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25 Free DIY Cat Toys You Can Make at Home (With Pictures)

kitten is playing with a ball_Chendongshan_shutterstock
Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Christian Adams
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Cats seem to have a way of losing or destroying their toys during an intense game of fetch or chase. Replenishing their toys regularly can become exhaustive and expensive. Rather than having to purchase often over-priced items, it might be more beneficial to you, your cat, and your bank account to get creative and build your own! You might be surprised how much more you can get out of your cat toys when you spend some time building one they truly love.

Now, coming up with steller ideas is the hard part, so we’ve gathered our favorite DIY cat toys and listed them in an easy guide for you to use. Learning how to make cat toys is easier than ever. Each has its own step by step instructions to ensure you end up with a spot on toy every time!

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Top 25 DIY Cat Toys

1. Crinkle Pompom Cat Toy by Dream a Little Bigger

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Dreamalittlebigger

The simplicity of this toy is not only an easy build for you, but is full of enticing qualities your cat will love. A crinkle texture and sound, it’s light weight so they are able to bat them around, and can be created in bright colors to keep them intrigued.  


2. Catnip Kicker by Nifty Thrifty DIYer

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Niftythriftydiyer

If you have a frisky kitty – this catnip cat kicker is a feline favorite! It’s large enough they can get a full grip and let their legs run wild, yet small enough they can still easily toss it around.


3. Mouse Plush Toy by Rhythms of Play

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Rhythmsofplay

Although you need a needle and thread to create this toy, it’s simple enough for beginner sewers. The effort will be well worth it once you see how much your cat appreciates it!


4. Mega Cat Toy Puzzle by Cat Lessons

Start saving your toilet paper rolls immediately! This toy calls for quite a few but creates an interesting brain game your cat is sure to enjoy.  


5. The Two Minute Cat Toy by Thrifty Jinxy

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Thriftyjinxy

This two-minute toy might be just as easy to destroy as it was to build, but with an eco-friendly, recyclable base and taking next to no time to create, it really is a win win. Your cat will feel accomplished after winning the battle with this one!  


6. No Sew Cat Toy by Sensibly Sara

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Sensiblysara

No sew toys are the ultimate game changer when it comes to creating your own cat toys and this one is no exception. You can leave this plushy ball on the string to keep it interactive or cut it free so your feline can chase it freely.  


7. DIY Cat Tunnel by Cat Toy Lady

Cat tunnels are a great way to play hide and seek with your cat. Save yourself a ton by building your own 


8. DIY Stringed Feather Cat Toy by Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Scatteredthoughtsofacraftymom

String toys are the heart and soul of cat toys! They allow you to bond with your cat while ensuring they get just enough exercise to eliminate those late-night zoomies!  


9. Cheap & Easy Cork Cat Toy by The Links Site

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Thelinkssite

If you love wine just as much as you love your kitty, chance are you have a few corks kicking around. Refurbish your leftover corks into spongey toys your cat won’t be able to resist!  


10. Refillable Catnip Toys by Finding Our Frugal

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Findingourfrugal

As we stated, longevity in a cat toy is rare. But with this idea, we are hopeful that you will get a bit more wear from this refillable toy 


11. Cat Toy Ribbon Wand Tutorial by Pop Shop America

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Popshopamerica

Wands and ribbon are an intriguing combination for a cat. Moving mysteriously, taunting them. Build your own for a fraction of the cost of their store-bought counterpart.


12. DIY Macaroon Cat Toys by Club Crafted

DIY cat toy
Image Credit; Clubcrafted

Again, this toy combines our love for sweet treats with a light and fluffy toy our felines adore. Make them in various sizes to keep your kitty on her toes!  


13. Cat Ribbon Play Gym by Charleston Crafted

DIY cat toy
Image Credit: Charlestoncrafted

A stationary ribbon gym is the perfect cat toy for those who like to keep their kitties entertained while they are away. Add a little airflow in your home and your cat won’t even notice that you’re gone.  


14. Cat Toy Puff by Petcube

This list wouldn’t be complete without a yarn toy. It’s an age-old pairing, cats and yarn – and the best part is it’s incredibly simple and inexpensive to create.


