How to make kitten toys

If you have a cat, you’ll love this post. Cat guardians will do anything to get their feline friends happy and purring. Sometimes this means spending dough on toys and treats. But wait! You don’t have to spend a ton of money when the DIY versions are just as fancy. Take a look at some of our favorite DIY cat toys. We think they’re pretty purr-worthy:

Tree Stump Scratch Pad

This scratch pad is too cute for words. This is DIY at its best. And you might want a cactus to go with that stump.

Peek-a-Boo Puzzle

How to make kitten toys

You can replicate this adorable toy by grabbing a box that’s similar to the one in the above photo. Simply cut holes in it and grab a ball or two. Your kitty’s mind will be stimulated, and his or her heart will be full!

DIY Cat Tent

We can’t get over how clever this T-shirt tent is. Also, it’s super-easy to create.

DIY Cat Tree With Hammock

A simple stepladder gets a serious upgrade with this scratch-pad cat tree plus hammock.

Catnip Body Pillow

We know just what to do with your sock that lost its mate. Fill it with polyester or cotton fiberfill, sprinkle some catnip inside, and sew it closed. Poof—you’ve made a new toy that your cat can play and cuddle with for hours.

Double-Decker Cat Snug and Scratch Post

You didn’t even know your cat needed this toy—until now.

T-Shirt Cat Toy

Here’s another crafty way to repurpose that old T-shirt that you were planning to toss out.

Cat Wand

You probably already know that cats love wand toys. The thing is, they destroy them, and you end up buying one after another. Stop the spending cycle with this easy DIY cat-wand tutorial.

Catnip Toys

From cupcakes to carrots, you can make these fabric catnip toys into any shape you choose. Just be sure to buy wool-free felt made from acrylic or other 100 percent synthetic materials.

Ping-Pong Ball Water Bowl

All you have to do is place two ping-pong balls in a bowl full of water. Your cat will be intrigued and will bat the balls around—and may even increase his or her water intake.

Self-Petting Station

I bet you never knew that there was more than one use for a toilet brush—until now!

‘Catios’

A catio can be as big or as small as your living space, budget, and imagination allow. It can be a small enclosure that juts out of an apartment or a larger structure built from the ground up.

Personal Space

Simply leaving some empty space on a shelf can be an invitation for your feline friend to hang out.

Ice Cube Tray Food Puzzle

All you need is an ice cube tray and some kibble to make a new food puzzle for kitty.

Not crafty? Fair enough! Wherever you buy toys, make sure that they aren’t made with cruelly obtained feathers.

If you’re looking for a new cat or want to give advice to a friend or family member thinking about adopting an animal, you’ll want to read this. Also, check out all the animals PETA has up for adoption.

Feeling inspired? Sign up for PETA Living E-News to have compassionate content delivered to your inbox once a week.

Watching your kitten entertain himself for hours with his catnip toy is truly entertaining. Even though catnip makes him act a little crazy, it’s a perfectly safe natural herb. Giving it to him too early isn’t a concern, although he may not respond to it if he’s still really young.

How It Works

Catnip — which is in the same family as mint — acts as a mild hallucinogenic substance. One big whiff and he’ll have an episode of hyperactive behavior. The exact cause of catnip’s effects aren’t clearly known, but it tends to mimic happy pheromones in his body. Catnip signals to his brain to be happy, sending him into a stage of pure bliss and delight.

His Reaction

You’ve got your feet up relaxing while watching the evening news. Suddenly out of nowhere, baby Sam darts across the room, picks up his catnip-filled furry mouse, tosses it up in the air, catches it in his mouth, drops it and then stands on it. He’ll kick it up with his back feet, tossing it across the room and then start the process all over again. Meanwhile he’s shaking the whole house. While he’s on his “catnip high,” he’ll roll around, rub against your legs and head-butt everything in sight. If he’s driving you nuts, don’t worry. His crazy behavior won’t last long.

