If you’ve ever been excited to bring home a fancy cat toy only to find your kitty still prefers chewing on your headphones, you know the struggle. Simple is best, and these easy DIY cat toys can be made mostly with materials lying around the house. Put aside a half hour, and see what kitty festivities you can create. 

Magic Cat Wand

Save yourself some money and DIY this classic cat wand. Gather ribbons (that you can curl with a pair of scissors), string, twine, and a stick. Tie together ribbons and string and wrap it around the stick, attaching the two with tight knots of twine. Add bells or pom-poms to the ends for extra fun!

Magic Cat Wand is a DIY cat toy

Photo via Design Sponge

Toilet Paper Roll + Straws

Before tossing it in the recycling, consider turning that old toilet paper roll into endless enjoyment for your kitty. You’ll need to poke small holes in the roll, slide plastic straws through the holes, and seal them in with a dot of regular or hot glue. Feel free to bend and twist straws into weird angles to keep your cat interested. You could even slip treats inside the straws to exercise their problem-solving abilities. 

TP Roll & Straws makes a good diy cat toy

Photo via The Samantha Show

Go Camping

DIY a cute and comfy cat tent with leftover fabrics or an old t-shirt. Bend two wire hangers to create a frame and pop a solid surface like cardboard at the base to hold the form. Sew (or tape or glue) fabrics to your new tent body and finish off with your kitty’s favourite blanket inside.  

diy cat house

Photo via Flynnside Out Productions/HGTV.com

Cardboard Box Hide-n-Seek

Cat owners know the annoyance of buying a nice cat bed only to find your kitty choosing an empty cardboard box every time. All you need for this fun, interactive toy is a cardboard box and scissors. Cut holes of various sizes and hide treats in the box for your cat to fish out, or reach a (gloved, if your kitty is prone to unsheathing claws) hand through one of the holes and play cat and mouse. 

Hide-n-Seek Box for cats

Photo via Mochi the Cute Fluff/Instagram

Toilet Paper Roll Ball

Turns out the toilet paper roll is kind of a cat toy staple. The folks at Red Ted Art have found a great way to transform it into a lightweight ball for swatting around. Cut your roll into 3-4 strips and slide them into each other so they overlap at a middle point. Rotate the strips until they form a ball, and glue the joining point to seal. Now just toss and watch your cat scramble after it!


TP Roll Ball

Photo via Red Ted Art

Baby Sock, Never Wasted

Socks outgrown seemingly overnight? Child returned with one sock when they left with two? Instead of tossing those left over, you could give them a new life. Stuff the socks with fresh or dried catnip and sew them closed. Even if you’re not a pro seamstress, a simple stitch across the opening will do the trick. If you’re interested in a toy that can stand the test of time, you could try open-and-closable Velcro strips in order to empty and refill the catnip at your discretion. 

baby Sock, Never Wasted

Photo via Stephen Lewis 

DIY Scratch Post

A slightly bigger undertaking, but a surefire winner. You’ll need a piece of plywood, sisal rope, and super glue. Combine plywood panels to create the desired size and width, and wrap with dense sisal rope. Assure both loose ends of the rope are attached firmly with the glue. If the industrial-styled classic scratch post doesn’t quite fit your interior, try dyeing the rope for a sophisticated, coloured-coordinated look. 

DIY Scratch Post

Photo via Trisha Sprouse/Cuteness.com

Knot Your Average Cat Toy

This candy-sweet DIY toy from Muslin & Merlot is sure to entertain your cats for exponentially longer than it took you to make. Use a worn pyjama shirt, old fabrics, or find tees from your local thrift store if you’re looking for new colours and patterns. Cut your chosen fabric into 3” x 10” strips and separate them into groups of 6. Stretch the fabric until it starts to curl and tie together into a knot. Who knew cute could be this easy?

Happy Crafting!

To their credit, cats respect a classic. Some thoughtfully assembled cardboard is often all it takes to keep them happy and off your case for a few hours. A truly bored kitty can wreak (albeit adorable) havoc to your belongings. Learn the signs with Pep & Pup’s Understanding Cat Body Language, and nip boredom in the bud.