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DIY Cat Toys to Keep Them Busy: Fun and Easy Projects

Are you looking for fun ways to make your cat happy? Look no further! In this guide, we’ll explore a collection of DIY cat toys that are not only fun and engaging but also easy to make. 

From cardboard puzzles to catnip toys, these easy projects use stuff you probably already have at home. So let’s dive in!

How Often Should You Play With Your Cat?

Playing with your cat is important for their happiness and health. How often should you do it depends on the age, energy level, and personality of your cat.

Kittens are full of energy, so they need lots of playtime. Try to play with them for around 15-20 minutes, a couple of times a day. They love chasing toys, climbing, and pouncing.

Adult cats still love to play, but they might not need to play as much as kittens. Try to spend at least 10-15 minutes playing with them each day. Some cats love interactive toys like feather wands or laser pointers, while others love chasing balls or exploring puzzle toys.

Even though older cats might not be as lively as younger ones, they still enjoy playing. Keep it gentle, with shorter play sessions of about 5-10 minutes, a few times a day. Toys that make your cat move gently, like softballs or strings hanging down, are perfect.

Remember, every cat is unique, so pay attention to your cat’s cues. If they’re showing interest and having fun, keep playing but if they seem tired or uninterested, it’s okay to take a break.

What Types of Toys Do Cats Like?

Cats are curious creatures with different preferences when it comes to toys. Here are some types of toys that most cats enjoy:

  • Interactive Toys: Interactive toys are great for cats because they imitate animals like mice or birds. Playing with toys like feather wands or fishing poles helps your cat get some exercise and lets them use their natural hunting skills.
  • Chase Toys: Toys that move quickly, such as balls, laser pointers, or remote-controlled toys, can grab a cat’s attention and make them want to chase and pounce.
  • Catnip Toys: Catnip is a plant that cats really like, and you can find it at a pet store or online. Toys filled with catnip can provide hours of entertainment as cats roll, rub, and play with them. But not all cats like catnip, so keep that in mind.
  • Puzzle Toys: These toys challenge your cat’s mind and keep them mentally stimulated. Puzzle feeders, treat balls, or toys that give out treats when your cat plays with them can be really fun and help keep their mind busy.
  • Scratching Posts: Although they’re not exactly toys, scratching posts are important for cats to satisfy their natural instinct to scratch and stretch. Look for sturdy posts covered in sisal rope or carpet that your cat can use to scratch and maintain their claws.
  • Soft Toys: Some cats love kicking and wrestling with soft toys. An example would be plush toys that are safe for your cat to chew on and toss around.
  • Homemade Toys: Cats can have just as much fun with homemade toys as store-bought ones. Simple items like crumpled paper balls, cardboard boxes, or empty toilet paper rolls can keep your cat entertained for hours. In this blog, we’ll focus on these toys.

What Toys Are Safe For Cats?

When it comes to choosing toys for your cat, safety is the number one priority. Here are some types of toys that are generally safe for cats to play with:

  • Non-Toxic Materials: Look for toys made from safe and durable materials such as natural rubber, sisal rope, or soft fabrics. Avoid toys with small parts that could be easily chewed off and swallowed.
  • Sturdy Construction: Pick toys that are strong and well-made to stop them from breaking and posing a choking hazard. Look for any loose threads, seams, or pieces that could come loose when your cat plays with them.
  • Size Consideration: Choose toys that are the right size for your cat. Stay away from very small toys or things that could accidentally be swallowed, which could cause choking or blockages in the stomach.
  • Avoid Sharp Edges: Make sure that the toys you choose don’t have sharp edges or points that could hurt your cat during play.
  • No Strings Attached: Be careful with toys that have strings, ribbons, or elastic bands on them. Even though they can be fun to play with, they can also be dangerous if your cat gets tangled in them, because they might accidentally choke.
  • Avoid Toxic Substances: Avoid toys that contain toxic substances such as lead-based paint or chemicals. Check the labels and look for toys that are labeled as non-toxic and safe for pets.
  • Regular Inspection: Regularly check your cat’s toys for any signs of damage. Replace any toys that are damaged to keep your cat safe and prevent accidents.

Easy DIY Cat Toys & How To Make Them

In the text below, we’ll explore a variety of easy-to-make toys that will keep your cat entertained for hours. From simple household items to crafty projects, these DIY toys are not only cheap but also tailored to your cat’s preferences. Here are some fun DIY cat toys that your cat will enjoy:

1. Cardboard Tube Puzzle

The cardboard tube puzzle is a fun DIY toy for your cat. It’s easy to make and keeps your cat’s brain busy. To make it, you’ll need cardboard tubes from toilet paper or paper towel rolls and scissors. 

Cut the tubes into different sizes and put them in a shallow box or tray. Hide treats or small toys inside some of the tubes. Leave others empty. This makes your cat curious and they’ll want to find the treats.

2. Feather Wand

The feather wand is a toy that many cats love to play with. It’s easy to make at home! To make a feather wand, all you need is a stick or a dowel rod, some feathers, and a string or glue. You can find feathers at a craft store or use ones you find outside. Attach the feathers or a small toy to the end of the stick using string or glue.

Once your feather wand is ready, it’s time to play! Wave the wand in front of your cat, and they’ll be excited to see the feathers moving around. 

3. Cardboard Scratcher

A cardboard scratcher is a cool DIY toy for your cat. It’s like a scratching post, but you can make it yourself! All you need is some cardboard, scissors and glue or tape. 

