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Home > Cats > 13 DIY Cardboard Cat Toys Your Feline Will Love (With Pictures)

13 DIY Cardboard Cat Toys Your Feline Will Love (With Pictures)

Little fluffy kitten playing with a box

Our cats love to play, but they can be somewhat picky about what they’ll play with. Instead of spending countless amounts on cat toys your favorite feline may or may not play with, why not create some instead? By doing that, you’ll save tons, and your pet will have all the toys it could ever want or need!

The idea of making cat toys can sound challenging and overwhelming, but you’ll find that many cat toys are incredibly easy to make. Whether it’s making use of a cardboard toilet paper roll or incorporating cardboard boxes into something cool and creative for your kitty, you’ll find a range of plans to make toys below. These plans come in all different skill levels, from beginner to advanced, so there’s sure to be something you can make (even if you lack craftiness).

Keep reading to find a cardboard toy your feline will have a blast with!


The 13 DIY Cardboard Cat Toys

1. Cardboard Mouse Cat toy by Instructables

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image By: Instructables
Materials: 3/16” piece of cardboard, template
Tools:  Tape, X-acto blade, cutting mat, Elmer’s glue
Difficulty Level: Beginner

One of kitty’s favorite things is mice, which makes this cardboard mouse an excellent toy to have around. And this cardboard toy is so simple to put together since it’s essentially a matter of “insert slot A into slot B”. You’ll begin by downloading the template found on the site and taping it to your piece of cardboard. Then it’s time to break out the X-acto blade to cut out your mouse shapes. After that, you’ll put a dot of the Elmer’s onto one of the cardboard pieces to hold it together when you finally insert slot A into slot B.

That’s literally all there is to this mouse! It should only take minutes to put together but will hopefully create hours of fun for your kitty.

2. Soda Box Whack-a-Mole Cat Toy by Cuteness

Materials: 12-pack soda carton, bamboo skewers, feathers, 2 pipe cleaners, paper towel tube
Tools:  Scissors, X-acto blade, cutting mat, glue or hot glue gun, decorative or duct tape
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Though this cardboard cat toy will take longer to make than the last, it’s still relatively easy to create. Once you’ve gathered your needed supplies, you’ll cut some holes into the soda box, stick in a support beam of sorts with the paper towel tube, and then create a fun feathery stick to maneuver around the box to entice your kitty to play. Easy peasy, right?

This may not be a toy your cat can play with on its own, but playing together with your pet will enable your bond to grow stronger!

3. DIY Cat Food Puzzle by Food Puzzles for Cats

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: Food Puzzles for Cats
Materials: Toilet paper roll
Tools:  Scissors or X-acto blade, tape
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Felines are very food-motivated, so your pet will love this food puzzle that will take minutes to make! Just take your toilet paper roll and cut a shape into one side (a hole, a diamond, a triangle, etc.). Then toss in some pieces of food or a few treats and fold them in the ends (put a piece of tape on them to help keep them closed if needed). That’s it!

Now you can toss the food puzzle to your favorite cat and watch it engage in endless fun as it tries to get the food or treats out!

4. DIY Catnip Toy by Darcy and Brian

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: Darcy and Brian
Materials: Toilet paper roll, yarn, catnip
Tools:  Glue
Difficulty Level: Beginner

This catnip toy is another simple one to make that will only consist of a few minutes of your time. You only need to put some glue on the outside of the cardboard, then roll it around in catnip. Once the catnip has dried onto the tube, wrap it in yarn until the catnip has been covered entirely (you’ll likely need to employ a bit of glue here as well).

After that, you can throw it to your cat and watch them go hog wild over it!

5. Mouse Cat Toys by PetDIYs

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: Pet DIYS
Materials: Enough cardboard to cut several circles, a piece of rope
Tools:  Scissors or X-acto blade
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Yep, it’s another cardboard mouse! This one is a bit more involved than the last but still super simple to put together. You just need to cut out several small circles in varying sizes from the cardboard, then cut out some tiny mouse ears. When you’ve finished that, you’ll poke a hole in the center of all those circles, then thread the rope through to connect them. Tie the ends of the rope with a knot, and you have yourself a mouse!

6. Cardboard Cat Play Box by Charleston Crafted

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: Charleston Crafted
Materials: Cardboard box big enough for your cat, items such as feathers, string, pom-poms, etc.
Tools:  Scissors or X-acto blade, packing tape, glue
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Felines love batting at things, so this play box should be a hit! Plus, it’s a breeze to make—in fact, if you have kiddos, this is a cat toy you can invite them to help make. First, you’ll tape up the box and cut out the sides. Next, you’ll add holes at the top of the box to hang things. Finally, let those creative juices flow and create all sorts of fun, dangly items for your kitty to play with! String up some feathers or make fun shapes out of pipe cleaner, whatever strikes your fancy.

