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Lulu and Buzz's Favorite Cheap Cat Toys

Updated on January 25, 2014

Meet Buzz and Lulu... and Their Favorite Cat Toys

I am the proud owner of a tabby cat named Lulu and a big black cat named Buzz. Lulu and Buzz go through a lot of cat toys and have very strong ideas about what makes a good one. If they can tear something apart, they will! Since they are indoor only cats, it is important to give them toys and activities that are interactive and keep them stimulated. However, I am also on a limited budget and have to look for cheap cat toys and ways to make toys out of items I already have around the house.

My cats have very different personalities and very different ideas of what makes a fun playtime. Each one has picked out toys that are their favorites. These four products are their favorite cheap cat toys. I love each of these toys as well! Plus, keep reading for suggestions of simple items around the home that make great cat toys (Buzz prefers cardboard boxes, while Lulu loves paper bags).

Image by BlueObsidian

Cat Dancer - Lulu's Favorite Cheap Cat Toy

When I first saw the cat dancer, I thought it might be the stupidest cat toy I had come across. After all, it was just a wire with some pieces of rolled cardboard on the end! But, when I opened it up, Lulu went nuts. The cat dancer has become her favorite toy. She will pick it up and drag it across the room to you if she wants to play. Sometimes, Buzz and Lulu will play tug-of-war with one cat dancer, keeping themselves entertained.

Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy
Cat Dancer 101 Cat Dancer Interactive Cat Toy

The cats will tear off all the cardboard from the cat dancer after a while, but while it only costs around a dollar, it is a cheap enough cat toy that I can purchase a replacement without an issue! They love them and I can buy them in bulk to have available when one gets destroyed.


Foam Soccer Balls - Buzz's Favorite Cat Toy

As soon as we adopted Buzz, we discovered he was an amazing soccer player! He loves to kick and chase these foam soccer ball cat toys across the room. They are great on hardwood floors! If you have a cat that loves to play with balls, these are one of the best cheap cat toys you can find. As an added bonus, they are completely made of foam so they are super quiet (as opposed to Buzz).

FOAM Soccer Balls Cat Toys - 4 Pack
FOAM Soccer Balls Cat Toys - 4 Pack

My favorite part is that they are nearly indesctructable. As many cat owners can attest, cat toys often have to be replaced. But there are no small parts on the foam soccer balls for a cat to rip off, and they can't really get their teeth around them. So, Buzz just kicks it and runs after it. Sometimes, he and Lulu will pass it back and forth to each other! The worst thing that happens is occasionally we have to pull them all out from under the couch. These are the longest lasting cheap cat toy I have found.

Lulu in a Williams Sonoma Bag
Lulu in a Williams Sonoma Bag

Paper Bags and Boxes

The Ultimate Cheap Cat Toy - Free!

No matter how many toys I bring home, the bag or box they came in is always a big hit, especially with Lulu. She likes to crawl right into the bags and have someone take her for a ride around the room. While she may have outgrown this Williams Sonoma bag that she loved as a kitten, but paper bags from grocery stores are a big favorite with her. She doesn't like the canvas bags as much, though. I think it's because they don't make noise when she steps in them!

Buzz isn't a fan of climbing in the bags, but he sure does like to jump on top when Lulu gets inside! This is one of the cheapest cat toys that we can get for our little troublemakers.

Image by BlueObsidian

Mouse Cat Toys with Catnip

There are a few different types of catnip mice cheap cat toys that we buy for Buzz and Lulu. One is the Grreat Choice Faux Fur Mouse w/Tail that you can purchase at PetSmart, and the other are these Skitter Critters mice. While the kitties seem to be a little more satisfied dragging around the Grreat Choice mice, I prefer these. They seem to be a difficult to destroy. Lulu manages to remove the tails from other mouse cat toys within a day or two. After all, a cat toy may initially be cheaper, but if you have to replace it every week the price will quickly add up.

SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy Catnip Mice, 3/pkg
SmartyKat Skitter Critters Cat Toy Catnip Mice, 3/pkg

As an added benefit these are soft plush and are quiet. Many other cat toys seem to have a hard shell interior that clunks on tile or hardwood floor. This noisiness is very appealing to the cats, but now as much to the people of the house. Sometimes Lulu and Buzz wake up several hours before us, so we prefer quiet cat toys that keep the peace!


Feather on a Stick Cat Toys - Cheap Cat Toys that Replicate Birds

You may look at the price of this cat toy and wonder why it made a list of cheap cat toys. However, I love it because it is comes with two replacement feathers. I have never found a feather on a stick cat toy that does not fall apart eventually. This has been particularly true since we got Buzz, who is a large male cat that was previously abandoned. He can be very aggressive with feather toys!

