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8 DIY Catnip Toys You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Written by: Brooke Billingsley

Last Updated on April 10, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat playing catnip toy

8 DIY Catnip Toys You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Suppose you want a new toy for your cat but can’t access the pet store. You can create various stunning DIY pet toys using the basic supplies you may already have in your home. Every modern cat owner understands that catnip is a hit with cats. Catnip’s aromatic oils charm cats, and that’s a fact.

Catnip toys are perfect for kitties since they are crazy about catnip. There’s a reason why felines love catnip, and there are plenty of cool ways to make your kitty enjoy the substance. Check them out below.

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The 8 DIY Catnip Toy Ideas

1. DIY Catnip Sock Toy by Honest and Truly

DIY catnip toy
Photo Credit: Honestandtruly

If you have lots of worn-out or mismatched socks and have been searching for their purposes, catnip toys are perfect for it. If they have some color and fabulous patterns, that’s even better!

DIY catnip toys made from socks are straightforward and may or may not require sewing skills. You only need a chunk of polyfill and catnip. Spread the polyfill and sprinkle about a teaspoon of catnip over the polyfill. You can stuff a tiny bell in the sock, too, for an added effect.

You may need to fold up the polyfill to absorb the catnip and get into your toy securely and more quickly. After stuffing it in the sock, fold the opening if you lack sewing capabilities, or close it up with a needle and thread. Either way, it takes minutes, and your kitty will surely love it!

2. Refillable Catnip Toy by Finding Our Frugal

DIY catnip toy
Photo Credit: Findingourfrugal

Instead of buying a pre-refilled catnip toy, make a refillable catnip toy for your cat to enjoy over and over. Since catnip loses its effectiveness over time, refillable toys allow you to replace the overstayed substance with fresh, organic catnip.

Ensure you have fabric, Velcro, stuffing, a pouch, a zipper, sewing skills, and, of course, sufficient love for your kitty if you want to DIY a refillable catnip toy.

3. Crocheted Catnip Toy by To Craft at Home

DIY catnip toy
Photo Credit: Tocraftahome

If you have knitting skills, you understand the thrill of making colorful toys full of character. You can embrace your crotchet skills and knit yarn around a ball of catnip in a sealed pouch and create any toy design you want.

The most common crocheted catnip toy designs include feathered chicks, simple balls, or mice, but you can create any other adorable creature if you have the skills.

4. DIY Bunny Catnip Toy by FaveCrafts

DIY catnip toy
Image Credit: Dreamalittlebigger

Cats are natural predators and often prey on bunnies. However, there’s a way to accustom your feline friend to bunnies so that they can learn not to chase rabbits. You can make them bunny catnip toys.

This crafty toy is even more helpful if you bring a bunny pet to your house or polish your embroidery skills. You may need a fabric marker to mark the eyes and nose, sharp scissors, freezer paper to iron patterns on, acrylic felt, and embroidery floss.

5. Mice Catnip Toy by Martha Stewart

DIY catnip toy
Image Credit: Marthastewart

Not only are DIY mice catnip toys cheaper, but they also feel like a lot more personal gifts to your feline friend. Mice catnip toys may take a bit of effort and skills but will be a much-appreciated gift and a worthy leisure time engagement.

The items you need to make the toy can be found at home and should cost you almost nothing.  You may need an old T-shirt, paper, a pencil for drawing out the mouse pattern, scissors, stuffing, needle and thread, something like twine for the tail, and, of course, catnip. If your toy mouse has eyes, ears, and a tail, you’re all done! Now, allow your cat to go on an endless catnip-mouse hunting spree.

6. Cattail Catnip Toy by Sew4Home

DIY catnip toy
Image Credit: Sew4home

This cattail catnip toy is the perfect option for a sewing novice because it only requires a single seam to be sewn. The instructions call for a sewing machine, but you could also sew this toy by hand. You can select any fabric of your choice to make it, but it’s a good idea to invest in slightly heavier fabric intended for home décor or upholstery. This will ensure the toy lasts longer.

Be ready to spend a little bit of time making this cattail toy. There are multiple supplies and steps, but it’s not too difficult for the average DIYer to create. It’s recommended to store the toy in a Ziploc bag between play sessions to keep the catnip inside of it fresh.

7. DIY Tree Stump Scratch Pad by Buzzfeed

DIY catnip toy
Image Credit: Buzzfeed

Scratching is more than a habit that cats have. It’s necessary to maintain their health and well-being. It keeps the claws sharp and healthy, stretches the feet, relieves stress, and provides your cat with stretching and movement of the entire body.

This DIY tree stump scratch pad brings something as simple as a scratch pad and elevates it to an attractive piece of home décor. So, where does the catnip come in? You can sprinkle it over the pad to attract your cat and keep them interested.

