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11 DIY Cat Toys With Yarn You Can Create at Home (With Pictures)

Written by: Jordyn Alger

Last Updated on May 31, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

two cats playing with toy at home

11 DIY Cat Toys With Yarn You Can Create at Home (With Pictures)

If you love cats as much as you love to DIY, why not combine your two passions by crafting some DIY cat toys for your furry friend?

DIY projects can be a fun hobby to take up, and if the end product is something that will entertain your cat, then what do you have to lose? If you have some yarn lying around, we have 11 cat toys you can make with it. Take a look at this list and see what you think will be the most fun for a pair of playful paws!

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The 11 DIY Cat Toys With Yarn

1. Yarn Ball by Making Time for Mommy

Yarn Ball by Making Time for Mommy
Image Credit: Making Time for Mommy
Materials: Yarn, small or medium styrofoam ball
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

The classic yarn ball is a great DIY toy for your cat. There’s a reason we see so many cartoon cats playing with yarn balls, after all.

This toy only requires yarn and a Styrofoam ball, making it the simplest project on this list. Crafting the yarn ball is not difficult; in the end, you will have a toy your cat wants to bat around the house all day long.

The only tools you will need are a pair of scissors to cut the yarn. Other than that, you tie the yarn around the Styrofoam ball, and no additional tools or materials are needed!

2. Dangling Pom Toy by Our Kid Things

Dangling Pom Toy by Our Kid Things
Image Credit: Our Kid Things
Materials: Yarn, cardboard, wooden dowel, bells (optional)
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

The pom toy is a cute toy for your cat and a fun project for you. This could be the perfect fit for you if you are looking for a more interactive yet simple DIY toy.

The pom toy is attached to a wooden dowel, allowing cat owners to engage their cats in playtime and create fun bonding experiences. Including bells is an optional decision that can make playtime all the more entertaining for your feline friend.

3. Cork Toy by The Links Site

Cork Toy by The Links Site
Image Credit: The Links Site
Materials: Yarn, cork, nails
Tools: Darning needle, pliers, hammer
Difficulty Level: Medium

For another cheap and easy DIY cat toy, grab some yarn and a cork! This cork toy is a DIY project that uses spare wine corks you may have hanging around.

Depending on the size of the cork you use, you need to find a suitable nail size. The size in the instructions calls for a nail that is 75 millimeters long with a 3-millimeter head. For the materials, you need a darning needle, pliers, and a hammer.

4. Catnip Yarn Ball by Joy The Baker

Catnip Yarn Ball by Joy The Baker
Image Credit: Joy The Baker
Materials: Yarn (as many colors as desired), Styrofoam balls, catnip, glue
Tools: Paintbrush, scissors, bowl/plate
Difficulty Level: Medium

If you want to give the classic yarn ball a fun twist, why not make a catnip yarn ball? As many pet owners know, cats love catnip, and most cats will go crazy for the stuff. Including catnip in your DIY cat toys is bound to be a huge success!

Like the plain yarn ball mentioned earlier, this toy requires yarn, Styrofoam balls, and scissors. However, you will also need glue, some catnip, a bowl or plate, and a paintbrush. This is to help you adhere the catnip to the inside of the yarn ball.

Although there are a few added steps compared to the classic yarn ball, this DIY project is not complicated. Just be prepared for a little extra work.

5. Catnip Mouse by Nicely Created For You

Catnip Mouse by Nicely Created For You
Image Credit: Nicely Created For You
Acrylic fine/laceweight yarn, acrylic yarn in black/brown color, polyfill, catnip,
Tools: Stitch marker, crochet hook, tapestry needle, scissors
Difficulty Level: Difficult

For a more advanced project, check out these catnip mice. Like the catnip yarn ball, this toy can entice your cat into extended playtime with tempting catnip.

Please note that you will need to know how to crochet for this DIY project. If you are not comfortable with that, you may want to look to other options. Since the ability to crochet is central to this DIY toy, the difficulty of this project is a bit higher than some of the others. However, if crocheting is one of your talents, this could be the perfect fit for you!

