How to Make Homemade DIY Cat Toys – Ideas And Guides 2024

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DIY cat toys

How many cat toys has your cat gone through? Some cats can play a little rough with their toys.

And these toys aren’t cheap! Still, cats need fun toys. They provide mental stimulation and let Kitty exercise her hunting instincts.

Playing with your cat is also a great way to bond with her. Perhaps you’d like to get a little crafty and make DIY cat toys for cats. If your cat roughs these toys up a little you can easily fix it or make a new one. For people with the DIY spirit, DIY cat toys can be as much fun to make as they are to play with!

Homemade DIY cat toys

1. The Basic DIY Yarn Ball – Catnip Toy!

image of a yarn ball

Every cat loves to play with yarn! But, it tangles up and makes such a mess. Here’s a twist on the most basic of cat toys. You can keep Kitty’s yarn ball from falling apart by wrapping it around a glue covered Styrofoam core.

You can even start by gluing some catnip to the Styrofoam core just to make it a bit more enticing for the cat. This video will show you how to make a cat toy.

2. Recycled DIY Cat Toy With Toilet Paper Rolls

How to Make Homemade DIY Cat Toys - Ideas And Guides [year] 1

When you’re done with a toilet paper roll, you can cut toilet paper rolls crosswise like a jelly roll and use the strips to make little hollow balls for your cat to swat around. They are very lightweight and so may go flying across the room with one good swat form your cat.

Kittens might get more enjoyment out of it than big cats who would make short work of something so flimsy. While flimsy, it is cheap and a good example of easy DIY cat toys. Here’s a video to show you how to do it.

3. DIY String and Feather Cat Toy

image of young black kitten in front of white background

You may have seen those little fishing pole cat toys. With a little patience and a lot of glue you can make your own in whatever colors you want. This craft is a little more involved than some of the others but you may enjoy it. Your cat certainly will. This video shows how it’s done.

There are many options when it comes to the string and feather toys for your feline and you can read more about the commercially available options in our guide where we reviewed the best cat toys for felines.

4. Beat-A-Badger Fun Toys

Whack-A-Mole is trademarked by Bob's Space Racers. You can call it Beat-A-Badger or Splat-A-Rat or Smack-A-Shrew. The cat toy can be made out of the box twelve packs of soda (or beer, no one’s judging you) come in.

The game does require a little interaction from you, but that makes it fun! If the string on your string and feather toy breaks you can use it here. Here’s a video to show you how to do it.

5. Sock It To Me Time!

image of socks

You can use old socks to make easy DIY cat toys for your cats but the trick is not to have it look like a sock when you’re done. Otherwise, you may quickly find all your new socks are starting to look like old socks! Stuff them with plastic bags to make an odd crinkling sound that gets Kitty’s attention. This tutorial will show you how it’s done.

6. DIY Cardboard Cat Castle

image of cats and box

If you love to make cat toys, here’s one you can get the kids involved with. You’ll have to do the cutting yourself, of course. Hot glue is also something only adults should handle. However, your kids will love decorating this cardboard box castle with non-toxic markers and paint. Cat toys for kids? Well, the kids can help sometimes.

This video can show you one way to do it, but I’d recommend measuring the connecting holes to make sure they match up or use the same tracing template. A coffee can should do the trick.

7. DIY Recycled Rodent Cat Toy

image of a kitty playing with a mouse toy

A stencil with graduated circles can also be helpful in constructing this cardboard mouse made from a cardboard box. It looks like it would be tricky, but it is really as easy as stringing beads. Watch this video to see how to do it. Cardboard is usually used with scratching post because cats love it and it entices the cats to scratch these toys.

8. Pipe Cleaner Ball

How to Make Homemade DIY Cat Toys - Ideas And Guides [year] 2

This is a little involved, but it’s better than having Kitty think your hands are good clawing toys. Take three long pipe cleaners of three different colors. Twist the three together as if you were going to braid them.

The technique is somewhat like braiding but more like weaving. The result will be a tightly woven sphere of pipe cleaners than even the roughest felines will have trouble demolishing. This video will show you how it’s done.

9. Have a Nice Day, Kitty!

image of emoji faces cat toys

You will appreciate the fact that this tutorial comes with free printouts so you’ll have a pattern to make these cute little emoji faces for your cat to play with. Don’t forget to smile and put on a happy face!

10. Corduroy Critters DIY cat toys

image of a diy toy mouse

Here’s another tutorial that comes with free patterns you can print out. Because these DIY cat toys will be taking a lot of abuse from your feline friend claws it is recommended that you use fabrics often reserved for menswear such as cotton suiting, wool shirting, cotton velvet or corduroy. It’s a good thing!

11. Easy Breezy DIY Cardboard Pom-Pom Maker

image of pom poms

Does your cat like fluffy yarn pom-poms? This tutorial will show you how to make the tool you need to make pom-poms. You can cut the strings and use them as customary decorations for your clown costume or Tinkerbell cosplay or you can keep the strings at the end long and make it a pom poms cat toy you can swing around.

12. It’s Not A Pup Tent…

image of a tent

It’s a cat tent! Never call it a cat house. That’s an old-fashioned way to refer to a home for women of negotiable virtue. This dome tent can be made out of wire coat hangers and a tee shirt.

This video will tell you all you need to get and how to put it all together for your furry friend.

13. Bow Tie DIY cat toys

image of the Bow Tie Toys

Let’s say you have some shirts lying around, want to make toys for your cat, but she’s claustrophobic and wouldn’t enjoy the tent. You can make these cute little bow tie shaped easy DIY cat toys!

You cut the shirts into strips, tie them in a knot and you will have a neat throwing toy for your cat. Here’s a tutorial that will show you how it’s done.

