The funny thing about cats is that they don’t care how much money you spend on things like toys and treats. You could spend hours researching the best reviewed cat trees and decide to splurge on a luxury product, but your cat is more likely to sit in the box than appreciate their new gift. If your cat doesn’t care where their toys come from, why should you? Making your own homemade cat toys is a great way to save money. And trust me when I say your cat will be just as happy with DIY as they would be with store bought.
Check out these easy-to-make cat toy ideas that your cat will love.
1. Stuffed Sock Fishies
We all have a bin of mix-matched socks somewhere in the house. You can hang on to those loners hoping you’ll one day find their match, or you can face the facts and use these random socks for something useful…like homemade cat toys. These stuffed sock toys are probably the simplest homemade cat toys out there, and yet cats still love them.
All you need is a sock and something to stuff the sock with (crinkly material like packing paper works well). Stuff as much material inside the sock as you want, and tie a tight knot to keep it all in. You can leave it like that, or you can grab a Sharpie and decorate your new toy so it looks like a fish. Honestly, your cat won’t care what it looks like, but they’ll love batting it around the house.
2. TP Roll Treat Puzzles
Now that toilet paper is back in stock, it’s time to put those empty rolls to good use. Instead of throwing them out, save them to make homemade cat toys. My cat doesn’t even need me to do anything with the rolls. He has a ball throwing the empty tube into the air and then chasing it down the hallway. But if your cat isn’t as easy to please as mine, you can turn yesterday’s trash into a fun treat puzzle.
Treat puzzles are great because they make cats use their brains and their bodies to get what they want. Take your empty toilet paper roll and cut or fold it however you want to make at least a semi-enclosed shape. You can cut the roll into strips and then use a hot glue gun to craft it into a ball with slits. Or you can simply fold over the ends to make a kind of packet. Put your cat’s favorite treats inside your creation, and let your kitty use their noggin to figure out how to get the treats into their belly.
3. Feather Wand
Cats love to stalk and pounce, so feather wands are great for physical exercise and mental enrichment. And the best part is, they’re super simple to make. If you happen to have craft feathers in the house, you can finally put them to use. But if you don’t, you can make your own feathers using paper.
Once you have your feathers, you just need a bit of string and something to tie it to, like a pencil, popsicle stick, or dowel rod. Your cat’s claws might eventually rip through your paper feathers, but that’s the beauty of homemade. It won’t cost you anything to grab your scissors and make some more.
4. Yarn Pom Pom Ball
You have to be careful with yarn and cats (you don’t want them swallowing the string), but these homemade yarn balls lead to lots of fun. They take literally less than five minutes to make, and they’re super simple.
Take your yarn and wrap it around a fork like you would with spaghetti. You could also use your two fingers if you don’t feel like walking to the kitchen for a fork. The more yarn you wrap, the fluffier your pom pom will be. When you’re satisfied with the amount of yarn, carefully slip it off the fork. Then wrap the end of the yarn around the middle of the bundle. Wrap it a few times for strength, and then tie it tightly. Trim the end, and voila!
5. Whack-a-Mole Box
Cats love a good game of whack-a-mole, and we humans love watching them play. I’m sure you have a few Amazon boxes that you haven’t recycled yet, or even an empty soda case will work for this homemade cat toy. It just needs to be somewhat sturdy so when your cat gets into the game, they don’t wreck your work in one pounce.
You can make this homemade whack-a-mole game as simple or complex as you want. My box definitely isn’t pretty, but my cat couldn’t care less. All you need to do is cut a few holes out of the top of your box and then cut an opening in one side. Then you need to craft your “mole.” It can be anything you want. A few feathers glued to the end of a pencil, a cardboard cutout on the end of a pipe cleaner, get creative! The goal is to have something you can insert into the side of the box and move from hole to hole so your cat tries to catch it.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to keep your cat happy. Toys are important, but your feline friend will be perfectly content with any of these homemade cat toys. Save your money, get creative, and watch your cat have fun!