How Long It Lasts

The effects of catnip last for about 10 minutes. Then Sam will get bored and venture off to find something new to do — or someone else to terrorize. It takes his system roughly two hours to get over his catnip craze, but once his body resets, he’ll be back at it.

Chewing vs. Smelling

Chewing on catnip — whether it’s dried or a fresh catnip plant — has a different effect than smelling the herb. While sniffing a bag of catnip makes Sam completely bonkers, nibbling on it usually has the opposite effect. He’ll probably be calm and mellow, rather than zany and hyper.

Other Points

Newborn kittens aren’t usually responsive to catnip at all until they are about 3 months of age. If he’s still young, give it some time. He may wind up falling in love with his catnip toys when he gets a little older, but don’t be discouraged if he never seems to care. Not all felines respond to catnip. Roughly 50 percent of kitties don’t have the “catnip frenzy” gene, reports the Humane Society of the United States.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

More Articles

Is It Safe for Dogs to Eat Strawberries? →

What Does It Mean When a Kitten Arches Its Back & Shakes Its Tail? →

Stop a Dog From Stealing Items & Running →

  • PAWS Chicago: Cat Resource Guide
  • The Humane Society of the United States: Catnip: Why Cats Go Crazy For It

Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.

If you have a cat, you’ll love this post. Cat guardians will do anything to get their feline friends happy and purring. Sometimes this means spending dough on toys and treats. But wait! You don’t have to spend a ton of money when the DIY versions are just as fancy. Take a look at some of our favorite DIY cat toys. We think they’re pretty purr-worthy:

Tree Stump Scratch Pad

This scratch pad is too cute for words. This is DIY at its best. And you might want a cactus to go with that stump.

Peek-a-Boo Puzzle

How to make kitten toys

You can replicate this adorable toy by grabbing a box that’s similar to the one in the above photo. Simply cut holes in it and grab a ball or two. Your kitty’s mind will be stimulated, and his or her heart will be full!

DIY Cat Tent

We can’t get over how clever this T-shirt tent is. Also, it’s super-easy to create.

DIY Cat Tree With Hammock

A simple stepladder gets a serious upgrade with this scratch-pad cat tree plus hammock.

Catnip Body Pillow

We know just what to do with your sock that lost its mate. Fill it with polyester or cotton fiberfill, sprinkle some catnip inside, and sew it closed. Poof—you’ve made a new toy that your cat can play and cuddle with for hours.

Double-Decker Cat Snug and Scratch Post

You didn’t even know your cat needed this toy—until now.

T-Shirt Cat Toy

Here’s another crafty way to repurpose that old T-shirt that you were planning to toss out.

Cat Wand

You probably already know that cats love wand toys. The thing is, they destroy them, and you end up buying one after another. Stop the spending cycle with this easy DIY cat-wand tutorial.

Catnip Toys

From cupcakes to carrots, you can make these fabric catnip toys into any shape you choose. Just be sure to buy wool-free felt made from acrylic or other 100 percent synthetic materials.

Ping-Pong Ball Water Bowl

All you have to do is place two ping-pong balls in a bowl full of water. Your cat will be intrigued and will bat the balls around—and may even increase his or her water intake.

Self-Petting Station

I bet you never knew that there was more than one use for a toilet brush—until now!

‘Catios’

A catio can be as big or as small as your living space, budget, and imagination allow. It can be a small enclosure that juts out of an apartment or a larger structure built from the ground up.

Personal Space

Simply leaving some empty space on a shelf can be an invitation for your feline friend to hang out.

Ice Cube Tray Food Puzzle

All you need is an ice cube tray and some kibble to make a new food puzzle for kitty.

Not crafty? Fair enough! Wherever you buy toys, make sure that they aren’t made with cruelly obtained feathers.

If you’re looking for a new cat or want to give advice to a friend or family member thinking about adopting an animal, you’ll want to read this. Also, check out all the animals PETA has up for adoption.