14. Oblecto Felinae

If Hermione Granger ever wanted a spell to entertain Crookshanks “Oblecto Felinae” would be her command word. Or, she’d just make a craft that even a Muggle could do. (Or a witch who admits to being bad at knitting, but is willing to try.)

It’s a dowel rather than a wand, but if you glue on some tassels, felt feathers and jingle bells you can make magic of a different sort with your cat.

15. Ping-Pong Ball Water Bowl

image of ping-pong balls

This is a simple game. Just put two ping-pong balls in a shallow bowl full of water. Your cat will find this intriguing and will swat the balls around. Some cats will suck on a paw that gets wet so this toy may very well increase his or her water intake as well.

16. DIY Back Cat Scratcher

image of a toilet scrubber

There was a Garfield Christmas special where Odie stuck together some odd objects to make a scratching station for Garfield. He showed quite a bit of ingenuity for a dog usually known for being something of a dimwit.

You can show your ingenuity by using two (new!) toilet scrubbers to make something for Kitty to scratch itches and groom her hard to reach places with. This video will show you how.

17. Ice (Tray) Cat Fishing

image of a ice Tray

Perhaps you would rather not invest in a fancy stationary foraging board until you’re sure your cat would like one. Maybe start out with an old ice cube tray. Just put a few kitty treats or some bits of food in the little wells and see how long it takes your flat faced feline furry friend to figure out how to fish for food.

18. DIY Cork Birdies

image of Cork

Do you have some cork stoppers from a bottle (or a dozen) of wine lying around? You can glue feathers or other decorations to a cork to make a cat toy. To make it even more enticing for your cat, you can infuse this absorbent wood with the smell of catnip. This video will show you how.

19. Fortune Cookie Toy

There’s a little fortune cookie wisdom for your cat. If you have some talent for sewing, maybe you can make one of these little felt fortune cookies to bat around for your furry friend.

It’s as simple as folding a circle in half. This tutorial will show you how these easy DIY cat toys are done.

20. Homespun DIY Kitty Rattle

image of a plastic bottle

It isn’t just a rattle. It’s also a DIY treat dispenser. You take an empty plastic bottle, put in a handful of treats and cut a couple of holes just big enough for one of the treats to fit through. Fasten the lid on lightly and roll it out in front of Kitty.

The more she bats it around, the more likely a treat will fall out of one of the holes like a cat puzzle. Watch as these two kitties just can’t get enough of it!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make my cat playful?

You can make your cat playful by experimenting and trying to figure out the cause of her lack of playfulness. If your normally playful cat doesn’t want to play, you may have to take a trip to the vet. Lazy cats that have packed on too many pounds need exercise and former strays need to learn to socialize.

You may have to experiment. Some cats like different kinds of toys. Maybe your cat needs a playmate. Many cats want their hunting instincts stoked. Or maybe your cat would like a cat tree. Experiment to see what works.

A cat toy that dispenses treats can entice your cat to play more and engage her mind. If your intention is weight reduction you may want to use low calorie treats. Keep at it, you’ll find something that works.

Why does my cat bring me toys?

Your cat brings you toys because she may think you’re not a good hunter and need to be shown how to do it properly. It’s a lot less gruesome than when some cats bring in stunned mice and broken birds. Or maybe she wants you to play with her. She’s figured out that her rubber mouse only bounces across the room if someone throws it and she wants you to do it.

Or maybe she just wants to show off how good she is at toy gathering. In any case, if a cat brings you her toys, it means she considers you part of her social circle.

DIY cat toys

What can you stuff cat toys with?

You can stuff your DIY cat toys with Fiberfill which works for homemade stuffed toys, whether they’re for children, pets or decoration. It’s soft yet just firm enough to hold shape, depending on how densely you pack it. Cats like the sounds packing peanuts make, but be careful that your cat doesn’t swallow one.

Tiny beads, such as the kind Beanie Babies are filled with, can mean a traumatic vet visit. You can entice your cat to play more with a toy by filling it with a bit of catnip.

Can a cat have too many toys?

Cat can not have too many toys, just make sure that not only does kitty have lots of toys but a variety of toys. You can add to this variety by switching out and rotating toys. This way, old toys will feel like new and she will never tire of them. A cat owner must make sure she also has things to climb like a cat tree, a scratching post and places to hide.

How to clean cat toys?

You can clean cat toys by machine washing or if they are not that filthy they may need just a little spot cleaning. Use your best judgment. You don’t want feathers coming off in the wash and washing cardboard is like washing sugar cubes. Cool or warm water is best. Let them air dry.

Even catnip infused toys will be fine with a little washing. Just rub them up when dry to reactivate the oils. If the smell does fade, just dust a little more on it.

Do cats eat toys?

Cats do not eat toys but small toys always carry a swallowing risk. Make sure all toys, whether bought or homemade, are the right size for your cat. Swallowing a toy can cause blockage in your cat’s system and you don’t want that.

Has Kitty been eating other odd things? It could be pica. Pica is often stress related but it can also be a symptom of diabetes, FIV or anemia. Take Kitty to the vet to identify the cause of the problem.


DIY cat toys

Making your own cat toys is not only a creative and enjoyable activity but also a wonderful way to provide your feline friend with hours of entertainment and mental stimulation. By using common household items and a dash of imagination, you can craft toys that are safe, cost-effective, and tailored to your cat's preferences.

Remember to prioritize your cat's safety by avoiding small, easily ingested parts and using non-toxic materials. Be observant of your cat's interactions with the toys, as their preferences may change over time.

By engaging in DIY cat toy crafting, you not only save money but also foster a deeper bond with your beloved pet. Plus, the satisfaction of watching your cat pounce, play, and purr with joy thanks to your homemade creations is a rewarding experience for any cat owner. So, get creative, have fun, and keep your cat's playtime exciting with your homemade treasures!

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