8 DIY Catnip Toys Your Feline Friend Will Fawn Over

Throw together some safe homemade DIY catnip toys to keep your cat entertained and purring with joy.

Published February 9, 2024
Bengal cat lying on sofa and smiling

Making homemade catnip toys is way easier than you might think. Even if you have no sewing experience at all, you can whip up a basket of these fun playthings in as little as five minutes. So grab some high-quality catnip and get to work because these DIY catnip toys are absolutely the cat’s meow.

1. No-Sew DIY Catnip Socks

This is the easiest catnip toy you could ever make, and it’s about to become your cat’s favorite thing. All you need is a sock, some shredded paper, and your tasty catnip. Put it all together, and voila, you have a catnip fish that your cat will roll around with all weekend. My cats can't get enough of these, and as a bonus, I get to use old socks that I'd otherwise throw away. It's feline and earth-friendly!

2. Easy Homemade Catnip Squares

If you have a sewing machine, or like to do the backstitch by hand, you can put together these adorable catnip squares. Make them in any and every fabric print you can find. Cutting the edges with pinking sheers just adds to the look, though your cat will still love them no matter what the edges look like. Plus, they're absolutely adorable as gifts for friends, neighbors, animal shelters, and more! Use a cute kitty-focused pattern for some added oomph, as they show in the video. Then, when the catnip gets old, marinate them (like I show below) to bring back new life into these cat favorites.

Quick Tip

Whip up a whole bunch of these and gift them to the cat parents in your life for birthdays or holidays.

Related: What Catnip Does to Cats & Why They Think It's The Cat's Meow

3. Crinkly Catnip Fish DIY

Cats love a good crinkle. The addition of a piece of an old chip bag (yes, you read that right — a chip bag!) will create a sound that your cat can’t resist. Throw together these crinkly catnip fish and watch your cat get the zoomies. It definitely has me thinking about what else I can use inside my cat toys ... old plastic bottles? Bells? Discarded packing tape? Yup. Yup. Yup!

4. DIY Catnip Knots

This knot tutorial results in great homemade catnip toys that are incredibly easy and fast to make. If your cat does somehow get the knots undone, they can enjoy rolling in and tasting the nip. Eating catnip actually has a different effect on cats than sniffing it. Cool, right?

Consider getting a few neighbors or family together for a DIY night and making a bunch of these for your local cat shelter or foster homes. The kitties win some awesome new toys and you have a great excuse to gather for a fun cause. 

Quick Tip

Catnip knots are a great kid-friendly catnip toy project that’s fun for the whole family.

5. Homemade Catnip Blanket Tutorial

If you have sewing knowledge or are up for a challenge, this catnip blanket is a must-try. You’ll need a sewing machine along with Velcro and experience with pushing out corners. Because of the Velcro, you can refill the blanket with catnip whenever it needs a little refresh. Make these in a machine-washable fabric and these DIY catnip blankets will stick around for years to come.

6. DIY Felted Catnip Bunnies

Felting is an awesome craft that involves poking felting yarn with a needle to compress them into a cute toy. The video features a bunny shape, but you can use any cookie cutter shape you like to create your own personalized felted toys.

7. DIY Origami Mouse for Catnip

All cats have their preferences, and some just don’t like fabric that much. That’s why this paper catnip toy is such a great option. Follow the step-by-step instructions to craft your own origami cat toy and fill it with catnip. Did we mention it looks just like a mouse? You can’t get much cuter than that.

Quick Tip

Try making your cat some catnip tea and see how they like it. Because all cats are different, some react to dried catnip, whereas others really like the tea.

8. Marinate Old Catnip Toys to Give Them New Life!

Have your cats stopped playing with their catnip toys? There’s no need to throw them away. Instead, marinate them! This involves putting the toys in a bag, jar, or Tupperware container, along with a few sprinkles of loose catnip. Shake it up a few times or leave it overnight, then let your cat enjoy their new and improved toys!

Cheap and Easy Catnip Toys You Can Make Yourself

Owning a cat can be expensive. Between food, litter, vaccines, and veterinary bills, the last thing you want to do is spend a ton of money on toys. Fortunately, you don’t have to. Making your own cat toys allows you to have control over the materials used and helps keep your cat safe.

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8 DIY Catnip Toys Your Feline Friend Will Fawn Over