock Fish Cat Toy
Use baby socks to make a cat toy that looks like a fish. This is a super easy craft.
- String and Sponge Cat Toy
This cat toy is made from a piece of sponge, masking tape, felt, and string, and is pretty darn easy to make.
- Crinkly Cat Toy from Umbrella Cover
An unused umbrella cover makes a great cat when combined with just a few other items you probably have in your trash.
Easter Egg Cat Toy
Take a plastic Easter egg, put a couple of beans inside, then close it up. Your cat will love batting this around the house.
Pens and Pencils
Most cat's love to play with pens and pencils, I know mine swipe them all the time. To make the pens safe for kitty, remove the ink cartridge and make sure the pen is clean before letting them have it. This is great to do with pens that are already out of ink instead of just throwing them away.
For pencils, make sure there is no sharp tip, completely unsharpened pencils are best. Also, be careful giving them pencils with erasers. Some cats will chew on these and swallow pieces. It's better if you pull off or cut off the eraser before giving it to your cat.
And of course, you can always just find a nice, clean little twig that's of similar size and shape to a pencil and give it to your cat to play with. The bonus with a twig is that it's often curved a bit and the not-perfectly straight shape can add more fun to your kitty's play.
The shape and size of pens and pencils is eternally interesting to most cats for some reason, and they'll most likely play with them for hours.
Drip Tubing Tease Toy
This homemade cat toy uses some of the tubing used for drip irrigation. About a 2' long piece of the 1/4" sized tubing is just right.
Use a hot glue gun to stick the end of a feather into one of the ends of irrigation tubing.
When it's cool you can wave the tubing around and since it moves oddly, your cats will love it.
Sometimes there's no good place to hang stuff for your cats to play with. A good idea is to take an old baby play gym, the ones that little babies lay under and can look up at and play with, and hang some cat toys from it.
You can easily pick up the baby gyms at yard sales and thrift stores, or maybe you have one laying around from when your kids were little. You could even make one out of some pvc pipe.
Some of the items already hanging can make good cat toys as well, but if they aren't interesting to your cat just take them off and add some feathers on strings and bottle caps hanging from cords. Use fairly short lengths so there's no chance your cat can get tangled and I bet your kitty will have fun.
Crafting a Cat Toy
Crafting a Cat Toy
Make a cat toy completely from scratch, no fleas involved
- Knit a Mouse Cat Toy
If you know how to knit, make a cute little mouse from your leftover yarn.
- DIY Felted Cat Toy
This is one of those crafts that look so difficult, but is actually fairly easy. I think I'll make a few of these for my kitties.
- Crochet a Mouse
This is a cute little mouse you can crochet in a snap.
- Crochet a Pot Leaf Cat Toy
Does your cat seem addicted to catnip, almost like it's a drug? Make this cat toy that looks like a pot leaf and is catnip scented.
- Sew a Mouse Cat Toy
Stitch up one of these mouse toys that are easily refillable with catnip.
- Hedgehog Cat Toy
A toy hedgehog stuffed with catnip and plastic strips to entertain your cat. It can be modified to be simply a plushie.
- Make a Easy Triangular Shaped Knit Cat Toy
Just a bit of leftover yarn and a few minutes of knitting creates a nice little cat toy.
- DIY Candy Corn Knit Cat Toy
Knit a nice little cat toy that looks like a big piece of candy corn.
- Make a Squiddly Octopus Cat Toy
This is an octopus looking cat toy that you can crochet fairly quickly. The dangly bits will be lots of fun for kitties to play with.
- Crochet a Doorknob Hanging Cat Toy
This is a simple cat toy that uses leftover pieces of yarn to create a dangling toy to hang from a doorknob.
- Sew a Menswear Mouse for Your Kitty
This craft uses old men's clothing to craft a cute little mouse cat toy.
- Catnip Fish Toy
Sew small fish toys and stuff them with catnip for lots of kitty fun.
- Homemade Fake Feather Cat Toy
This craft uses felt cut into the shapes of feathers for a great cat toy.
- Make Your Own Catnip Rats
Sew some of these catnip filled rats for your cat and see them have lots of fun.
