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Make Homemade Cat Toys from Pipe Cleaners

Updated on December 20, 2015
Cat helping me craft with the pipe cleaners
Cat helping me craft with the pipe cleaners | Source

It's Simple and Fun

Do your cats love toys? Do you love cheap and easy ones you can make? Then check out this homemade cat toy you can make in minutes from cheap little pipe cleaners you probably have lying around from other crafts.

This DIY cat toy is so simple, kids can do it, and will want to since they love having fun with pets. It would be a wonderful project for Girl Scouts wanting to help animal shelters as well.

Start with Two Pipe Cleaners

All you need to start this kitty craft is a pair of pipe cleaners.

Place the two pipe cleaners in an X shape on a flat surface.

Two Pipe Cleaners in an X Shape

Twist Pipe Cleaners Together
Twist Pipe Cleaners Together

Twist the Pipe Cleaners Together

Just center the middle of one pipe cleaner over the center of the other pipe cleaner then twist them together where they touch.

Twist One Pipe Cleaner Around the Other

Twist Pipe Cleaners Together
Twist Pipe Cleaners Together

Bind the Pipe Cleaners to Each Other

Twist one pipe cleaner in the middle around the middle of the other pipe cleaner. One loop around should be enough. It should now look like they are clinging to one another.

Now twist the second pipe cleaner around the first, making them both twisted around each other. The double twist will keep them from coming apart. Again, one loop should be enough.

This will keep them securely together at that point.

Twist Other Pipe Cleaner Around the First

Twisting Pipe Cleaners Together for Craft
Twisting Pipe Cleaners Together for Craft

Twist the Ends Together

Take both ends of one of the pipe cleaners (it doesn't matter which) and twist those ends together.

This will leave the toy with one full loop attached to one straight pipe cleaner.

Twist Loose Ends of One Pipe Cleaner Together

Bending Pipe Cleaner Ends Around
Bending Pipe Cleaner Ends Around

Smooth End Tips

After you made the loop out of the first pipe cleaner you may have the little ends sticking up, twist them down and around the pipe cleaner as tightly as possible so that they aren't dangerous and the area is relatively smooth.

This will make the pipe cleaner look at first glance as though it is one complete circle.

Twist Tips Fully Around So They Don't Stick Up

Twist Pipe Cleaner Ends Around
Twist Pipe Cleaner Ends Around

Bring Another End to Meet

Now take one of the ends of the flat pipe cleaner and bring it up to meet where you just twisted the first pipe cleaner into a loop. At that seam, twist the free end onto the first pipe cleaner to make another half loop.

Wrap Loose End of Other Pipe Cleaner Around the Seam

DIY Cat Toy Pipe Cleaner Craft
DIY Cat Toy Pipe Cleaner Craft

Make a Complete Ball

Now take the last free pipe cleaner end and twist that into the place where all the other ends meet. Make sure it's twisted tightly and securely.

Wrap Final Loose End Around Seam and Shape into Ball

DIY Cat Toy from Pipe Cleaners
DIY Cat Toy from Pipe Cleaners

Finishing Touches

Make sure all loose ends are as tightly twisted as possible. Then, form the loops into a more rounded shape. The toy should look like a little ball now.

Toss the toy to your cats. It'll bounce and skitter across the floor, leading to chase fun.

Some of my cats like to carry it around and then drop it to play with it again. All love the light, bounciness of the toy.

This toy should only be used under supervision and removed if your cat starts really chewing on it.

Always keep your pets safe.

Butte Playing with Cat Toy

Cat Playing with Homemade Cat Toy
Cat Playing with Homemade Cat Toy | Source

Yuba Batting the Toy Around

Maine Coon Playing with Homemade Cat Toy
Maine Coon Playing with Homemade Cat Toy | Source

Jerry Falling to Sleep, Still Clutching His Toy

Kitteh Falling Asleep After Playing Hard
Kitteh Falling Asleep After Playing Hard | Source

Jerry Won't Even Let the Toy Go After Falling to Sleep

Kitty Having Fun with Crafted Toy
Kitty Having Fun with Crafted Toy | Source

Refresh the Toy Occasionally

If your cats tromp on the toy too much just reshape it. It's easy to do and the cats like the toy more when it's rounder since it will bounce around more.

Squeeze the Cat Toy Back Into Shape if it Gets Crushed

Collapsed Cat Toy
Collapsed Cat Toy

Twist Together More Pipe Cleaners

There are a lot of variations you make with this toy. This version is the simplest, most basic, but you can really mix things up.

Pipe cleaners are a perfect thing to experiment with since if something you try doesn't work, you can untwist them and try again.

One version I would suggest is to take more pipe cleaners and twist together into the ball shape. To do so, when you start with two pipe cleaners in an X, add a few more crossing the center point. Then just continue on, twisting together at the central point and then bringing all the ends together. This will make a heavier, but sturdier ball.

Or just use one pipe cleaner and turn it into a spring shape.

There are all sorts of fun shapes you make from this flexible little craft basics.

Get More DIY Cat Toy Craft Ideas Now

Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving The Planet One Cat Toy At A Time
Make Your Own Cat Toys: Saving The Planet One Cat Toy At A Time

Get more ideas for homemade cat toys you can make by picking up this book. It's full of great ideas.

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Use Caution

This toy should only be used under supervision and removed if your cat starts really chewing on it. The little hairs that make up pipe cleaners can be dangerous is ingested.

Always keep your pets safe by providing toys only when you can watch them.

Another Idea for a Pipe Cleaner Cat Toy

Get the pipe cleaners you need for this cute kitty craft now

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    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      This reminds me of the pair of pipe cleaner glasses my granddaughter made for herself. Lol...she wore them every time she visited. Your cat sure looks like a sweetheart.

    • J - R - Fr13m9n profile image

      Jane Ramona Rynkiewicz Frieman 2 years ago from Morris County, New Jersey

      What a great idea! Do you have freecycle.com in the area where you live? Last year I found someone who was giving away all her craft items and moving out of state. In the past I had constructed two kitty fishing rods using items that would have been thrown away. I saved the wooden handles from two back scrubbers and I used long shoelaces, threaded the shoelaces through the wooden handles and was able to bring very energetic interest and activity for my two cats. Believe it or not, those kitty fishing rods are durable and last forever!

    • profile image

      loser from loserville 2 years ago

      I loved this, it was kind of hard at first but then I got it. spoiled kitty loves it.

    • Linda Robinson60 profile image

      Linda Robinson 16 months ago from Cicero, New York

      A very fun, interesting and ingenious, creative hub, so many excellent ideas. So nice meeting you Alisha. I look forward to following you. So nice meeting you. Hope that you will also stop by and visit mine, a huge animal lover myself. Talk to you again. Linda

    • profile image

      Anonmous 16 months ago

      This is a good idea, although cats or dogs or ANY animal is not allowed tinsel because it may lead to certain surgeries. (Some of you haven't noticed but the pipe cleaners here ARE tinsel.)

      While tinsel isn’t “poisonous” per se, it’s extremely dangerous to your dog or cat (particularly cats, as they are more curious!). If you own a cat, toss the tinsel (or anything stringy like yarn, cassette tape, ribbon, etc.)! What looks like a shiny toy to your cat can prove deadly if ingested. Tinsel can result in a severe linear foreign body if ingested. A linear foreign body occurs when your cat swallows something stringy which wraps around the base of the tongue or anchors itself in the stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines.

    • profile image

      Carissa Carter 2 months ago

      But tinsel and wire are dangerous for cats. They can choke on tinsel, it is metal and sticks to their throat. As for wire, yikes.

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