If you’re a big online shopper, you probably have cardboard boxes building up all over the house. This project is an excellent way to upcycle the cardboard boxes. Avoid using cardboard with plastic coating, and remove the tape and shipping labels from the boxes you use.

8. DIY Catscraper by Shelterness

DIY catnip toy
Image Credit: Shelterness

Did we mention that scratching is good for cats? This DIY catscraper allows your cat to scratch as well as climb. You can make this project as big or as small as you’d like, and it’s perfectly customizable to your available space. Just make sure to make it extra sturdy if you make it tall. The last thing you want is your DIY project collapsing underneath your cat, even if they will probably land on their feet.

This design can use sturdy cardboard shipping boxes you already have around the house. You can upcycle the boxes, getting them out of your way and providing them with new life.

Once the pieces are cut out, this project will take you very little time to assemble, and it’ll be easy enough that you’ll be able to get it done in front of the TV. Just sprinkle catnip over it to attract your cat. yarn ball divider

What Is Catnip?

Catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, is a perennial herb and a mint family member responsible for creating euphoric effects in cats. The herb has nepetalactone, which is an essential oil that induces happiness. It produces a sense of euphoria similar to a hallucinogenic drug in humans.

Catnip acts like a feline’s sex hormones, making cats mimic a queen cat’s behavior in heat. When a cat sniffs catnip, it triggers the kitty’s “happy” receptors, turning them into a crazy furball.

Although the reactions vary from cat to cat, most display excessive affection, relaxation, and cheerfulness; they may start to lick, chew, roll, and rub before they eventually zone out.

Some cats may also become hyperactive or aggressive for some time, after which it wears off gradually.

Image Credit: Sonja-Kalee, Pixabay

How Long Do Catnip Effects Last?

Catnip’s effect usually lasts up to 10 minutes. Your pet may become susceptible to the catnip effect again after about 2 hours. However, only adult cats experience catnip’s happy effects since kittens do not react to it. The sensitivity doesn’t show up until a feline is 3 to 6 months old.

Health Benefits of Catnip

  • Boosts the Health of the Cat’s Digestive Tract – Apart from smelling, cats can also eat catnip. Ingested catnip has anti-diarrheal properties that may be helpful for a cat’s digestive system.
  • Encourages Activity – You can use catnip to enrich your cat’s routine, especially if they’re lazy, as catnip encourages play and movement in cats.
  • Reduce Anxiety – The catnip’s relaxing effect helps reduce stress in anxious cats, especially if they are in unfamiliar settings.

Side Effects of Catnips

  • Catnip Resistance – Overexposure might reduce the herb’s effect on your kitty.
  • Health Problems – Although overdosing on catnip is highly unlikely in felines, they can fall sick if they eat too much. Your feline friend may develop health problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and walking difficulties. Being mindful of when your kitty has had enough and administering a little at a time helps prevent overindulgence.

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The 3 Types of Catnips You Can Give Your Cat

1. Dried Catnip

Dried green catnip for cats spilling from container
Image Credit: gvictoria, Shutterstock

Dried and frozen catnip is the most classic form and is readily available in pet retail shops. However, it would be best to buy dried catnip in pet stores that turn their stock frequently because its appeal depends on its freshness.

Although dried catnip contains less nepetalactone oil than fresh catnip, it has a more robust smell. You can store dry catnip in the freezer to preserve its effectiveness. Place the dry herbs in a well-sealed plastic container or bag before freezing them.

The cold temperatures will prevent the nepetalactone oil from drying up, boosting its effectiveness. You can remove the herb from the freezer and sprinkle it on toys and scratching posts to entice cats when needed.

2. Live Catnip Plants

Catnip plant in a pot
Image Credit: Ilia Baksheev, Shutterstock

You can plant catnip in your garden because it is easy to grow. It is readily available in most pet stores as seeds and seedlings, allowing you to develop them from scratch.

Live catnip provides your feline companion with the freshest and most potent euphoric version of this substance. You can offer your kitty cut leaves to chew, eat, paw at, or rub.

It would be best to plant the herbs outdoors if you have a garden because they grow large and thrive in sandy soil and sufficient sunlight. You can also dry and store fresh catnip for future use.

3. Catnip Toys

Hepper Catnip Stick Toy

You can use catnip-enhanced toys to administer the stimulant to your kitty. Although you can find pre-filled toys in pet stores, they may contain low-quality catnip that may be ineffective, especially if you buy from a low-turnover store.

The good thing is that you can make a catnip toy from home if you continue to replace or refill the herb to ensure that it is always potent enough to impact your kitty.

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You can entertain cats with the simplest items and add a bit of catnip to your cat’s DIY toys for happiness overload. Be sure to rotate the toys, change the catnip often, and store the herb carefully to ensure it remains fresh and fragrant because, unfortunately, a catnip’s potency is short-lived. Most importantly, put the catnip toys away after playtime so your kitty friend doesn’t get bored or accustomed to the substance.

Featured Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

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