Cats can be really finicky when it comes to just about anything, whether it’s how often they want to be petted, or how many treats they want. Toys might just fall into this category as well. Many pet owners will tell you that you can spend hundreds of dollars on toys, but they eventually end up loving your shoes or favorite sweater instead.
If you’re a cat owner, then you probably already know this all too well. Usually, they prefer shoelaces, balls of tinfoil, or even your used tissue! If you want to avoid spending money on toys your cat may not even use, check out these DIY cat toys for options on a budget.
The 11 DIY Cat Toy Plans:
1. Toilet Paper Roll Tower
|Materials:||Toilet paper roll, treats (optional)|
This easy DIY option doesn’t take more than something you would usually throw in the trash. It’s also something you will have a limitless supply of. We’re talking about toilet paper rolls! These cylindrical and cardboard objects have a lot of potential as a kitty toy. You can choose to keep it very simple or step up your creativity and add some treats, glue on some feathers, or close the top and bottom and throw in something to make a little noise!
2. Feather Wand
|Tools:||Glue stick or glue gun|
|Materials:||Chopstick, feather, yarn (or string), tape, glue|
Try this DIY cat toy if you want to make your own version of the ten-dollar options you see in pet stores. When you think about it, it’s really just a toy dangling off the tip of a stick-shaped object. With a bit of patience and some creative thinking, this option doesn’t take too many extra tools. You will have most of them laying around the house and it might help you get rid of some leftover craft supplies. What makes this project easier is that you can make so many different variations of it from the handle to whatever hangs off the end.
3. Tree Cat Scratcher
|Tools:||Scissors, glue gun|
|Materials:||Glue, cardboard, tree décor (optional)|
Cats need to sharpen their claws and express their wild side by scratching things around the house. A cat scratcher is one of the first things you buy when you get a cat because if you don’t, they’ll almost certainly go after your couch. It gives them something to stretch on or against, and there are multiple options for you to choose from. If you want to DIY this, anything made of rope or cardboard will do. To make a tree-like cat scratcher, you can grab a few pieces of cardboard and curve them around each other in the shape of a tree stump.
4. Sisal Rope Cat Scratcher
|Materials:||Glue, sisal rope, cardboard or wood|
If you’re looking for an affordable option for a cat scratcher with only a few materials, try this easy DIY cat scratcher. Using sisal rope glued around a long piece of cardboard or any other suitable material, you can make yourself a very effective option. Sisal rope will stand up against kitty claws and gets them some useful playtime.
5. Cat Condo
|Materials:||Cardboard box, straws, feathers, ball, other optional materials|
If you have a cat that needs a little more than something that’s just meant to toss around, then something like a hide-and-seek design will work great. It incorporates simple materials like using any old cardboard box, leftover materials like straws and pipe cleaners, and whatever else you have at your disposal. It will turn an empty box into a kitty puzzle with different things to play with!
6. Catnip Pouch
|Tools:||Sewing materials, scissors|
|Materials:||Fabric, needle and thread, catnip|
Cat owners know that catnip is a top choice when it comes to fun goodies for your feline friend to play around with. It gives a burst of energy that everyone loves to watch! With this DIY pouch, there’s no easier toy to make. All you need is a sock, some catnip, and a playful cat. This design takes little effort and will cost next to nothing.
7. T-shirt Rope
This design for a DIY cat toy includes a very simple method; grab some old t-shirts (or other scrap fabric) and tie them into a bow. The more pieces of fabric you tie together, the more your cat will gravitate toward playing with it. Be sure to make sure the pieces are long enough away from the center knot so they imitate something lengthy they can chase after.
Another great DIY cat toy option is this super simple pom-pom craft. They are surprisingly easy to make and only require two simple materials: yarn and string. Grab multiple pieces of yarn and bunch them together and use string to create the pom-pom appearance. It gives your cat a new toy to toss around.
9. Wine Cork Toy
|Materials:||Wine cork, feathers, string|
Now, this design sounds funny, but we promise it works! If you are a wine connoisseur or know someone who is, keep those wine corks around. Depending on your level of creativity or patience this can be super simple by just letting them play with the cork itself (after being carefully cleaned), or you can attach feathers or strings through the bottom.
10. Felt Mouse Toy
|Tools:||Scissors, sewing materials|
This is a relatively easy choice in terms of knowing your cat will be into it, but it is probably the most difficult on this list. You’ve probably seen millions of cat toys that are designed to look like mice, but you can easily make one yourself if you feel so inclined! All this design takes is some fabric for the mouse itself, and different colors for their ears, face, and tail.
11. Interactive Play Box
|Tools:||Scissors, glue gun|
|Materials:||Box, toilet paper rolls, ball, cups|
Another way to repurpose a cardboard or shoe box is to create an interactive obstacle course of sorts. If you throw your cat’s favorite ball inside a box and add hidden paths or holes that it can go through, they will definitely have a blast! This is a simple maze where they need to lead a toy through different obstacles. Although the instructions are not super detailed, it’s fairly simple to make.
As another option, if you're looking to give your cat something exciting, we know of an awesome scratcher that both encourages play and doubles as a stylish modern furniture piece. The Hepper Hi-Lo Cat Scratcher is designed with a curved shape for dynamic movement, is built to last with safe and sturdy birch plywood and thick cardboard, and offers three height options to ensure your cat enjoys the exercise, elevation, and excitement they crave ... and, it's affordable!
At Pet Keen, we've admired Hepper for many years, and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!
Making your own cat toys will save you money and keep your cats stimulated for days on end. If you know cats, you know they get bored of toys pretty quickly so spending money on them can sometimes feel like a waste.
Try any one of these DIY cat toys and give your cat an endless amount of playtime! You will be surprised how much they fall in love with their new toilet paper roll or wine cork, but at least you know replacing them will be a breeze.
See also: How To Clean Cat Toys: 12 Effective Tips
Featured Image Credit: Piotr Musiol, Unsplash