This play box should provide hours of fun for your favorite feline!

7. 2-Minute DIY Toy by Thrifty Jinxy

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: Thrifty Jinxy
Materials: Toilet paper roll
Tools:  Scissors, glue (optional)
Difficulty Level: Beginner

As the name indicates, this cardboard cat toy is quick to make! That means if you have several empty toilet paper rolls lying around, you can make a few at a time in less than 10 minutes. All you need to do is cut your tube into a few rings, and then shape them into a sphere shape. Voila, cat toy complete! You can add a bit of glue to hold the rings together if you’d like, but your cats might have more fun figuring out how to take the rings apart. Experiment to see which they enjoy more!

8. Whack-a-Mole Cat Toy Game by Joeyful Dog and Cat

Materials: Cardboard, popsicle sticks
Tools:  Compass, ruler, power drill, hot glue gun, pencil, X-acto blade, scissors
Difficulty Level: Advanced

This whack-a-mole game is a bit more difficult to make than the last one on our list, but with a lot of measuring and a touch of patience, you should have a toy your cat adores. Unlike the previous whack-a-mole game, where you used skewers to play with your pet, this toy creates a whack-a-mole your cat can do by itself. Not only will this cardboard cat toy entertain kitty, but you’ll have loads of fun watching your pet. Just ensure the cardboard you use for this is sturdy because chances are your feline will jump on top of it at some point.

And even though it’s a tiny bit harder than the last, you’ll be able to follow along step-by-step with the video tutorial.

9. Cardboard String Cat Toy by I Love Green Grass

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: I Love Green Grass
Materials: Cardboard, yarn or thin rope
Tools:  Scissors or X-acto blade, thick needle
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Here’s another easy-peasy cardboard cat toy that you can assemble in only three steps! This toy involves cutting out some cardboard circles and stringing them together. The nice thing with this one is that you can either keep the string short, so your cat can play with the toy on the floor, or you can have a longer string so you’re able to dangle the toy for your cat.

Whichever way you choose to play with your pet, your feline should enjoy this cardboard string toy!

10. Interactive Kitten Box by Jonasek The Cat

Materials: 22 x 22 x 5 cm box, small ball (like a ping pong ball)
Tools:  Duct tape, scissors or X-acto blade
Difficulty Level: Beginner

This interactive kitten box looks like it would be moderately challenging to accomplish, but it’s really not. Following the video tutorial, you’ll find you only need to put some tape around your box, then cut out some fun shapes—including one that’s large enough for your ball to fit through. Place the ball inside, and you’re done!

This toy is so simple, yet it will keep your kitten entertained for ages as it bats around the ball and attempts to get it out.

11. DIY Cardboard Ball Toy by Instructables

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: Instructables
Materials: 2mm thick cardboard
Tools:  Glue, scissors, compass
Difficulty Level: Beginner

Make a toy for your kitty that’s quick, easy, and loads of fun! All you have to do to create this ball is cut out a bunch of same-size circles and glue them together. It really couldn’t be easier. You’ll probably need to shape the toy into more of a ball shape once the glue is dry, but then it’s ready to hand over to your favorite feline. They’ll love rolling this around, playing fetch, and even sharpening their nails on it!

12. Box Fort for Cats by Kitty Cat Chronicles

DIY Cardboard Cat
Image Credit: Kitty Cat Chronicles
Materials: Cardboard boxes
Tools:  Scissors, box cutter, duct or packing tape
Difficulty Level: Beginner

You’d think a fort would be more difficult to make, but with this plan, it’s a breeze! You’ll need to develop a design of sorts for your fort, then cut out door holes that match up with each other. Once that’s finished, you can tape your boxes together into a nifty area where your cat can wander around and play in.

This one will likely end up being on the larger side, so ensure you have the space for it before you begin.

13. DIY Mega Puzzle Toy by Cat Lessons

Materials: Toilet paper or paper towel rolls (about 150), cat-sized basket for making the shape
Tools:  Scissors or X-acto blade, hot glue gun, clothespins
Difficulty Level: Beginner

You’ll need to save up a lot of toilet paper rolls for this one, but once you’ve managed that, you’ll easily be able to put together a fun and engaging puzzle toy! This one will be time-consuming as you’re going to be gluing a ton of cardboard tubes together, but your pet will absolutely love this. Once you have everything glued together, randomly add a few treats to the insides of some of the tubes. Then, sit back and watch your cat figure out where all the treats are!


Final Thoughts

Cat toys can get expensive to buy, especially if your cat is picky about what it’ll play with or uses toys for a short time before ditching them altogether. So, why not make a few quick, easy cardboard cat toys for your furry friend? With the plans above, you can create a good variety of cat toys, no matter your skill level, and pretty soon, your kitty will have more toys than it knows what to do with!

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Featured Image Credit: ginkoveyka, Freepik

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