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Easy Homemade DIY Cat Toys


You know the old cliche that kids would rather play with the cardboard box than the expensive toy that came in it? The same holds true for pets. There are plenty of fun things around the house that you can turn into easy pet entertainment. They’re fun to make, fun for your cat to play with, and can even save you a little cash this season (just be sure to supervise play, and always watch out for any accidental ingestion).

Ready to get crafting?



Cats love to hide, climb, and pounce — and you don’t need to buy expensive cat furniture to help them satisfy those instincts.

What you need

  • A sharp knife
  • Two extra-large cardboard boxes (appliance boxes are perfect, but smaller ones that are big enough to hold your cat may work just as well)
  • Packing tape

What to do

  1. Tape one side of each cardboard box closed. Then tape the other side’s open flaps to each other, so one side of each box is shut and the other is taped open, creating a larger surface area inside.
  2. Cut two 5- 10″ openings into each box. The openings can be circular or square and go on any side of the box — even the top! For a fun doorway that’s also a peephole, try cutting three sides of a square door, but leaving the fourth side attached to the box. (Tip: Place one hole at ground level on each box and then create another at chest level or above so your cat can look out.) It should go without saying that this should be done very carefully.
  3. Lay box 1 on its long side so its open side is perpendicular to the ground. Lay box 2 on its short side so its open side is perpendicular to the ground, but so the box stands taller than the first.
  4. Tape the two open sides together so the bottom and one side of each box are taped directly to the other matching side. Reinforce the bond by crisscrossing the tape at the top corner where the two open sides meet (see the spot circled in red in the photo). This will leave one side of the playhouse completely closed while creating peepholes on the top and to one side.
  5. Toss in some catnip and your cat’s favorite toy, then leave the playhouse for your cat to discover.

No matter what you do, don’t push your cat inside — let him inspect the playhouse and get comfortable with it first. I’d bet that, before you know it, your cats will go as crazy for their new playhouse as my own do.


Feather Wand

What’s more fun than playing with your favorite feline? Here’s how to make a feather wand your cat will absolutely adore.

Our friends at Friskies created the Friskies Do-It-Yourself Toy Maker Series of videos to help kitties everywhere live more fun, fulfilling lives. Today, we’ll show you their creative take on how to make a fun feather wand toy. Take a look:

What You’ll Need

  • 2 colors of yarn
  • 1 wooden dowel
  • 1 needle and thread
  • 1 wooden bead
  • Feathers
  • 1 thin leather strap
  • A little bit of blue string
  • 1 pair of scissors
  • 1 drill

What to Do

  1. Using your thumb to hold it in place, wrap your first spool of yarn around your hand.
  2. Cut the end. And add the other color!
  3. Next, carefully take the yard off your hand and, using your blue string, tie them up in the middle.
  4. Cut the loops. You got yourself a yarn ball!
  5. Take your leather strap and sew it to the yarn ball.
  6. Using another shorter leather strap, sew the feathers to the end.
  7. Slide the wooden bead over the base of the feathers.
  8. Tie the shorter leather strap to the longer one.
  9. Remember the drill? Time to use it!
  10. Put the strap through the hole and tie off the end.

That’s it! You’ve got a brand new feather wand to play with together. For more fun and helpful cat videos, subscribe to Friskies’ YouTube Channel.


Crinkly Stuffed “Mice”

What You’ll Need

  • An old sock
  • Crumpled paper
  • Catnip (optional)

What to Do

A sock stuffed with crinkled white paper and tied in a knot at the end is simple and easy to make. Your cat will carry it around all day long.


Yummy Treat Dispenser

What You’ll Need

  • 1 empty plastic soda bottle
  • Scissors (to cut a hole)
  • Your cat’s favorite treats

What to Do

This is a great one if your cats like to ‘look’ or hunt for food. Get an empty soda bottle. (Plastic, of course.) Make a small hole, just big enough for dry food to drop out. Put about a handful inside and screw the cap back on. They love to pat the bottle around and get the rewards!


A Fun, Ever-changing Hideaway

What You’ll Need

  • Paper or reusable shopping bags or boxes
  • Catnip (optional)

What to Do

Whether it is eco-friendly/reusable bags or paper, cut a few holes, and let your cats roll, play, and lie all over the bags. This also works great with empty boxes.


A Durable, Rolling “Mouse”

What You’ll Need

  • A used, threadless spool
  • A shoelace (cut to size)

What to Do

Combine a leather shoelace and a threadless spool to create a mouse-like toy. Your cat will carry her prey around by the leather tail and play with it for hours.


Cat Condo

Ball up some used (but clean) tin foil and toss it around—even more fun, put a pinch of catnip inside the ball and watch your cat go nuts. Tape up a cardboard box and cut a cat-sized hole into it—toss in some catnip and you’ve got a cat condo that’s good for at least a few days of fun.

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