6. Cattail Catnip Toy by Sew 4 Home

Cattail Catnip Toy by Sew 4 Home
Image Credit: Sew 4 Home
Materials: Yarn, fabric, thread, catnip, chopstick
Tools: Iron/ironing board, scissors, pinking shears, straight pins
Difficulty Level: Difficult

A cattail catnip toy is sure to entertain your cat! If you are looking for a cute and crafty way to help your cat play, this DIY toy might be a winner.

The materials you will need are yarn, fabric, thread, chopsticks, and, of course, catnip. For tools, make sure that you have an iron and an ironing board, some scissors, pinking shears, and straight pins.

This project is a little more complicated and may not be the best choice for beginners, so be sure to review the instructions before taking on the project.

7. Cat Play Gym by Charleston Crafted

Cat Play Gym by Charleston Crafted
Image Credit: Charleston Crafted
Materials: Wood, wooden dowel, rope, yarn/ribbon of choice
Tools: Scissors, saw, drill, sander, sandpaper
Difficulty Level: Difficult

If you want to break out the power tools for your project, look no further than the cat play gym. It gives cats a fun structure to entertain themselves with, and ribbons and yarn are dangled from the wooden dowel of the gym.

To complete this project, you will need scissors, sanding tools, a drill, and a saw. If you are uncertain about using a saw, you may want to alter the design to avoid the need for the saw or find another DIY toy to make.

Although the difficulty level of this project may be a bit higher, it can be a fun way to use some of your favorite power tools.

8. Cat Ribbon Wand Toy by Outnumbered 3 to 1

Cat Ribbon Wand Toy by Outnumbered 3 to 1
Image Credit: Outnumbered 3 to 1
Variety of yarn/ribbon of choice, baker’s twine, bells, wooden dowel
Tools: Craft glue
Difficulty Level: Easy

The cat ribbon wand toy is a fun way for pet parents to play with their cats. Plus, crafting it is relatively easy.

The cat ribbon wand toy is an excellent choice for crafty pet owners who love to engage their cats in play. It is essential to have craft glue on hand when working on this project. The necessary materials are yarn, baker’s twine, bells, and a wooden dowel. Although this project may require a quick run to the craft store, it is a fairly simple crafting process that will not take too long.

9. Pom Ball by Mom On Timeout

Pom Ball by Mom On Timeout
Image Credit: Mom On Timeout
Materials: Yarn
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you want a non-dangling pom pom toy, check out this simple DIY plan. The only material you will need is yarn, and the only tools to use are scissors.

The pom balls create adorable little poofs of fun for your cat. They aren’t attached to a sting or wooden dowel, meaning your cat can play with them without you being around.

10. Eyelash Yarn Toy by Amy Latta Creations

Eyelash Yarn Toy by Amy Latta Creations
Image Credit: Amy Latta Creations
Materials: Eyelash yarn, wooden dowel, shoelaces, bells, lycra cord
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Easy

For a frillier yarn toy, eyelash yarn is the way to go. This eyelash yarn toy gives your cat a fancier way to play.

It is a relatively simple one, requiring only scissors to get the job done. For materials, you will want to ensure you have eyelash yarn, a wooden dowel, shoelaces, bells, and a lycra cord. You can customize the toy by choosing bright colors to match the frilly eyelash yarn or by keeping it a little simpler with more subdued colors.

11. Kitty Squid with Catnip by A Gamer’s Wife

Kitty Squid with Catnip by A Gamer's Wife
Image Credit: A Gamer’s Wife
Materials: Yarn, black yarn, kitty squid pattern, catnip, fabric, Velcro
Tools: Crochet hook, tapestry needle, sewing needle, sewing thread
Difficulty Level: Difficult

The Kitty Squid with catnip is an adorable way to play with your furry friend. If you know how to crochet, this DIY project could be a good test of your skills.

The Kitty Squid toy is an adorable cat toy packed with catnip, giving your furry friend the cutest and most tempting entertainment around. Essential materials for the design include black yarn, catnip, fabric, and Velcro.

To make this toy, you will need several tools. Make sure you have a crochet hook, a tapestry needle, a sewing needle, and some sewing thread.

Cat ball divider 1


There are plenty of DIY projects out there that are just as entertaining to us as they are to our cats. If one of these stands out to you, consider making it for your cat. Check out the instructions if you think you are up to the task, and of course, have fun!

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Featured Image Credit By: Axel Bueckert, Shutterstock

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