10+ Homemade Cat Toys You Can Make Right Meow

Making homemade, DIY cat toys for your feline friend doesn't require power tools or even a sewing machine. Try these super easy tutorials.

Updated February 2, 2024
Cat Playing

How many times does your cat play more with the box their toy came in over the toy itself? Stop spending oodles of money on fancy products and create your own homemade cat toys instead. With a few simple household supplies and a bit of safety know-how, you can make cardboard scratchers, puzzle toys, and even catnip fishies for a fraction of what they’re selling them for. Plus, they’ll keep your cat entertained for hours. You’re very welcome.

1. Homemade Cardboard Cat House Tutorial

Chances are your cat will eagerly play with any cardboard box you give them. Cats just love boxes! If you want to give them something extra special, follow this easy tutorial for a homemade cat house. Make sure to use strong cardboard and non-toxic markers or paint in case your kitty decides to take a bite out of their front door.

2. DIY Cat Puzzle Box

Cat puzzles are an awesome way to keep your feline friend busy while encouraging them to test their problem-solving skills. But there’s no denying that a lot of the puzzle products out there are super expensive. Make your own at home for next to nothing in just a few minutes by following this instructional video.

Related: Homemade Cat Food Recipes for a Fun Treat

3. Puzzle Tube Toy Game for Cats

Another type of DIY puzzle toy involves an empty potato chip can (or something similar) that your cat can push around. Placing offset holes along the length of the tube makes this a super fun and easy game your cat will love.

Quick Tip

Try a variation by punching smaller holes throughout the tube and filling it with a tablespoon of their regular kibble. This can be a fun way to keep them entertained or even enhance mealtimes.

4. DIY Cardboard Cat Scratcher

At my house, we go through cardboard scratchers faster than cat treats. Who knew you could make them at home? Give your cardboard boxes a second life with this fun DIY.

Related: 16 Cat Enrichment Ideas to Make Their Days More Exciting

5. Easy Corner Face Self-Scratcher

It’s a common cat behavior to rub up against things. They do it to communicate, mark their territory, and because it feels good. There are actually brush-like products out there that stick onto wall or furniture corners as a way for your cat to self-scratch or even groom themselves. Make one yourself using non-toxic brushes and watch your cat fall in love with it.

Quick Tip

Have an area you need your cat to stay away from or not rub against? Try our DIY cat repellants.

6. DIY Snuffle Mat for Cats

Snuffle mats are awesome toys for cats and dogs alike, but most products are targeted toward dogs specifically. Make your own custom snuffle mat with your kitty in mind. The point of this toy is to hide treats inside the fabric and allow your cat to sniff (“snuffle,” if you will) through the fabric pieces to find their treat.

Quick Tip

You can also hide toys or sprinkle catnip in the mat for even more fun.

7. Easiest Homemade Cat Toy Ever

Rustling and crinkling can mimic the sound of a cat’s prey scurrying through the leaves. Give your indoor kitty the taste of chasing prey with a homemade paper ball. The “scrumple buddy” as the folks at Friskies call it, is the easiest cat toy you’ll ever make. And we guarantee that your cat will absolutely love running after it.

Related: DIY Cat Shelf Ideas for a Cat Wall Playground

8. Sock Catnip Fishies

Did you know that you can make an adorable catnip toy out of nothing but catnip, shredded paper, and a sock? It’s as easy as that. The way Craft Factory fills the sock in this video is seriously a game-changer, though. Try it out!

Quick Tip

If your cat isn’t a fan of catnip toys, consider making them some catnip tea instead.

9. DIY Cat Kicker Toy

Make your cat a tubular kicker toy they can bunny kick with their back legs while hugging with their front legs. As an added bonus, you can put catnip inside the stick or even bells to keep all your cat’s senses engaged. They’ll have a blast playing with it, and you’ll love watching them shake all their sillies out.

Related: 9 Proven Ways to Make Sure Your Cat Is Happy and Feline Fine

10. Homemade Treat Dispenser

Who doesn’t have empty toilet paper rolls in their recycling? Put those to good use by transforming them into a super easy cat toy. Just pop a few treats inside, fold the ends to seal it up, then let your cat go wild. They’ll push the roll around and manipulate it with their paws and mouth until they get the treats out. Fun for everyone!  

DIY Cat Toy Safety

It’s important to know which toys are safe for cats and which can do more harm than good. The Oregon Humane Society cautions that “The things that are usually the most attractive to cats are often the things that are the most dangerous.” That means yarn, string, ribbon, feathers, elastics, and all pieces small enough to swallow are off-limits unless you'll be supervising play with that toy at all times. You’ll want to use only non-toxic materials in case your cat bites or licks their new toy.

Related: 10 Household Items Cats Like to Play With, But Should They?

More Homemade Cat Toys From Stuff You Have Around

Some homemade toys don't really require any "making" at all. Try some of these fun ways to play with your cat with stuff you just have hanging around.

Ping Pong Ball

Believe it or not, your kitty can have hours of fun with this. Simply take a ping pong ball and throw it.

Bag Toys

Never use a plastic bag for these homemade cat toys; instead, use a large paper bag from a supermarket or department store. You can also do this with a cardboard box, just be sure to remove all staples and tape.

Blow Bubbles

Easy for you and fun for your cat.

Homemade Cat Toys to Unleash Your Kitty's Wild Side

Cats are predatory animals by nature. Most of the toys they love mimic their natural instincts, like foraging behaviors, head bunting, and problem solving. Use these easy homemade cat toys to exercise your feline friend’s mind and body for a healthy and confident cat.

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10+ Homemade Cat Toys You Can Make Right Meow