Play On! 15 Simple and Fun Homemade Cat Toys

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Just like human kids, our cats need lots of playtime for optimal health too. These 15 fun homemade cat toys will not only improve your cat’s health, and your bond together, but will bring some joy into your life too!

Oh, and hint: Even if you are not a cat parent yourself – these make great inexpensive gifts for those in your life who are!

15 Fun & Easy Homemade Cat Toys
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Playtime with your cat helps their health and your bond together. Don't miss these 15 fun & easy homemade cat toys you can make today! #cats #catsoftwitter #homemadecattoys #DIY Click To Tweet

Are homemade cat toys better?

Story time. You’re at the pet store or (our favorite) looking for the perfect cat toy.

You look through all the different types of toys. You try to put yourself in your cat’s paws and figure out what they would find irresistible!

You’re excited. You’ve picked out “the perfect toy” that you just know will be an instant hit!

You get the toy home, give it to your cat, and get this un-approving look:

bored cat face
Source: Pinterest

They might even add insult to injury by ignoring the toy you lovingly picked for them and become obsessed with the box it came in! 😀

Such is the life of a cat mom or dad.

Cats can be very peculiar when it comes to their preferences; whether it’s food, toys, attention, or anything else.

If yours are anything like ours, you might find that they’ll go through cycles. Some toys might be ignored for months on end and all of a sudden be the ‘go to toy’ for the next little while.

Many cats may have a favorite toy that they ‘bond with.’ In our home, it’s furry rattle balls. Pips goes crazy over them and loves to play fetch!

(Based on the reviews, he’s not alone!)

Store-bought toys aren’t always the best, though. They can be expensive and could be a waste of money if your cat never gives it a second bat of the paw!

Making your own homemade cat toys has several unique benefits:

  • You know what the toy is made of
  • DIY cat toys can save money
  • It’s easy to discover what kind of toy your cat likes
  • They are handmade with love
  • You can make it exactly how you want

If you’ve always wanted to try making homemade cat toys but didn’t think you were crafty enough, think again!

This list of of DIY cat toys has something everyone can make, guaranteed!

Kitty boredom, obesity, and many behavioral problems can all be helped by adding extra playtime into their day.

Why not play with something you made just for them?

These homemade cat toys will help keep your cat healthy and your budget happy too. Plus, who doesn’t love being creative?

Related Reading:

How To Keep Your Cat Happy Indoors

10 Cat Crafts For Adults That Kids Will Love Too

1. Easy T-Shirt Cat Toy

Homemade cat toys made from t-shirts
© Muslin & Merlot

This is such a fun idea! If you love upcycling & easy crafts – these no-sew homemade t-shirt cat toys from Muslin & Merlot are going to be a winner!

Here are the supplies you’ll need according to her post:

  • 2 or 3 t-shirts
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Cutting Mat and Rotary Cutter (preferred but optional)

That’s it! 😊 Told you these were amazingly simple!

My tip: Add in some catnip to the knot. It’ll make these simply irresistible!

2. DIY Self-Petting Station

Here are the supplies you’ll need:

  • A 12 inch by 12 inch wooden base
  • A 14 inch by 14 inch fabric
  • 2 new toilet bowl brushes
  • A 1” by 1” wooden cube
  • 1 staple gun
  • Wire cutters
  • 1 drill
  • Glue

I never knew toilet bowl brushes could be so fun!

3. DIY Cat Scratching Post

Save your furniture, friends!

I love what people can come up with! If store-bought cat scratching posts are leaving you feeling uninspired – you won’t want to miss this DIY!

Change the color and style to make it all your own!

For more details, head on over to “Make A Cat Scratch Post That’s Actually Not Ugly.”

4. DIY Cat Wand

Homemade cat toys DIY cat wand
© Irresistible Pets

This DIY Cat Wand is a cat toy classic! Even lazy cats who aren’t big on playtime get excited about this one.