Feeling inspired? Sign up for PETA Living E-News to have compassionate content delivered to your inbox once a week.

How to make kitten toys

Making a toy for your cat can be as simple as coiling a piece of rubber-coated wire into a spring shape. Just make sure there are no sharp ends!

DIY Cat Toys Are Cheap and Easy to Make

Ever bought an expensive toy for your cat only to have them ignore it and play with the box it came in instead? Next time, save yourself the frustration and try making a toy instead. Simple DIY cat toys are super easy and fun to make!

In this article, I've put together instructions for making toys out of things you probably already have around the house, plus others to knit, crochet, or build. Spend a little time (and very little money!) making these toys, and your kitty will have tons of fun! This is a great way for you to get your creative juices flowing and do something nice for your kitty.

Always be cautious when making toys for your feline friend. Easily swallowed buttons, sponges, and other ingestibles can come off and become major choking hazards. Even string—seemingly the #1 cat toy—can be incredibly dangerous if swallowed and should only be used during supervised play. Use common sense, and remember—if your cat can get himself in trouble, he will.

Household Items That Make Great Cat Toys

The first few items on our list need next to no altering. It simply doesn't get any easier (or cheaper!) than this.

Crumpled Paper Toy

This may be the easiest and cheapest cat toy you can make. Just take a piece of paper and crumple it into a ball. Cats love to bat this around. Some even carry it in their mouths. My cats like to rip the toy to shreds. It makes a bit of a mess, but it's worth it to see them have so much fun.

Baby Carrots

My cats seem to like things that have fallen off the counter. Celery pieces, leafy lettuce, kale, and carrot circles are all favorites.

At the top of the list, though, is baby carrots. With their bright color and great shape, these little things are great for slapping around on the kitchen floor, and they slide really well. Occasionally, one of the cats will carry the baby carrot around in his mouth, like some sort of conquering champion.

How to make kitten toys

Is your kitty having a boring day? Do you want to keep your cat entertained and happy with something simple and inexpensive? I am sure you’ll find something suitable for you and your cat here, among these 10 simple and easy DIY cat toys. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on different cat toys – cats are happy with even the simplest little things that they can push around.

Lately, the DIY fever caught me too – I am spending too much time on Pinterest, I guess! So after making my first cat DIYs – cat treats and a cardboard playhouse I am planning on making my own cat toys. Until I do, I want to share with you some of the awesome DIY cat toys from other bloggers. These toys can be made out of household items and they don’t require sewing or anything too complicated.

Take a look at the following cat toy ideas and learn how to make cat toys out of household items, using simple and basic things that you most probably have in your house right now!

1. DIY cat toy balls

How to make kitten toys

How to make kitten toys

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These balls are so cute and work great for entertaining the cats. Your cat will probably enjoy tossing the balls all over the place and catching them.

See the instructions for this cat toy at Baby Savers blog.

2. No sew, no glue cat toys

How to make kitten toys

If you don’t have any glue at hand, or don’t want to end up with your hands glued together, you can try some of these 3 adorable cat toys that don’t require anything more than a few fabric materials and a knitting wool.

You can see video instructions for these cat toys at Southern Mom Loves.

3. Pom-pom wand cat toy

How to make kitten toys

Get crafty and make this joyful and colorful wand with lots of pom-poms attached that will keep your cat busy and entertained while she tries to catch them all.

See how to make it at Think Make Share.

4. Cat puzzle toy

How to make kitten toys

This is one of the easiest and simplest cat toys you can make at home. All you need is an empty toilet roll and a few cat treats or kibble.

You can see the exact instructions at Staying Close to Home blog.

5. DIY feather cat toy

How to make kitten toys

For this cat toy, all you need is a stick, a string and a few feathers that will grab your cat’s attention.

You can see the instructions for this cat toy at Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom blog.