Cut the cardboard into shapes, like squares or rectangles. You can make them big or small, depending on what your cat likes. Put the cardboard shapes on top of each other to make a strong base. You can glue or tape them together.

Once you have your cardboard scratcher ready, you can let your cat try it out. Cats love to scratch things to keep their claws healthy and strong. 

4. DIY Laser Pointer

You can make a fun toy for your cat using a laser pointer. It’s super easy! All you need is a flashlight or a laser pointer. Just shine the light on the floor or wall, and watch as your cat goes crazy trying to catch the little dot of light.

But remember, never shine the light directly into your cat’s eyes. That could hurt them. 

5. Catnip Yarn Balls

Cats love playing with yarn, and when it has catnip in it, they can’t resist! You need catnip, yarn, and Styrofoam balls. Wrap yarn around a ball. Add catnip while you wrap and tie the end. Do it for all balls. Then, throw the balls and watch your cat play. 

6. Junk Food Cat Toy

For these, you will need soft fabric like fleece or felt, stuffing (like cotton balls or old socks), and a sewing kit. Decide what shapes you want to make – maybe burgers, fries, or pizza slices. Then, cut out these shapes from the fabric.

Once you decide, it’s time to sew! Sew two matching shapes together, but leave a small hole. Then, stuff the shape with the stuffing until it’s nice and puffy. After that, sew the hole closed. Now you have a plush toy!

7. DIY Cat Tent

A cat tent is great because it’s simple and your cat will love having their own little place to hide. If you want to make this tent, you will need some cardboard, a large piece of fabric or an old bedsheet, scissors, and tape or glue.

First, cut a large rectangle from the cardboard for the base of your tent.

Next, drape the fabric over the cardboard, making sure it covers it completely with some extra fabric hanging down on the sides.

Use tape or glue to stick the fabric to the cardboard securely.

Fold the edges of the fabric over the cardboard and tape or glue them down for a neat look.

In the end, fold the fabric over the top of the cardboard to make a roof for your tent. You can leave it flat or fold it to make a little peak. Now your cat tent is ready! 

8. T-shirt Knots

To make T-shirt knots for your cat, you’ll need an old T-shirt and scissors.

First, lay the T-shirt flat on a table or the floor. Then, cut the T-shirt into long strips, about an inch wide.

Once you have your strips, tie them together at one end in a tight knot. Then, braid or twist the strips together until you reach the end.

Finally, tie another knot at the other end to secure everything in place.

Now, you have a homemade T-shirt knot toy for your cat to play with! 

9. Sisal Rope Scratcher

We mentioned the cardboard scratcher in the text above, but you can also make a scratcher for your cat using sisal rope! 

First, get your materials ready. You’ll need a piece of wood or cardboard, some sisal rope, scissors, and glue.

Start by wrapping the sisal rope tightly around the wood or cardboard. Make sure to leave no gaps so your cat has a sturdy surface to scratch on.

Continue wrapping the rope until the entire surface is covered. If you’re using cardboard, you can cut it into a shape that your cat will enjoy scratching on, like a rectangle or a square.

After you’ve wrapped the entire surface with the rope, use glue to stick the end of the rope in place. Make sure it’s really tight so it doesn’t come loose when your cat starts scratching.

Now, your sisal rope cat scratcher is ready for your cat to enjoy! You can put it in a spot where your cat likes to scratch.

10. Wine Cork 

You can also make a fun toy for your cat using wine corks! For this, you’ll need some wine corks, yarn, a nail, a needle and maybe some catnip if you want to make it more tempting for your cat.

First, poke a hole through the wine cork with a nail. Then, thread yarn through the hole using a needle. Tie knots at the ends to keep the yarn in place.

You can add extra yarn to make tassels. To make it more fun, make one end of the yarn longer and use it like a wand to play with your cat. 

If you want, you can put catnip on a wine cork toy by rolling the cork in catnip on a plate until it’s covered. Or, you can soak the cork in catnip water or spray it with catnip spray. Let it dry before giving it to your cat to play with.

11. Treasure Box

A treasure box for your cat is a fun way to keep them entertained and mentally stimulated. You can use a small cardboard box or container as the base.

First, gather some treats or other items that your cat enjoys. These will be the treasures you put inside the box.

Next, put the treasures inside the box and hide them under tissue paper or fabric scraps to create a bit of mystery.

Now, invite your cat to explore the treasure box! You can change the treasures occasionally to keep your cat entertained.

12. Catnip Sock Puppet

You can also make a fun toy for your cat using a sock! It’s easy and your cat will love it. For this, you’ll need a clean sock and some catnip.

Fill the sock with catnip. You can use a lot or a little, depending on how much your cat likes it. Then, tie a knot at the end of the sock to keep the catnip inside.

Now, it’s time to play! Wiggle the sock around on the floor to make it look like it’s moving. You can also hold the sock up in the air and let your cat jump and bat at it. It’s a fun way to keep your cat entertained and engaged.

After making these DIY toys, why not explore our other articles for more ways to keep your cat happy and healthy? Check out our guide on ‘Top Tricks to Teach Your Cat – Fun & Easy Training Guide‘ for some fun training ideas!


Making toys for your cat at home is a fun way to keep them happy. You can make simple toys like sock puppets filled with catnip or more complex ones like a cat tent. There are lots of ways to be creative!

The best part is, that you can use things you already have at home, so it’s cheap and reduces waste. Whether you’re making toys from scratch or using things you already have, your cat will love playing with them.

So, gather your materials and start making some fun toys. Your cat will thank you for them!

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