DIY cat toy ideas: fun and inexpensive options to keep your cat entertained.

Calling all cat lovers! Are you tired of constantly spending money on expensive toys that your furry friend quickly loses interest in? Look no further, as we have rounded up the best DIY cat toy ideas that are not only fun and entertaining for your cat, but also easy on your wallet. From cardboard boxes to homemade treats, these inexpensive options will provide endless hours of playtime and keep your kitty purring with joy. So, grab some supplies and get ready to create some feline-friendly masterpieces!

10 fun and easy DIY cat toy ideas

brown and black cat
  • Cat tower: This is a really simple but fun toy for your cat. You can build one using an old shoe box and some cardboard or a piece of wood. Cut a hole in the top of the shoe box, place it on a flat surface, and let your cat climb to the top.
  • Plush animal toys: These are really popular with cats, and there are lots of different types to choose from (skins, feathers, fur). Just be sure to get something that’s soft enough for your kitty to enjoy but not so soft that it becomes destroyed quickly.
  • Catnip mouse: This is another fun toy that uses food as the focal point. Fill a small paper towel roll or ball with dried catnip leaves (or fresh if you have access to it). Place the mouse somewhere out of reach of your cat and watch them go wild trying to get their paws on it!
  • Cloud-hopper toy: A lot of cats love chasing things made out of batting materials (like plastic wrap). You can make this easy toy by stuffing several pieces of plastic wrap into a small ball, and then tying the ends off securely. Let your cat chase the toy around for hours on end!
  • Catnip cube: This is a really simple but effective toy that uses catnip as the main attraction. Just fill a small plastic or cardboard cube with crumbled catnip and let your cat get it rolling around in their mouth. They’ll love chasing it around the room!
  • String toy: You can make this simple but fun toy by tying several pieces of sturdy string together in a variety of different ways (like a mobius strip!). Let your cat play with it for hours on end!
  • Rope toy: One of the coolest things about ropes is that they’re versatile – you can use them to create all sorts of different toys for your cat. Cut a length of rope about 8 inches long, and tie one end securely to something stationary like a door handle or post. Let your kitty play with it for hours on end!
  • Fortune cookie toy: This is a really simple but fun toy that uses rice or dried beans as the centerpiece. Just fill a small paper fortune cookie wrapper with your choice of rice or beans, and let your cat play with it for hours on end!
  • Clay chicken: This is a really simple but fun toy that uses clay as the main attraction. Just mix some water and clay together until you have a thick paste, and then shape it into a chicken (or any other shape you want). Let your cat scratch, lick, and dig it up for hours on end!

How to make your own cat toys

lying white and black cat with ladybug toy on white surface

Looking for creative and inexpensive ways to keep your cat entertained? Check out these DIY cat toy ideas!

  • Make a puzzle box. Cut several large cardboard boxes into small, square pieces and tape them together. Your cat will have a blast figuring out how to get to the treats inside!
  • Make a bunch of swatting balls. These are simple but effective: just fill small plastic or fleece balls with some playtime treats, tie them off with string or ribbon, and set them around the house. When your kitty swats at one, she’ll be rewarded with a tasty treat!
  • Create a tunnel of tubes. unfolding clothes hangers make great tubes for cats; all you need is some fabric strips and some thread (or binder clips). You can also pipe bits of fabric together to create elaborate tunnels that involve lots of puzzling and exploration for your pet trooper!
  • Try a “treasure hunt.” Use empty yogurt containers, milk cartons, or any other sturdy containers to hide small treasures — like kibble or critters — around the house. Once your feline friend has tracked down her prize, she’ll be pretty impressed!

The best materials for DIY cat toys

Are you looking for ways to keep your cat entertained? If so, you’re in luck! Here are some fun and inexpensive options to keep your kitty busy.

Cordless Cat Toy

  • If you don’t have too much space, a cordless cat toy is a great option. These toys work without batteries, so you can move them around easily. Some favorites include the JW Pet Co Hide ‘N Seek activity toy and the Crazy Legs swings.

Cloth Napkin Dolls

  • Another cheap option is to make your own cloth napkin dolls. You’ll need some fabric scissors and some stuffing material, like goose down or cotton balls. Simply cut out pieces of fabric the size of a napkin, then fill them with stuffing before attaching the ends with seam tape or pins. Your cat will love batting at these little critters!

Pinwheel Toys

  • Another classic favorite is the pinwheel toy. This type of toy spins on an underlying wheel, making it both fun and challenging for your cat. To make one, simply wrap a piece of soft plastic around a chopstick or dowel rod and secure it with hot glue or a screwdriver handle. Your cat will have hours of fun spinning this toy!

10 tips for making the best homemade cat toys

  • Find old clothes, socks, or other soft material to use as a toy.
  • Hang the toy from a piece of string or by knotting it into a loop.
  • Fill the toy with stuffing and/or fresh fruits and vegetables for added fun and nutrients.
  • Be creative when filling your cat’s toys – think up new ideas every time you make one!
  • Make several different types of toys, alternating between layers of different materials as your kitty gets more active and bored with one type of toy automatically transitioning them to the next one without any prompting needed!
  • Play tag with your furry friend – indoor or outside is up to you!

More ideas for DIY cat toys

Looking for some fun and inexpensive ways to keep your cat entertained? Check out these DIY cat toy ideas!

  • Make a scratching post out of old wood or an unused door: This is a great way to get your cat to scratch while providing them with a bit of extra exercise. Just make sure the post is sturdy so your cat doesn’t knock it over!
  • Cornhole boards are another popular option for cats. Simply cut some boards into desired shapes and attach them using suction cups or double-sided tape. Your cat will have hours of fun playing catch with you!

And that’s just a few examples! There are many other clever, fun, and inexpensive ways to keep your feline friend amused – just find something that interests them and give it a try!


Keeping your cat entertained is important not only for their physical health, but also for their mental wellbeing. Homemade cat toys can be both fun and inexpensive, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank in order to keep your kitty happy. Here are some ideas for DIY cat toys that will have them scratching away contentedly:

  • A rolling tube filled with treats: This can be made from cardboard or a sturdy material like fabric, then rolled up and given to your cat as a play toy. As they play with it, they’ll get tantalized by the treats inside and work hard to unroll it!
  • An interlocking hoop: This can be made out of plastic or metal and fills up with treats as your cat plays with it. The more height you add (by using different sized hoops), the more challenging the toy becomes – perfect for pups who love to sharpen their dexterity!

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