6. T-shirt cat toy

How to make kitten toys

I have a closet full of clothes that I no longer wear but I never know what to do with it. I give some of it to the red cross for the people in need but some wardrobe is just not even usable anymore. If you have a similar problem and you want to put your old t-shirts to use, here is one great idea for a t-shirt cat toy!

You can learn how to use your t-shirts to make this cat toy at Muslin & Merlot.

7. Felt cat wand

How to make kitten toys

This is another really easy and cheap DIY cat toy. It will cost you maybe 3$ and all you need are a few basic things such as a stick, a tape, felt material and a glue.

You can see the instructions at Girl Gone Mom blog.

8. Cat toy made of wine cork

How to make kitten toys

This simple cat toy is made using wine cork and a knitting wool, and you’ll need some tools such as a hammer and a nail. When the toy is finished, you can start swinging the toy around and entertain your cat.

You can see the instructions for this toy at The Links Site.

9. Cut toilet paper rolls cat toy

How to make kitten toys

Make these simple balls out of toilet paper rolls. One ball is made out of one toilet paper roll so you really don’t need a lot of materials to make this one.

This interesting cat toy idea is from Red Ted Art.

10. Toilet paper rolls cat toy

How to make kitten toys

This is so simple and easy but I would never come up with it by myself! It really doesn’t get any simpler than this. All you need is a tape and 15 empty toilet rolls – in my house we spend this much toilet paper in a week or two, especially now during the cold season, so we don’t have to wait too long to make this cat toy.

This creative cat toy is made by Doodle Cats.

I hope you’ve found an interesting idea for a DIY cat toy among these and that you’ll put your hands to work and make an awesome cat toy that your cat will adore!

How to make kitten toys

How to make kitten toys

Free diy cat toys – mice and fish sewing patterns! I’m always looking for fun ways to upcycle old jeans and with two new adopted kittens, it seemed like the perfect time to chop them up for some colorful kitty toys! These are super quick to sew and dirt cheap, which is good because I have a feeling that they’re going to all end up hiding under our bed. I’m thinking about sewing a cat bed next; let me know if you have sewn your kitties anything else fun!

How to make kitten toys

Here they are! Adopted from our local rescue of course, from a friend who was fostering them. Named Artemis Meowmeow and Apollo Bowser; greek mythology mixed with little kid silliness. They’re joining the “pandemic puppy” we adopted a few months ago, the longer we stay home the more critters we seem to be acquiring.

Check out these other posts while you’re here!

  • How to make a cat bed – a sewing tutorial
  • 12+ cutest sewing ideas for dogs
  • What to do with old jeans – 45+ upcycle sewing tutorials
  • 30+ of the best fabric scrap projects

How to make kitten toys

They’re super simple, easy to make. I used a mix of machine and hand sewing but it would be easy to do one or the other, too. I’m sure the body edges will fray a bit as time goes on but as long as the dogs leave them alone I’m not too worried about longevity.

How to make kitten toys

Kitten approved! Aren’t they cute!

Pin this post of free diy cat toys – mice and fish sewing patterns with this link or photo:

How to make kitten toys

Free diy cat toys – mice and fish sewing patterns

Ready to make your own?

Supplies

  • Fabric scraps! I used old jeans + wool felt (this is my favorite felt shop)
  • Embroidery floss + needle or small scissors
  • Thin ribbon + fray check or a lighter (optional)
  • Stuffing/shredded fabric scraps to stuff – also consider including catnip (Amazon or Etsy) for the scent, a piece of cereal bag for a crinkle, a marble so it rolls, or a jingle bell for interest!
  • Download the free pdf pattern! –sign up for my newsletter and get the free download once you confirm your subscription! If you’re already a subscriber, you can access the pattern with the password in each newsletter, in the resource library.

Steps

The steps are pretty much the same for each toy shape so I mixed and substituted as needed!

How to make kitten toys

Step 1- Cut your patterns out! The fish is symmetrical so cut two of it; the mouse you’ll need to “mirror” the pattern or flip it over and cut so it matches up.

