If you’ve ever stopped in the cat toy aisle of a pet store and thought: I could make this, you’re probably right! Making cat toys is easy, and you can make them with stuff you can find around the house. Even if you’re not particularly creative, not to worry—your cat won’t care what it looks like!
Below are five popular toys you can make with everyday stuff, plus some tips on what to keep on hand to repurpose into your cat’s next victim.
First: start collecting
You can run out and buy a bunch of supplies if you want to, but fortunately, you don’t have to. If your cat isn’t desperate for a toy right meow, just start collecting materials you can use later to make cat toys with:
- Toilet paper rolls
- Wool or string
- Fabric scraps
- Paper bags
- Old socks
Just make sure that whatever you use is soft and won’t be a choking hazard for your cat (for example, stay away from using pipe cleaners, fishing wire, or buttons). Once you have some stuff handy, here are five cat toys you can make on a lazy Sunday afternoon:
1. Toilet paper roll puzzle
Cats love hunting, but did you know they also like puzzles? Just glue some toilet paper rolls together to create a cluster. You can make it into a stack, or a ball of toilet paper rolls facing in different directions. Once you’re done, put a few treats in the centre of one or two of the toilet paper rolls, and watch your cat try to search for them and paw them out!
(Video courtesy of Cat Lessons)
For a variation on this theme, you can glue the ends of the toilet paper rolls to a piece of cardboard, to create a series of hollow stacks. The possibilities are endless!
2. Sock fish
We all have those lonely socks that lose their partner in the wash. Instead of throwing them out, collect them to make an easy fish toy. Just cut the sock in half and fill the toe end with crinkly paper, wool, or the other half of the sock. Use a string (or a piece of sock fabric) to tie the open end shut.
(Video courtesy of Maison ZiZou)
If you want to get fancy, you could even sew a little happy face on it like this creator did—or add a bit of catnip to entice your cat to go fishing!
3. Cardboard cat mansion
Remember how excited you were to make a fort as a kid? Your cat loves forts too. With more people ordering home delivery these days, cardboard boxes are easier to come by than ever. It’s easy to make a cute cardboard house if you have a sharp knife or some scissors and a big enough box, like this one from Jonasek the Cat’s YouTube channel.
(Video courtesy of Jonasek the Cat)
Chances are, your cat will want to use the box as a stealth hideout for hunting. Make sure to cut a few extra holes in the side so they can sneak their paws through to attack their toys!
4. Fabric scrap cat toys
Friskies has some fun ideas for cat toys on their YouTube channel, especially this felt spider. But really, you can make a cat toy just by taking a strip of soft fabric and tying a knot in the centre. If you have a needle and thread, you can even sew a few pieces together at the centre to give the toy some texture—bonus points if you have a few different types of fabric scraps with different textures.
(Video courtesy of Purina Friskies)
Fabric scraps are cheap at fabric stores. But also: remember your cat when you’re about to throw away that pair of old jeans, or that shirt with the stain on it.
5. Wand teaser toys
Wand teaser toys are easy to make—just knot a string around your fabric scrap toy, tie it to the end of a stick, and voilà! A wand teaser toy. For this type of toy, it’s a good idea to choose a string that’s durable but gentle on your cat’s teeth, like sisal or kitchen twine. Feathers are especially good for wand teaser toys. You can even just hot glue some feathers between two circles of felt for a quick and easy bird toy!
(Video courtesy of Minimalist Vegan Lifestyle)
One great shortcut is to buy a wand toy with different attachments so that you already have a wand and a template for how to make them. That way, you can just add more toys when you have time.
Play time for you and your cat!
One of the best things about making cat toys is that it's a fun, easy hobby for a good cause: your cat's quality of life! If you’ve got some time on your hands and you want to learn something new, making cat toys will help keep you and your cat entertained.