Da Bird Single 3 Foot Pole Cat Toy with 2 Extra Guinea Feather Refills
Da Bird Single 3 Foot Pole Cat Toy with 2 Extra Guinea Feather Refills

Amazon and local pet stores also carry replacement packs of the feathers. That way, you don't have to throw away the entire toy when it gets destroyed. Only the feather detaches and is replacable. I can regularly find replacement feathers for under $4 each and they last much longer than some of the cheapest feather toys (we had one that we bought for $2, and which lasted no more than 10 minutes around Buzz!)


Other Cheap Items They Love to Play With

Not everything that Lulu and Buzz love to play with is a cat toy. Sometimes, cheap household items make their favorite toys (I cannot tell you how many times Buzz has spent his day kicking a wadded up ball of paper around the living room).

These are a few unconventional items that my cats love to play with. Just be careful not to teach them that something is a toy if it will annoy you later! My significant other spent tons of time playing with the cats and a spare shoelace, and now he grumbles every time they untie his shoes.

Sof Sole Round Boot Laces (Dark Brown, 60-Inch)
Sof Sole Round Boot Laces (Dark Brown, 60-Inch)

Boot laces make a great choice for kitty toys because they come in extra long sizes.

Sharpie Sharpie Grip Pens, Fine Point, 3-Pack, Black (1758052)
Sharpie Sharpie Grip Pens, Fine Point, 3-Pack, Black (1758052)

I don't love that my favorite pens have become favorite cat toys, but Buzz really loves knocking them off the table and shoving them under the couch.

Reynolds Aluminum 08010 Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil
Reynolds Aluminum 08010 Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil

Sometimes, when the cats have put all their toys under the couch, we just make a new ball out of aluminum foil. Inexpensive and replacable. Just make sure all the corners are tucked in well!

Karen Foster Design Reusable Tote Bags Modern Safari
Karen Foster Design Reusable Tote Bags Modern Safari

Reusable tote bags and grocery bags are one of Lulu's favorite toys. She loves paper bags too, but these last longer!


More Cat Toy Ideas from Amazon

Luckily, most cat toys aren't very expensive and there is a wide selection. My two cats have very different favorites, so I am sure there is the perfect toy out there for your kitty too.

There are many options similar to the ones that I have suggested. For example, the companies that make Cat Dancer and the Feather Stick also have a variety of similar products. Amazon's prices fluctuate daily, so I also keep an eye out for good deals when shopping for my kitties. Check out these options from Amazon or browse their selection for more inexpensive cat toy ideas!

What is Your Kitty's Favorite Toy? - Leave a note in the guestbook and let us know what you think!

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    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Classic toys for cool cats! haha Boxes and bags.....YES!!! :)

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Well, it's not actually a toy - it's my purse! Every time I come in the house she rubs all over it, tries to push it, lays on it, and then she sits by it like a castle guard and threatens anyone who comes near it! Unless it's the mint gum I carry, I have no clue what the attachment could be!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Do you ever use the extra button that comes with a sweater? I tie some yarn to left over buttons and my kitty loves it! Also, she really likes to play with the roll of yarn- she'll chew, carry, scratch, paw... and last night she used it as a pillow. I have balls of yarn with string to chase all over my house.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      An empty box - they love their boxes!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's great how things around the house like pens and bags can become a cat's favorite toy. It can really save you a lot.

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      Lovely to meet Buzz and Lulu, especially since I once had a Lulu cat.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My cat Kisser will play with anything - but he likes empty boxes best.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      6 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I crochet cat toys for the local humane society. They also take paper towel tubes to make kitty toys.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image


      6 years ago

      My cat doesn't seem to like any toys except for the laser light. She does, however, get to go in the backyard sometimes for exercise. Good lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I don't have a cat right now but my last one loved paper bags for some reason.

    • CruiseReady profile image


      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Walker, Florida Feline loves his long flannel - well I dunno what it's called, but it's a really long thin thing made of something soft like flannel. He likes that one best because it requires that I play with it with him by twirling and jiggling and otherwise moving it so he can grab it, leap at it, and otherwise chase it.

    • sudokunut profile image

      Mark Falco 

      6 years ago from Reno, Nevada

      My cat goes nuts for the feather on the stick type toys. He likes the iPad too...but I prefer it when he sticks to his own stuff. :)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      My cat Cloe's favorite toy is little spongy balls, and little critter catnip toys. She loves boxes, and paper bags too. She'll crawl into any box no matter how large, or small it is. Buzz and Lulu are adorable!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Mine love mice and toy ones as well ! I bought them a toy bird with feathers it didn't last very long.

    • Anthony Altorenna profile image

      Anthony Altorenna 

      6 years ago from Connecticut

      Out cat will chase the laser light for hours. Her other favorite toy is our wood door moldings....

    • jolou profile image


      6 years ago

      Roxy loves her mice. Lulu and Buzz are adorable.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      A small cloth turtle filled with catnip.

    • flycatcherrr profile image


      6 years ago

      Balls of scrunched-up foil, and mousies. :)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      Mousies are popular here.


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