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13 DIY Cat Toys To Keep Them Busy That You Can Make At Home (With Pictures)

Written by: Jessica Kim

Last Updated on February 6, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

Cute persian cat playing toy

13 DIY Cat Toys To Keep Them Busy That You Can Make At Home (With Pictures)

Toys are an essential part of a cat’s life. They provide cats with enrichment and exercise, and they can help alleviate boredom and prevent engaging in destructive behaviors. Unfortunately, many cat owners can relate to their cats frequently losing toys as they bat them around or tear them with biting and clawing.

DIY cat toys are a great way to keep your cat entertained without spending too much money. You also don’t have to be a crafts expert to make some fun toys for your cat. Here are some DIY cat toys that you can make on your own today.

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The 13 DIY Cat Toys to Keep Them Busy

1. No-Sew Pom Poms by sensibly sara

No-Sew Pom Poms by sensibly sara
Image Credit: sensibly sara
Materials: Cotton string, fleece
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

This easy DIY no sew pom-pom toy only requires two items. All you have to do is make cuts along a strip of fleece, roll it up, and tie it with string. Once you get the hang of it, you can make multiple pom poms in a very short amount of time. These pom poms can also make quick and easy gifts for other cat lovers if you choose fleece with cute patterns and colorful string.

If your cat likes catnip, you can easily sprinkle some within the loops of the toy. A small bell can also be attached to the string for even more fun.


2. Toilet Paper Roll Treat Dispenser by caticles

Materials: Food mat, toilet paper rolls, egg carton
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY toilet paper roll toy is an excellent way to encourage your cat to sniff and forage for food. All it takes to make this toy is to cut up toilet paper or paper towel rolls in different shapes and lay them out on a food mat. The rolls can be cut in half, and you can also fray the edges.

Once your rolls are ready, they can be laid out on the mat, and you can hide treats in them. Stacking cardboard egg cartons and placing treats in between is an added challenge for curious kittens.


3. Feather Cat Wand by rspcaqld

Feather Cat Wand by rspcaqld
Image Credit: rspcaqld
Materials: Twine, feathers, felt, bells, wooden dowel rods
Tools: Tracing paper, glue gun, scissors, pencil, pins, iron
Difficulty Level: Easy

Cat wands can be some of the more expensive toys sold in stores, so this DIY cat wand plan can help you make multiple wands with affordable items. It does take some time to make each wand, but the process gets easier and faster once you’ve made a few.

A great thing about this DIY toy is that it’s very customizable. So, you can add more of your cat’s favorite items to it, like pom poms, yarn, and strips of cardboard.


4. Cardboard Food Puzzle by modern cat

Cardboard Food Puzzle by modern cat
Image Credit: modern cat
Materials: Cardboard box, toys, treats
Tools: Scissors, pencil
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This cardboard food puzzle toy is another excellent enrichment activity for cats. You can use a shoebox, soda can box, or any other cardboard box that you don’t mind cutting up. Once you have a box, you can start drawing circles and cutting them out. The holes can be the same size or varying sizes.

Once all the holes are cut out, you can place treats or ball toys inside for your cat to bat around or fish out.


5. Wine Cork Toy by the links site

Wine Cork Toy by the links site
Image Credit: the links site
Materials: Wine cork, yarn
Tools: Nail, hammer, pliers, darning needle
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY wine cork toy is another great option that uses recycled materials. It is an especially appealing project for knitters because you can use yarn scraps. All you have to do is take a wine cork and drive a nail from one end to the other. Then, you’ll use a darning needle to slip yarn through the hole. The toy is ready to play with once you have secured knots on the ends.

You can tie extra yarn to the ends to create tassels. If you want the toy to be more interactive, you can make one end of the yarn longer and use the toy like a cat wand.


6. Junk Food Cat Toy by a beautiful mess

Junk Food Cat Toy by a beautiful mess
Image Credit: a beautiful mess
Materials: Felt, embroidery thread, catnip
Tools: Yarn needle, fabric scissors
Difficulty Level: Moderate

You can make these cute felt cat toys if you know basic sewing. You can use the plan instructions for design inspiration or create your food designs. If your cat enjoys catnip, you can stuff the toys with dried catnip before sewing the layers together.

It does take some time to make these toys, but they do tend to last longer than most DIY cat toys as long as you sew the ends securely.


