Note: When trying cat toy DIYs, take note of the below materials to avoid and always supervise your cat during play time.
Raise your hand if you’ve treated your cat to some cute toys, only to discover they’re much more intrigued by the packing materials instead. It’s pretty common — our feline pals have an uncanny ability to turn anything into a toy. Fortunately, you probably already have plenty of items around the house that could easily transform into hours of enrichment for them! Keep scrolling to learn how to make your own cat toys, materials to use (and avoid), and some YouTube DIY videos to get you started!
What household materials are safe for cat toys?
If you’re ready to skirt the store-bought toys in favor of general household items, you’re in luck. You’ll probably find plenty of things around the house to repurpose for your cat! These items can make great cat toys:
- Paper bags with any handles removed
- Round plastic shower curtain ring
- Ping-Pong balls and plastic practice golf balls with holes
- Empty cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towels
- Cardboard/shipping boxes
Get creative with these items to pique your cat’s interest! For example, you may want to “unwind” the cardboard tube a little, or remove some flaps from the boxes to create a kitty condo!
What materials should be avoided for cat toys?
Remember: if your cat can get into trouble, it probably will! Always supervise your cat’s playtime, and be sure to avoid the following items (not just for cat toy DIYs, but in general):
- Paper clips
- Rubber bands
- String, ribbon, yarn and dental floss (they can ingest them if unsupervised)
- Pins and needles
- Plastic bags (especially drycleaners’ bags)
- Anything they may be tempted to chew
Whether you’re trying cat toy DIYs or buying toys from the store, be sure to remove string, tinsel, ribbons, feathers or other small decorations that your cat could chew off and swallow.
What do you fill cat toys with?
Cats love to dig their claws into just about everything, so it’s important to ensure kitty-safe stuffing when attempting cat toy DIYs. As you explore cat toy DIYs, consider stuffing their toys with catnip. When it’s dried and crushed, this natural plant contains a chemical that attracts cats.
Catnip can be stored in a jar or you can even grow your own. When stuffing or sprinkling your cat’s toys, be generous with this herb! You’ll want your cat to be able to smell it through the fabric and dried catnip will lose its potency over time.
The Best Cat Toy DIYs to Try
Ready to flex that creative muscle? Check out these cute cat toy DIYs from YouTube! (Remember: always supervise your cat during playtime!)
1. 3 Super Simple DIY Cat Toys
2. Easy DIY Cat Toys
3. 6 Easy DIY Toilet Paper Roll Cat Toys
4. Keep Cat Toys Safe
How to Get the Most from Your Cat Toys
Cats can become bored with their toys, so rotate them weekly. Keep a variety of toys around: one to roll, one to carry, one to wrestle with and one for them to snuggle. Cats also love to play hide and seek, as “found” toys are much more attractive to them. Prioritize this interactive play with your furry friend — it strengthens the bond you share!
Taking the time to ensure your cat has new and exciting toys is super important! However, this is just one of the many tasks that ensure they enjoy a happy, healthy life. Read up on the major pet parenting mistakes to avoid to ensure you’re on track!
Allison Wheeler is a writer, Bruce Springsteen enthusiast, and sixth-generation Texan. When she’s not couch surfing in Dallas with her two rescue dogs, she’s planning her next adventure in the desert.