- Make a 9" Mouse Toy for Your Cat
This is a large cat toy, perfect for kitty to wrestle with. "It's part of a collection of knitted and crocheted creatures called amigurumi, after the Japanese art of crocheting small animals."
- Knitted Catnip Filled Heart Cat Toy
Knit this pretty heart cat toy and then fill with catnip for a cute gift on Valentine's Day or any time you want to show your cat your love.
How to Make Felted Cat Toys
Another Free Cat Toy
Find a plastic soda bottle cap, I like the big mouth 1 liter caps, but use whatever you have laying around.
Using a drill on slow speed, or you can do it carefully with a sharp nail and a hammer, poke a hole through the soda bottle cap. Use thick string or a shoelace, and thread through the hole in the cap. Tie a knot on the other side that is big enough that the string won't get pulled back through.
Hang the cap and string someplace where your cat can bat it around, just be careful that the string is short enough to not strangle the kitties. Your cats will have a lot of fun swatting the cap around on the string. They would probably be great to hang from a baby gym as suggested above.
Kitty Rag Dolls
Take a scrap of fabric and put a pinch of catnip in the middle. Carefully fold the fabric over the catnip so it will stay in there, and then tie a knot in the middle of the fabric holding the catnip permanently in place and forming a nice little knot for your kitties to easily grab hold of.
Though it's super simple, cats love to bat these around the floor and sink their teeth into them.
Just make sure they rag toys aren't too large, most cats like them to be on the smaller side. You can always trim some of the excess fabric away after you've tied the toy if needed.
Knit your pets some goodies by following the directions in this book.
Making a Cat Fishing Toy
Fishing for Cats
Fishing for cats doesn't just happen in the Mississippi. Make a few of these fishing pole toys and you'll be reeling in the big ones.
All you need is some sort of stick, some string, and a fun toy of some sort. A feather, a ball with a bell in it, ribbon pieces, even a crumpled piece of paper works.
At one end of the stick, tie the string.
On the other end of the string, tie the toy.
Now wave this around making the toy seem to move like a mouse or bird, and your kitty will love you forever.
Cleo and Mendi are Tired After Playing
Make Odd Homemade Cat Toys
A category for the not so easy to categorize toy ideas
Does your cat go crazy over catnip? The chemical in catnip that sets your cat off does not work on every cat. Only cats with a receptive gene respond to the chemical and they all respond in different ways.
Get Your Catnip On
Get some catnip to add to your homemade cat toys, or just to drive your cat crazy. I like to store some of their toys in a box sprinkled with catnip. The cat toys absorb the smell and become much more interesting to the kitties.
Some very nice catnip for your kitty.
Add a Dash of Catnip Spray
Catnip extract is an easy way to quickly and easily add the smell of catnip to your kitty's toys. Just spray a little on the toys and your cat will adore them.
It's also a super easy way to refresh those old catnip toys that kitty no longer plays with.
Cat Toys Involving Food
Cats love food and some of the best toys include it
Cat Foraging Toy
Take an empty container with a lid, something like a small water bottle, empty butter tub, or whatever you have.
Make sure it is clean, then cut a small hole out of a side. It should be about the size of a quarter. Put some kibble in the container, then put the lid on and toss to your cats.
As the cats push the container around, kibble will spill and they'll have lots of fun gobbling up the "special treats".
Try different containers and try to find one that move nicely.
- Coffee Cup Cat Treat Toy
Two empty coffee cups soon become a foraging cat toy with this page's help.
- Treat-Dispensing Origami Cat Toy
Fold a couple of origami balls and put a treat inside the smaller one, then shove the smaller origami ball inside the bigger one. This may be a little hard to learn, but will be simple and easy to make after a few tries.
This is a bit of an odd toy for a cat. It is actually a crawfish or crayfish trap made out of a plastic 2 liter soda bottle, and I made it for an article I wrote. But while making the trap for the pictures in the article, my cats decided to give me some assistance. They kept sticking their paws inside and rolling it across the floor and taking off with it. When I finished the project the cats claimed it as their own.