Our Dizzy can be hard to please when it comes to cat toys, but she sure loves these! (she has an awfully violent play style though, ha ha!)

Supplies you’ll need:

  • 1 wooden dowel
  • 3 jingle bells
  • Multiple fabric scraps
  • 1 roll of Baker’s twine
  • Scissors
  • Fabric glue

5. Kit Tea Catnip Cat Toys

Kit-tea catnip toys homemade cat toys
© Kit-Tea Catnip Toys via Sewlicious Home Decor

Have a sewing machine and some sewing skills? Then you can’t miss these adorable Kit-Tea Catnip Toys from Sewlicious Home Decor.

As a cat mama herself, Marti says that her cats find these irresistible! If you have a kitty who goes wild for catnip – they should absolutely love these too.

Plus, look at her container! I love this idea!

6. Feathered DIY Cat Wand

DIY cat toys wand
© DIY Cat Toy via The MerryThought

If you love simple and fun, this is one of those homemade cat toys you won’t want to miss.

With a variety of feathers, pom poms, and easy to find supplies, you and your cat could be playing together tonight!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • dowel
  • waxed thread (or string)
  • leather lace
  • pom poms
  • feathers
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun

Want to give it a try? Visit The Merry Thought for more details.

7. All Natural Cat Toys

homemade cat toys fruits and vegetables
© Natural Cat Toys via Prodigal Pieces

I adore this one and think you will too!

Today, I have a fun DIY tutorial for you today that will give your furry feline family members a treat that will not only entertain, but will be free of poisonous rubbers and harmful chemicals.

Larissa from Prodigal Pieces

Best of all, Larissa says these fun pieces can be made into almost any design you like and are simple to make!

Here’s what she says you’ll need:

  • hollow papier mache shapes – I used fruits and vegetables, you can use any style you want
  • craft glue – either school glue,or wood glue (I found using a tiny amount of hot glue makes this go faster)
  • 6 yds/18ft. of colored twisted paper (aka paper twist)
  • sesame seeds
  • catnip
  • scissors
  • drill and drill bit
  • optional extras: toilet paper tube, rubber bands

Visit Natural Cat Toys You Can DIY Easy for more details on how to make them!

Cat toys don't have to be expensive. What about making your own? These 15 homemade cat toys are guaranteed fun, laughs, and new memories together! #cats #catlovers #DIY Click To Tweet

8. Easy Crochet Cat Toys

dabbles and babbles easy crochet cat toys for homemade cat toys
© Easy to Crochet Cat Toys via Dabbles & Babbles

Can you crochet? Then I’ve got the most adorable homemade cat toy for you.

Cats love toilet paper rolls. Add yarn and a bell…you’ve got your cat’s new favorite toy!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Medium weight yarn
  • Crochet hook (5.00m H hook)
  • Toilet paper tube
  • Bell
  • Needle and thread
  • Darning needle to weave ends
  • Scissors

Visit Jamey at Dabbles & Babbles for more information!

9. Furry Felines Homemade Cat Toys

Unless you have a hairless cat, you’ve already got the main ingredient for this toy: your cat’s fur!

I’ll be honest with you. When I first saw this, it seemed like a joke. But it isn’t!

If you’ve got a shedding cat and a brush – this is a homemade cat toy you can do. No skill required! 😀

I told you! You never know what your favorite feline will be fascinated by!

10. Homemade Catnip Sock Cat Toys

homemade catnip socks from curbly
© Kicker Cat Toy via Curbly

Kicker cat toys are all the rage in our home. Our cats grab them when they’re frustrated, hyper, or bored.

It’s a great way for cats to get their energy out in a way that doesn’t involve tearing up something of great value to you!

These homemade catnip socks from Marlene at Curbly are adorable, easy to make, and are guaranteed to be a huge hit with your fierce felines!