How to make kitten toys

Step 2- Time to cut fins and ears; I like tracing the pattern to freezer paper, ironing it on, and cutting precisely around it before peeling off the freezer paper. I used wool felt for color and texture, my kitties love wool, and a bonus is that the edges won’t fray.

How to make kitten toys

Sew the accents on and throw in an eyeball!

How to make kitten toys

Step 3- If you’re doing the mouse, now is the time to stick in the tail. Use fray check or a lighter to seal the ribbon end otherwise it might unravel. You can use a regular school glue stick to hold it in place if you’re worried.

How to make kitten toys

Step 4- Layer the body pieces wrong sides together and sew around the edges, leaving a 2-3″ gap. Stop to insert stuffing and noise makers as desired, then sew the gap shut and get ready to play! You’re done!

How to make kitten toys

Being indoors doesn’t mean your cat shouldn’t stay active and have fun. Here’s a crafty way to enhance your cat’s feeding experience by playing on her hunting instincts and see the world through your cat’s eyes within the comfort of your own home.

You can get the whole family to join the fun, and these toys will help keep everyone busy, including your furry friend, and dial up the “catness” of your home.

When it comes to gear for your cat, there are countless options. While you may have seen our DIY puzzle feeders, here’s a look at the basic principles for designing wand toys you can easily swap in and out.

Benefits of a DIY Wand Cat Toy

How can these toys enrich your cat’s day? Use them to key into her natural energy cycle of Play, Eat, Rest. You’ll want to put toys into motion and let your cat stalk and pounce, then feed after the play session to reward her for the hunt.

Before you get started, here are a couple things to consider:

Avoid little bits that could be choking hazards and put the wand and toys away when not in use. This is for safety reasons, and it helps avoid burnout.

Making Your DIY Wand Cat Toy

What You Need:

  • A sturdy wood dowel (3-feet in length and ½” diameter)
  • Tan and/or black suede laces
  • Small colored pompons
  • Colored felt
  • Feathers
  • Jingle bells (with eyelet)
  • Necessities from a tackle shop or sporting goods store: Fishing line (try 15 to 20 lb test)
  • Barrel swivels (both with and without a clip end)

Tools:

  • X-ACTO ® or utility knife (use under adult supervision)
  • Scissors
  • A sewing needle and thread
  • Drill with a small bit

Making Different Types of Wand Cat Toys

The central piece in this flexible system.

  1. Depending on your height, you’ll want 2 to 3 feet of dowel. (Start with a long piece and wait to cut it down to size once you’ve had a chance to play.)
  2. Drill a small hole through the dowel about an inch from one end.
  3. Tie a barrel swivel (with clip) to one end of a length of fishing line. Then, thread the other end of the fishing line through the hole and tie it off. You’ll want to leave about 6 to 12 inches of line between the tip of the wand and the barrel swivel. This will keep the clip a safe distance from the toy and out of reach of claws and mouths. Trim away any excess line.

A couple of feathers and a jingle bell can make your cat leap with delight.

  1. Cut about 3 feet of line from the spool of fishing line. Tie a number of knots at one end to make a stopper for the feathers. Trim any excess.
  2. Take a feather. Since the quill is hollow, use a needle or safety pin to punch a hole in the quill about where the quill starts to narrow and the barbs begin.
  3. Thread the fishing line through the hole you punched and down the length of the quill and out the end. Pull the line through until it hits the knot.
  4. Repeat this with another larger feather.
  5. Thread the fishing line through a small jingle bell, working from bottom to top.
  6. Next, wrap the line twice around the eyelet at the top of the jingle bell. This will help hold the bell in place directly on top of the feathers.
  7. About 18 inches from the top of the bell, tie another barrel swivel (without clip). Trim away excess line.
  8. Clip the bird toy to the line attached to the wand and help it take flight.

Critter

A little felt, some tan suede laces and some simple stitching make a critter to chase.