Since they liked it anyway, I sprinkled a bit of dry cat food inside, so it makes an interesting noise and has a bit of movement and they swat it all over the house. They really want to try to stick their heads inside, which don't fit, and it makes them even more excited since they don't understand why they can't get at the food, and they can see it right in front of them since the plastic is clear. Occasionally, a piece of dry kitty kibble will fall out and that makes them like it even more.
For the crawfish trap itself I used a 2 liter soda bottle, but if you're making it for cats you might want to use a 1 liter bottle instead. One of my cats seemed a little intimidated by the size. They're so cheap and easy though, you may want to just make two to see which your cat likes better.
Stand up the soda bottle. Cut the entire top off about 4 inches from the top. Be careful, it can be hard to cut.
Take the lid off that piece and then cut the tip off, so you have a funnel shape with one end about 2" across and the other the width of the bottle.
Put the funnel shape into the other half of the bottle, turning it upside down though, so the narrow end is inside the bottle. Poke holes along the sides where the two pieces meet, then lace them together so they'll stay nested inside each other.
Sprinkle some cat kibble inside and roll the toy around until your cats see how much fun it is.
Kitty in a Box
Cat's Favorite Toy - A Box
Easy diy cat toy ideas, put together to make a great little book that everyone should own.
Cat Toys Everywhere :-)
To keep the cat's toys fresh and interesting, keep all but a couple put away in a toy chest. Every week or so switch the cats toys out with something else.
The cats will be excited to have "new" toys and will go crazy over them again.
Kittehs Playing in Pumpkin
Kitties Playing with Pumpkins
One Halloween, after I carved the pumpkins, I realized here was yet another kitty toy. Hollowed out pumpkins make fun and different playthings for the kitties and my kitties definitely enjoyed a chance to play with them and one of them even enjoyed nibbling on them.
To turn the pumpkin into a fun toy for your cats, simply cut off the top and empty out the insides, just as you would do when carving for a jack-o'-lantern, then cut out various sized holes from the pumpkin. If your pumpkin is very large you can probably cut a big hole in one side for the cats to get in and out through. Next, let it sit overnight, so it can dry out a little because the pumpkin will seep a little after getting cut up. The next day, use a paper towel to dry out the inside thoroughly, and set it on the floor with the lid off so the kitties can play with it. You may need to tip it over sideways so they feel more comfortable playing in it, and tossing noisy toys inside may get their attention and coax them inside.
Once they realize how much fun the pumpkin is they'll have a ball swatting at each other through the holes and climbing in and out of the pumpkin. You can also place a toy inside the pumpkin and place the lid back on so your cat gets to try to capture the toy through the holes in the pumpkin.
This is a very short-lived toy, remember to toss it out before it starts going bad, but it can be a fun way to reuse your jack-o'-lanterns or those pumpkins on sale right after the holiday. Do not use the styrofoam pumpkins, the cats could accidentally ingest some and styrofoam is extremely bad for them.
Try adding the cat's own scent to their new toy. Rub it under their neck on their scent glands and usually the cat will like it better.
Or take the toy with you to work one day. It will get all sorts of new and interesting smells that will really intrigue kitty.
What is your cat's favorite type of cat toy?See results without voting
Other Cat Ideas
They may not be toys for your cats, but these great ideas will make it easier to reuse and recycle cat stuff to make new items
- Ideas for Reusing Tidy Cat Litter Canisters
What to do with all those kitty litter tubs? Reuse them for all sorts of ideas.
- DIY Turn Cat Food Bags into Reusable Grocery Bags
This is one I always mean to do. I go through so many bags of cat, dog, and chicken food for my furry friends, and hate to throw away the handy bags they came in. They're super sturdy and it seems like such a waste. Making them into reusable grocery
- How to Make a Cat Hammock
This page tells of a fairly simple and cute way to make a hammock for your kitty out of an old pillowcase. It is designed to go into the cages at the animal shelter, but I think there should be a way to make a wire frame so we can easily use them at
Kitties Need Playtime
Get More Great DIY Cat Toy Ideas
More in this Series
Make an easy cat toy for your feline friends. It's free and a great way to recycle toilet paper rolls.
DIY cat trees, homemade towers, cat condos, and other play structures are easy to make, even if you don't have a lot of building experience. Here are all the supplies and instructions you need!