Here are the supplies required according to Marlene:

  • Knee-length socks
  • Catnip
  • Fiber fill 
  • Scissors
  • Faux leather lace or other cord
  • E6000 or other clear strong glue

11. DIY Soda Box Cat Toy

soda box DIY cat toy
© Source: Cuteness

It’s like Whack-A-Mole but way more fun with your cat!

Supplies you’ll need according to Cuteness:

  1. 12-pack cardboard soda carton
  2. Scissors
  3. X-acto knife
  4. Glue (or hot glue gun)
  5. Bamboo skewers
  6. Crafting feathers
  7. Decorative or duct tape
  8. 2 pipe cleaners
  9. Paper towel tube

Find the written tutorial here or watch video below!

12. Fluttery Feather Cat Toy

colorful feathers homemade cat toys
© Source: Catster

Bright colors, dangly things, ringing bells — it’s cat play Heaven.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Scissors
  • Felt
  • Iron
  • Jingle bell
  • Satin cord
  • Jewelry jump ring

Looks like fun? Get the instructions here.

13. Cat Scratcher Magazine Rack

Source: Martha Stewart

Tired of cats tearing up your furniture? Why not DIY a piece of furniture that’s for you and your cat?

No promises that your favorite feline won’t knock over all your books, magazines, or what nots because … well, they can!

Haven’t you noticed what great fun it is to knock things over and watch them fall?!?

You will need:

  • 2 pieces of birch plywood – 24×10″ each
  • Jigsaw or hacksaw (optional)
  • Medium grit sandpaper (i.e. 120 grit)
  • Fine grit sandpaper (i.e. 360 grit)
  • Natural sisal, jute, or burlap rope
  • Staple gun & staples
  • Scissors

Interested in building one? You can find more directions here.

14. Knotted Ball Cat Toy

homemade cat toys knotted ball cat toy
Source: Knotted Ball Cat Toy

Cats love having toys and scratchers of varying heights. It gives them a chance to exercise and stretch their muscles.

If you notice your cat likes grabbing for things above them, they’ll probably love this super simple homemade cat toy.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Knit shirt
  • Fabric scissors

This DIY might be simple but it’ll be hard not to smile watching your cat enjoy what you just made for them.

Go here to learn how to make it.

15. Easter egg hunt

adorable kid opening toy egg on floor
Photo by Eren Li on

You know those plastic Easter eggs that split open in the middle? You guessed it! Hide a jingle bell, treat, catnip, or other cat-safe rattle material inside and watch your kitty go crazy!

I think this one would be a lot of fun to do with the kids or grandkids!

You can’t always be home for playtime and this toy will keep them entertained while you are away.

+ 1 – 16. Dollar Tree Wreath Frame Cat Toy

Dollar Tree Wreath Frame Cat Toy

Ok, ok! So I fibbed! I found another homemade cat toy that I had to add to this list. I love Dollar Tree DIY’s and this is no exception.

“Track toys” as I call them keep your cat entertained for hours!

Here’s what you will need to make this one:

  • 2- 14″ wire wreath frames
  • 1 pack of jingle bell cat ball toys
  • 1 pack of zip ties
  • something to cut the zip ties with, like wire cutters

You won’t believe how easy this is to make. Find the instructions here.

Which of these homemade cat toys is your favorite?

There you have it, friends! DIY cat toys you can create on any budget and any craft level skill!

Still need ideas? Here are 20 more homemade cat toys to spark your creativity and your cat’s wild side!

Will you be making any of them? Have you created your own homemade cat toys? What was it?

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

And as always, if you know someone who would enjoy this post, please share on social media!

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With Love & Healing Purrs,


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    1. Oh wow! That’s awesome, Karen! You made me smile with this comment. What does your kitten look like? I’m betting you’ve got your hands full over there. Kitten energy sure is a lot of fun!

      It’s wonderful to hear from you. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. ❤️

  1. Our kitties like all things cardboard and anything they can bat around with their paws. We have boxes all over the place and lots of toys. Spunk is into tails from costumes.