  1. Trim the silhouette of a mouse or small rodent from a piece of felt.
  2. Repeat with another shade. We used two tones of gray.
  3. To make the tail and legs, cut two strands from the tan suede laces. Tie a knot in one end to make the tail. Tie knots in the middle of the other two pieces to make the legs.
  4. Place one piece of felt on the table. Next, position the legs and tail where you want them. Align the knots down the midline of the body—this will help give dimension to the body. Place a barrel swivel (without clip) near the head of your rodent so one eyelet is inside the toy, with the other sticking out.
  5. Place the second piece of felt over the top of the other to cover the suede laces. Align the edges.
  6. Double thread your sewing needle, and stitch around the perimeter of the rodent. Stitch directly through the suede laces to help keep them in place. And make a couple of extra stitches through the eyelet of the barrel swivel to fortify it as it will be the point of attachment.
  7. Cut a 24-inch strand of fishing line. Tie a second barrel swivel (without clip) to one end. Tie the other to the eyelet on the barrel swivel sticking out of your rodent toy. Trim away any excess line.
  8. Clip your critter toy to the wand, drag it along the floor in front of your cat and watch her pounce.

Small pompons mimic the body segments of an insect, while strands of suede laces make for legs. Together, they’re irresistibly fun.

  1. Cut four short strands (about 3 inches long) of black suede laces. Tie a knot in each so the knot is centered in the strand.
  2. Take a little over 24 inches of fishing line. Tie a few knots on top of each other to create a stop. Trim away any excess line. Thread the opposite end of the fishing line through a sewing needle.
  3. Use the needle and fishing line to begin stringing through the center of the pompons.
  4. Alternate pompons with the short strands of suede laces. String the fishing line through the middle of the knot.
  5. When the bug is as long as you want it, tie a knot or two as close to the top of the bug’s head to help keep everything in place. Trim the laces to the desired length.
  6. At the far end, tie a barrel swivel (without clip) about 18 to 24 inches from the top of the bug’s head. Trim away any excess line.
  7. To make your own spin on this design, consider using ribbon instead of the suede laces. Or use a jingle bell at the front to give it some weight, and help it make noise.
  8. Clip this toy to your wand and bring it to life for your cat.

When enjoying your creation, be mindful that these cat toys are made of small parts. Please supervise your furry friend while playing and collect the pieces when done to help ensure safety.

Get more ideas for games to play with your cat and other enrichment ideas from our experts on our Pet Expertise page.

Feeling crafty? If you find yourself at home without anything to do, make toys for your pets! Follow along with this quick and easy tutorial for fleece cat toys. Don’t have a cat? Contact us to donate your fleece toys to the shelter cats at OHS and receive volunteer hours.

Supplies you’ll need:
  • Fleece fabric (old fleece clothes and blankets also work well)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape or ruler

How to make kitten toys

Watch this video tutorial then follow the 8 simple steps below to make your fleece cat toy.

Step-by-step instructions:

Step 1: Cut a piece of fleece about 8 inches long and 3 inches wide.

How to make kitten toys

Step 2: Fold in half lengthwise (hot dog style).

How to make kitten toys

Step 3: Make cuts about ¾ of the way up the fleece while being sure not to accidentally cut off a piece. You can slip a pen or pencil in the fold to prevent this.

How to make kitten toys

How to make kitten toys

Step 4: Unfold the fabric and lay flat.

How to make kitten toys

Step 5: Working from one end, begin tightly rolling the fleece into a cylinder, being careful to keep the fringe in place.

How to make kitten toys

How to make kitten toys

Step 6: Cut a piece of fleece in a contrasting color about 16 inches long and ½ inch to 1 inch wide.

How to make kitten toys

Step 7: Tie this piece of fleece tightly around the rolled cylinder.

How to make kitten toys

Step 8: Fluff until you have a nice round ball.

How to make kitten toys

That’s it! Now it’s time to put your fleece toy to use in playtime with your cat. Tag us in your finished DIY project on Facebook or Instagram.