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17 Genius DIY Toys Your Cat Will Love

By Stacy Painter
published: June 29, 2022 - updated: August 5, 2022 • 3 min. read
cat play gym

Cats enjoy mental stimulation and playtime to keep their minds and bodies active throughout the day. Fortunately, you don’t have to spend lots of money on cat toys because there are all kinds of DIY cat toy ideas to explore. Many of these ideas use items and craft supplies you may already have around the house. Find a DIY cat toy project that inspires you, and let’s get hands-on!

T-shirt cat toy

t-shirt cat toy
Image credit: Muslin & Merlot

You don’t need to be a crafting expert to create these simple toys. Repurpose your old clothes into cat toys in just a few minutes. Learn how to make these Muslin and Merlot t-shirt cat toys.

Soda box cat toy

soda box cat toy
Image credit: Cuteness

The final product is a toy you and your cat will enjoy together—a whack-a-mole type game for your cat made with an empty soda box. Visit Cuteness to learn more about the DIY soda box cat toy.

Sock fish cat toy

sock fish cat toy
Image credit: KittyClysm

If you’re looking for a quick and easy project, this one’s for you. Consider also adding catnip inside the sock if your cat is particularly interested. Visit KittyClysm for the sock fish toy tutorial.

Cardboard cat playhouse

cat cardboard house
Image credit: Johnny Miller

Who doesn’t have spare boxes from their online shopping habits? If you want to upgrade the plain cardboard boxes your kitty likes to sit in, consider making them into a fancy playhouse. See the slideshow on how to make a cardboard cat playhouse.

Cat wand

DIY cat wand
Image credit: Irresistible Pets

Cat wand toys are a great way to exercise your kitty as they run and jump to try and catch the ribbons. Use this homemade wand toy to dazzle your cat and get some playtime with their favorite human. Learn more at Irresistible Pets.

Felt mouse catnip toy

felt mouse cat toys
Image credit: Lia Griffith

With basic sewing skills, you can create these simply adorable felt mice. Learn more in Lia Griffith’s felt mouse catnip toy tutorial.

Cat scratching post

cat scratching post
Image credit: Dream a Little Bigger

Give your kitty their dedicated piece of furniture on which they can release their scratching energy. Find the instructions from Dream a Little Bigger.

Self-petting station

cat scratching station
Image credit: Instructables

Now your cat can get the pets and scratches they want at a moment’s notice with this homemade cat scratching station. Instructables teaches you how to make self-petting station.

PVC pipe hammock bed

cat hammock bed
Image credit: Love Pets DIY

Here’s a cozy spot where your cat can relax while playing with all of their new homemade toys. Love Pets DIY teaches you how to make it.

Yarn pom pom toy

You only need yarn and scissors to make your cat their own pom pom toys. These pom poms work well as standalone toys or can be used to enhance flirt poles and other DIY cat toys.

Toilet paper tube toy

dog playing with toilet paper tube toy

Here’s another quick craft that requires very little work—all you need is an empty toilet paper tube.

Cattail catnip toy

cat with homemade toy
Image credit: Sew4home

Though this toy can be hand sewed, a sewing machine will make the project much faster. It requires fabric, thread, and catnip. Sew4home provides the instructions.

Cat play gym

cat play gym
Image credit: Charleston Crafted

Though it requires a few supplies, you’ll need to be a little handy with a drill to make this adorable kitty gym. Visit Charleston Crafted to learn how to make this cat play gym.

Junk food cat toys

What’s a cuter way to offer your kit some catnip than with their own cat-sized cheeseburger? To create these toys, you’ll need colored felt and sewing thread. Read more at A Beautiful Mess.

Fishing pole cat toy

cat fishing pole
Image credit: Saltwater Daughters

Go fishing for the cutest kitty with this homemade fishing pole flirt toy. Want to make one for your cat? Visit Saltwater Daughters.

Interactive cat tower stool

cat condo stool
Image credit: Diana Rambles

This homemade cat condo cleverly repurposes a bar stool into a multi-purpose kitty hangout where your cat can play, scratch, and lounge. Here’s how to make this cat tower stool.

Natural cat toys

catnip cardboard toys
Image credit: Prodigal Pieces

If you enjoy cute cat toys but also like to keep a natural home free of BPAs and other harmful plastics and chemicals, this is the cat toy project for you. Prodical Pieces has the instructions to make these natural cat toys.

If you’re looking for more cat-related DIY projects, check out these 9 cat life hacks. Or learn how to build your cat a DIY “catio” to let them enjoy the outdoors safely.

Stacy Painter profile
By Stacy Painter

Stacy has always been an animal lover and has worked in the pet industry and pet insurance specifically for over a decade. As a writer since early childhood, content writing for Healthy Paws pet insurance was a natural career path to combine her two passions. She currently lives in Florida with her boyfriend and Taiwanese rescue dog, Kaya.

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