15. Toilet Paper Tube Cat Toy by Pet Helpful

DIY Toilet Paper Tube Cat Toy
Image Credit: pethelpful

This toilet paper tube tutorial is one of the easiest homemade cat toys you can find. It can be made in several minutes using only an empty toilet paper roll and some scissors. Your cats will adore playing with this simple paper tube, and you will save plenty of money and time on expensive cat toys.


16. DIY Treat Toy Puzzle by Hachette Book Group

DIY Treat Toy Puzzle
Image Credit: hachettebookgroup

Another amazing way to upcycle an empty toilet paper roll is to create a toy puzzle that will engage your cat for hours, especially once you add some treats to it. This toy is not only easy to make but will provide amazing mental stimulation for your cat.


17. Mice and Fish Upcycled Toy by Swoodson Says

DIY Mice and Fish Upcycled Toy
Image Credit: swoodsonsays

If you’ve got some old clothing you’d like to get rid of, here’s a fantastic opportunity to do so while giving them a new purpose! You can successfully upcycle your old jeans or T-shirt into a cute cat toy by crafting this mouse and fish upcycled toy.


18. Catnip Mouse Cat Toy by The Spruce Crafts

DIY Catnip Mouse Cat Toy
Image Credit: thesprucecrafts

For this catnip mouse cat toy, you may need to acquire some more materials beforehand, but the end result is absolutely adorable. Your cat will adore running after a miniature felt mouse that will smell like its favorite herb.


19. Sensory Playground for Cats by HGTV

DIY Sensory Playground for Cats
Image Credit: hgtv

One amazing way to incorporate playtime with plenty of mental and physical stimulation is to create this sensory playground that your cats will love. While it may take some time and plenty of materials, it will include all of your cat’s favorite toys, including a scratching post and a comfy lounge spot.


20. Cat Grass Pond by Chirpy Cats

DIY Cat Grass Pond
Image Credit: chirpycats

A cat grass pond is a truly unique form of cat entertainment because it provides a toy, a hydration station, and mental stimulation all at once. It is an amazing way to provide your cat with plenty of water throughout the day while keeping them entertained and amused.


21. DIY Cat Wand by Irresistible Pets

DIY Cat Wand
Image Credit: irresistiblepets

Another easy-to-make cat toy that will give you fun playtime with your cat is this DIY cat wand. Teasing your cat with a wand is incredibly amusing as you watch its adorable, playful nature come out. Crafting it is effortless with a few basic materials, and you can customize the wand with the things you already have in the house.


22. DIY Cardboard Cat Play Box by Charleston Crafted

DIY Cardboard Cat Play Box
Image Credit: charlestoncrafted

Here’s another charming tutorial for a cat play box. It is easy and enjoyable to make, and your cat will go wild for the toys the box will include. It can be a special nook where your cat can hide to play on its own.


23. Fishing Pole Cat Toy by Lia Griffith

DIY Fishing Pole Cat Toy
Image Credit: liagriffith

A fishing pole cat toy is an excellent way to keep your kitten amused, with a few simple materials you probably already have at home. It is an adorable toy that will create a stronger bond between you and your cat, giving you hours of enjoyable moments.


24. Felt Sushi Cat Toy by Lia Griffith

DIY Felt Sushi Cat Toy
Image Credit: liagriffith

As we all know, cats are the biggest fans of fish so any fish-themed toy will be a treat for your kitten. Here’s another adorable toy you can surprise your cat with. This cute sushi cat toy is made with a soft felt material that will be pleasant for your kitten to rub against and chew on, while it can be filled with catnip to make it even more enjoyable.


25. DIY Pompom Cat Tail by Henry Le

This DIY pompom cat tail is gorgeous as both a cat toy and a keychain. It is fun and easy to make, and you can even include your children in the crafting project. The colors you choose can resemble your cat’s tail, and because of their fun appearance, the cat will adore playing with it.

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Wrapping Up

There you have it – a list of DIY cat toys sure to help with your monthly pet spending all while enriching your furbabies life! We hope that you have enjoyed learning how to build cat toys. Hopefully, you found one gadget that you both love and will continue to create on your own!

Looking for more fabulous cat posts? Check out:


Feature Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

About the Author

Christian Adams
Christian Adams
Christian is the Editor-in-Chief of Excited Cats and one of its original and primary contributors. A lifelong cat lover, now based in South East Asia, Christian and his wife are the proud parents of an 11-year-old son and four rescue cats: Trixie, Chloe, Sparky, and Chopper.

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