7. T-Shirt Cat Toy by muslin and merlot

T-Shirt Cat Toy by muslin and merlot
Image Credit: muslin and merlot
Materials: T-shirts
Tools: Fabric scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

These t-shirt cat toys are a super quick and easy way to upcycle t-shirts and create fun toys for your cat. Once you cut strips of t-shirt fabrics, you’ll stack them together and tie them in a knot. If you have a wide selection of t-shirts, you can mix and match colors to create toys with fun patterns. For added fun, catnip can be stuffed inside the knot before securing it.


8. Cat Scratching Post by dream a little bigger

Cat Scratching Post by dream a little bigger
Image Credit: dream a little bigger
Materials: Sisal rope, rug, wood glue, post cap, wood screws, wire nails
Tools: Hammer, circular saw, speed square, utility knife, miter saw, drill
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Scratching posts can get expensive, so you can try this DIY scratching post project if you want to save on costs. It does take some time to assemble the post and wrap the sisal rope around it. However, it’s a great way to create cat furniture that matches your own.

You can get creative with this project by choosing your carpet pattern and the sisal rope color. The length of the post can also be adjusted to fit your cat’s height perfectly.


9. Sock Fish Cat Toy by kitty clysm

Sock Fish Cat Toy by kitty clysm
Image Credit: kitty clysm
Materials: Socks, paper, stuffing, catnip, embroidery thread
Tools: Embroidery needle
Difficulty Level: Easy

This sock fish cat toy is another great upcycling project, and it’s easy to complete. You can use any sock you have lying around, so it’s a great way to use socks that are missing their pairs.

The socks can be stuffed with any kind of stuffing. You can stuff them with paper if your cat likes crinkly textures, or you can just stuff the sock with another sock if you don’t have any other materials.

Your cat can start playing with this toy as soon as you tie the knot, or you can use embroidery thread to sew on eyes for an added touch of cuteness.


10. Cardboard Cat Playhouse by martha stewart

Cardboard Cat Playhouse by martha stewart
Image Credit: martha stewart
Materials: Two cardboard boxes
Tools: Scissors, hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Easy

Many cats enjoy cardboard boxes, so if you have a couple lying around, you can easily make this cute cat playhouse. This simple project involves gluing two cardboard boxes on top of each other. Then, you just have to cut out windows, an entrance, and an opening for your cat to reach the second floor. If your cat prefers more privacy, you can reduce the number of windows you cut out from the box.


11. Felt Mouse Cat Toy by lia griffith

Felt Mouse Cat Toy by lia griffith
Image Credit: lia griffith
Materials: Felt, embroidery thread, stuffing, twine, catnip
Tools: Scissors, embroidery needle
Difficulty Level: Easy

These cute felt mouse toys are pretty quick and easy to make for beginner sewers. It comes with printable instructions and stencils, so you can quickly assemble and sew the pieces together. It’ll be helpful to have a stuffing tool at hand because these toys are small, and it can be challenging to get the stuffing inside them.

You can create many mouse toys with different color felt, and once you get the hang of it, you can easily give them as gifts to other cat owners.


12. Cattail Catnip Toy by sew 4 home

Cattail Catnip Toy by sew 4 home
Image Credit: sew 4 home
Materials: Fabric, thread, stuffing, catnip
Tools: Sewing machine, scissors, straight pins
Difficulty Level: Easy

These cattail toys are especially entertaining for cats that love catnip. You can make them as long as you want to, so your cat can grip them with all four paws and roll around as they smell the catnip.

While the instructions call for a sewing machine, you could get by with sewing by hand if you don’t have one. It’ll take some time, but your cat will love pouncing on this toy and batting it around.


13. Cat Play Gym by charleston crafted

Cat Play Gym by charleston crafted
Image Credit: charleston crafted
Materials: Plywood, wooden dowels, rope, ribbons
Tools: Drill, scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

This DIY cat play gym provides a good framework for building a basic A-frame. Once you get the basic structure made, you can hang any kind of toy your cat likes, including ribbons, feathers, and bells. Once your cat’s done playing with it, you can easily fold it and store it away.

If you don’t have the tools to create your own A-frame, you can find similar structures, like ladders. Just make sure to secure the dowel with strong tape so that it doesn’t slip off.

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Conclusion

DIY cat toys can help you save money and give your cat an endless supply of fun and entertainment. They may take some extra time to make, but the effort is worth it when you see your cat enjoying all your unique creations. So, get in touch with your creative side and see what kinds of fun toys you can make for your precious cat.


Featured Image Credit: ANURAK PONGPATIMET, Shutterstock

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