DIY cat toys are extremely simple to make – most of them only take a few minutes. Homemade cat toys will give your cat hours of fun, and you might also save some money in the process. If you have a kitty who likes to prowl around at night, a toy might just tire them out so you can get a good night’s sleep.
Looking for the best homemade cat toy ideas? Read on.
But First, A Very Important Note
Just about all cat toys, whether they’re DIY cat toys or bought in a store or online, can be a problem if you don’t supervise while your feline friend is playing with them. They could easily take a bite out of any kind of toy, and that could result in a choking hazard or some other type of issue.
Don’t let your cat play with toys unless you’re watching them. When they’re done, or when it’s time for you to go to bed for the night, put them in a safe, secure place well out of kitty’s reach.
What Types Of Toys Do Cats Like?
There are a lot of toys that cats simply can’t get enough of. Here’s a quick look at just a couple.
Toys That Promote Activity – Cats love to bat around balls, whether or not they have a bell inside. Ping-Pong balls are great, as are practice golf balls (the ones made of plastic). Just make sure you throw them away once it looks like your cat is starting to tear them up. If you really want your cat to have a blast, try putting three or four Ping-Pong balls in a dry bathtub.
Paper Bags (Without Handles) – Cats also love to pounce and stalk. A simple paper bag is a great way to help your kitty express their predatory instincts. Make sure you take out any handles to reduce the chances of choking. They’ll hide in the bags and pounce for hours. Just remember never to use plastic bags, because some cats may like to eat them.1
Some Of The More Brilliant Homemade Cat Toy Ideas
If you’d like to get a little more creative, you can make your own cat toys at home using some basic materials. Your little friend will absolutely love the final result. Cats might get bored with the typical mouse toy or scratching post – that won’t happen with these creations.
A Simple Toilet Paper Roll Toy
You can make a little treat puzzle out of toilet paper rolls – using just the cardboard toilet paper tube. This toy will not only provide mental stimulation, it’ll also provide a tasty reward once your curious feline figures it out.
All you need to do is to take several tubes and wedge them into a shoebox. Then, scatter some treats inside the rolls. Your cat will dig and dig (and dig) until they find the treats.2
Another DIY Treat Puzzle
Here’s another idea that will help promote your cat’s foraging instincts.
Get a shallow, cardboard box (the top part of a shoe box will work fine in a pinch) and some small plastic cups that are about the size of your cat’s paw. Cut holes in the box that are just large enough to hold the cups, and then sprinkle some treats in the cups. Your cat will use their paws to try and scoop up the treats.3
Making a Toy Out of Old T-Shirts
If you have some old t-shirts you don’t plan on wearing any longer, you can put them to use by making a DIY t-shirt cat toy. Here’s how to do it.
What You’ll Need
- A pair of scissors
- A cutting mat
- A rotary cutter (it would make things a lot easier, but it’s not necessary)
- A ruler
- Scissors (if you don’t have a rotary cutter)
How To Do It
- Cut the shirt up the sides.
- Cut rectangular pieces of the fabric (between 3-10 inches each).
- Pile the pieces on top of each other.
- Tie the pieces into a knot.
- Trim the edges.
This DIY project only takes a few minutes, and your cat will probably love batting their new toy all around your floors. If you don’t want to part with your old t-shirts, you can find some inexpensive ones at your local Goodwill or thrift store.4
A DIY Mouse Toy Made of Felt
So, now that you’ve mastered the easy toys, here’s one that’s going to take a little more effort. But if you’re willing to do it, you’ll have toys your cats can play with for a long time to come.
What You’ll Need
- Wool felt (for durability)
- Printable mouse shape pattern (you can easily find one online for free)
- Dried catnip
- Embroidery floss
- A needle
- Sewing clips (optional)
How To Do It
- Print out the mouse pattern (make sure you do so at 100 percent).
- Using the template on the pattern, cut the ears, side pieces, bottom piece, and tail from the felt. If you feel creative, use different colors of felt for the different pieces.
- Take the narrow end of one ear and fold it.
- Hold the ear near the nose end of the side piece.
- Stitch one vertical line across the fold.
- Take three strands of embroidery floss and backstitch. This will secure the ear to the side piece.
- Do the same thing with the other ear.
- Hold the two side pieces, making sure the wrong sides of both pieces face each other.
- Use a running stitch by sewing across the back. You’ll need three strands of floss to do this.
- Once you start getting close to the end of the running stitch, tuck the large portion of the tail between the layers and finish the stitch.
- Use another running stitch to fill the gaps across the back of the mouse.
- It’s now time to attach the bottom portion of the mouse. Place the bottom piece you cut out using the pattern inside the open area underneath the mouse.
- Match the front portion of that piece to the nose. Use needles or sewing clips to keep the piece in place.
- Start sewing from the nose toward the back of the mouse. Stop when you’re about an inch from the end on both sides.
- Put a small amount of stuffing inside the mouse.
- Add about a teaspoon of dried catnip.
- Add more stuffing.
- Finish sewing with one more running stitch.
- Use a strong knot to secure the thread.
As you can see, this will take some work. But the enjoyment your cat gets out of this toy, and the pride you’ll feel knowing you made it, will be worth it.5
Hours Of Fun With DIY Cat Toys
Are you ready to tackle one of these projects? Need something immediately? Grab an empty paper towel roll and a knee-length sock. Slide the cardboard roll into the sock, sprinkle in a little catnip, and knot the sock at the end. You’ve just made a great DIY catnip toy your furry friend will enjoy for hours. Have fun!