    1. I’ve always thought your home would be full of fun. Sounds like some spoiled rotten cats to me (as it should be!) And our cats agree with yours – cardboard is always a hit!

      Great to hear from you Tim! Hope you all are well.

    1. Hi Dawn! Isn’t that great?? I couldn’t help but add it to the list. Thank you so much for stopping in & sharing your thoughts. I love hearing from you. Hope you’ll come back again! ❤️

  2. Homemade cat toys, that’s such a great idea! Good for the environment & your purse, and it gets you wielding some of your creative prowess at the same time. I’m a little averse to spending money on toys now because Virgil shuns them with a look of superior distaste, but I’m absolutely up for making a few things for him to see what he thinks.

    I love the images you’ve used in this post. That

    Number 9 confused me. I couldn’t tell what it was at first. I’ve already got the lazy cat, though I’ve not seen one of those hair remover tools before like that. I can get that much fur just by picking it off the carpet. I’d be worried about Virgil ingesting it and getting hairballs though, but the idea is interesting!

    I really like the catnip sock toys. That I could see Virgil probably using because he can hug onto it.

    That number 11, the box with the holes in, I tried to make Virg something like this before. I got a huge box, cut holes in the top, then tried popping things up from underneath to give him a game of whack-a-mole. The problem was, he kept getting my hand with his sharp claws because the guy just does not get the notion of retracting them AT ALL 😂 I might have to try this one again, but while wearing gloves.

    Super cute & useful post, Holly! 🐾 xx

    1. 😂 I’m a little averse to spending money on toys now because Virgil shuns them with a look of superior distaste…,” — I loved this! It honestly cracked me up and I think so many of us cat parents can understand your thoughts exactly. It really is true. We can pick out something we just know they’ll love … and… they couldn’t care less. They might take to it a month or so later, but from your descriptions of Virgil — maybe not! 😀

      Aw! Thanks for your compliment on the photos I used, Caz. I was hoping to make it fun and something that would inspire people who wouldn’t ordinarily craft to give it a try.

      #9 is definitely odd, to say the least. I still can’t decide if it’s a joke or not? But I figured plenty of kitties would do exactly like the one in the video so I included it. I’ve kind of figured that as soon as I found something better, I’d switch it out. 🙂 Like you said, hopefully there wouldn’t be any hairballs involved.

      Maybe try those ultra-thick rose pruning gloves next time you play whack-a-mole with Virgil! 😸 He’s pretty laid back, Caz. Do you think you could use nail clippers on him or a grinder like the CatSizor I reviewed earlier? It would help a lot!

      Sending so much love to you. I’m glad you enjoyed! Thank you for another awesome comment!

    1. Looks like fun, doesn’t it, Sandee? Seems like a perfect way to bond with our fur-kids and use a bit of our creative energy too.

      As always, I am sending my love & best to you and yours, friend. Big hug coming your way! ❤️

  3. These are such cute ideas! I had to pin the Kit Tea Catnip Bags so I can remember to send it to my mom. She would love making those! She grows her own Catnip, too.

    A few years ago we made our own scratching post. Amber loves it but the other 2 could care less about it. Cats are so funny with their different personalities. 😂

    I’ve wasted enough money on cat toys over the years, which is why I love your idea of making your own toys! I hope you’re doing well! I’m trying to catch up with everything! Hugs and love to you! And many prayers!!

    1. Ooh, nothing beats fresh catnip. 😊 I love those Kit Tea Catnip bags too. It makes me wish I could sew! If your mom does make them, let me know what she thinks, ok?

      I love that you guys made your own scratching post. They are so unbelievably overpriced in stores 99% of the time. Then again, most things are, especially now! I did smile when you talked about how Amber loves it but the other two could care less. I think every cat parent can relate to what you just said. 😂

      No worries about trying to catch up, my friend. As you can see, I am also way behind …on everything. It has been a very tough time, and I know you can relate. Sending so much love and many hugs to you. ❤️ Praying you & your family are well.

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