DIY Cat Toy

Create your own cat toy using extra fabric and ribbons you might already have!

Kitten with DIY cat toy.
Kitten with DIY cat toy. Photography courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.

Looking for a fun DIY cat toy project? This cute wand toy is colorful and really easy to make — and it’s perfect for crafters who always have lots of extra ribbon and fabric trims lying around!

What you’ll need:

DIY cat toy supplies.
DIY cat toy supplies. Photography ©photodanila | Getty Images.
  1. Wooden dowel (the one I used was ¼ inch in diameter and 16 inches long)
  2. Scissors
  3. Multiple ribbons, rickrack and other types of fabric trims
  4. One roll of baker’s twine
  5. Jingle bells*
  6. Fabric glue


DIY cat toy.
DIY cat toy. Photography courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs.
  1. Wrap baker’s twine around the dowel until it’s completely covered, leaving about 12 extra inches of twine. Use a small amount of fabric glue at the top, middle and bottom of the dowel to secure the twine.
  2. Cut the ribbons and trims to whatever length you’d like. I cut mine to 20 inches.
  3. Attach a bell to a couple pieces of ribbon, then tie them.
  4. Gather all of the ribbons by the middle of each and tie them with the end of the twine with a double knot. Apply some fabric glue around the knot to make it more secure.

*Because of the jingle bells and irresistible dangly ribbons, this is a supervision-only toy.

Thumbnail: Photography courtesy Annie Butler Shirreffs. 

About the author

Annie Butler Shirreffs has worked in the pet industry for 20 years and is currently the senior editor of Catster and Dogster magazines. A cat lover since she was a little girl, she has always had feline friends in her life. She and her husband share their Southern California home with their four cats, Agatha, Alastair, Jack and Mathilda, and an ever-changing clowder of foster kittens, all of whom enjoy being testers for cool, new products.

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet’s office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home. 

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4 thoughts on “DIY Cat Toy”

  1. Never leave your kitty unattended with one of these toys!! Avoid bells and metal pieces. The ribbons should be no longer than 6 inches. It is amazing how fast a kitty can eat a string. I know and it cost me $3000 in an endoscopy to remove a 20″ string. Keep your little ones safe.

  2. My lily.loves her kitty ???? toys, just ????s them, puts them in her mouth ???? and starts meowing like a crazy kitty ???????? her so much she’s turning 2 years old ????.May 30th 2019 today is 5-27-19 just 3& a half more..days, until she is 2years old ????!!????

  3. I make my cats stick toys all the time. They really like them. Dowels are cheap, and you can find ribbon in any craft store or local Walmart. I use super glue to glue the ribbon around the dowel to make the dowel look pretty. I even found some large fuzzy pipe cleaner like things to add to the ribbons. My cats liked those too. Good idea posting an article about making your own cat toys. A cheap way to keep your cats happy. ;-)

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