DIY: Make your own cat toys!

Author picture Jessica

How to make homemade cat toys

Cat owners understand that their furry companions can turn any random object into a source of endless fascination. Cats convert crumpled paper balls, shoelaces, and more into playthings. So, why invest in expensive store-bought toys when you can unleash your creativity and craft your own at home?

Cat playing with toy

Making your own cat toys engages and stimulates your cat's instincts. Plus, making your own toys is a great way to create unique gifts for fellow cat lovers. In this guide, we'll explore a variety of homemade cat toys, with step-by-step instructions to keep your cat entertained.

Gather Your Materials

Craft store

Before we dive into the fun and creative process of making cat toys, let's gather the essential materials:

  1. Dried Catnip (Catmint or Catswort): Catnip is the secret ingredient that makes homemade toys tempting to cats. You can find it online, at a nursery, or at a pet shop.
  2. Fabric (Fleece, Felt, or Non-Fray Material): This serves as the base for many of your cat toys.
  3. Wooden Stick: Create teasing wands or interactive toys using this.
  4. Feathers: You can find these at art and craft stores. They're perfect for adding a touch of whimsy to your homemade creations.
  5. Paper: Regular paper works for making lightweight balls.
  6. Empty Toilet Rolls: These are ideal for crafting toy balls.
  7. Wool: Wool adds a tactile element to some of your homemade toys.
  8. Sisal String: Wrap it around certain toys to create additional textures.
  9. Optional Tools: If necessary, use a needle and thread for sewing and a pair of scissors for cutting materials to size.

Cat Toys Containing Catnip

The key to an alluring cat toy is catnip. This minty herb contains oils that many adult cats find hard to resist. 

Cat sniffing catnip

Many store-bought cat toys also contain dried catnip, so why not create your own? Start by crafting "pockets" from pieces of fleece or felt.

These pockets will hold the catnip. Fill them with the dried catnip, and optionally wrap the toy up in sisal string for added texture.

While you can get as creative as you want with shapes like mice or hearts, simplicity works just as well. Take a rectangular piece of fleece, add a teaspoon of catnip, roll it up, tie a knot, and voila! You've created a delightful, catnip-filled toy.

Catnip, also known as Nepeta, is a member of the mint family, and its scent has a unique effect on cats. When they encounter catnip, it can induce various behaviours, including rolling, purring, and playful antics. This is why catnip-infused toys are such a hit with our feline friends.

Toy Balls

Small, lightweight balls that cats can bat around are a staple in feline entertainment. You can easily make these using readily available materials. One option is to use a rolled-up piece of paper or even a ping-pong ball. If you prefer a more sustainable approach, repurpose empty toilet rolls.

Kitten with ball

Cut small rings from the roll and then fashion them into the shape of a ball. For added excitement, place a rattling bell inside the ball. Doing so will create an intriguing noise that will surely pique your cat's interest.

Get Dangling!

A teasing wand is a fantastic way to awaken your cat's hunting instincts and get them moving. All you need is a simple stick, a piece of string, and some feathers. Tie these together and then dangle and drag the ensemble temptingly in front of your cat.

Cat with feather on string

Of course, creativity knows no bounds in crafting these wands. Consider visiting your local market or an arts and crafts store. You'll find fluffy fabrics, feathers, bells, and buttons that can add an extra level of fun to your cat toys.

Whether you opt for a simple or intricate wand, the key is to engage your cat's instinct to hunt and pounce. Cats love the interactive playtime, and teasing wands are an excellent way to bond with your feline companion.

Embrace your creativity

In conclusion, making your own cat toys can be a delightful and rewarding experience for both you and your furry friend. Not only do homemade toys save you money, but they also allow you to customize toys to suit your cat's preferences.

So, gather your materials, follow our simple instructions, and watch as your cat pounces, plays, and purrs with joy. Whether you're crafting toy balls or teasing wands, your cat will appreciate the effort you've put into enriching their playtime. Plus, it's a fantastic way to bond with your pet while unleashing your creativity and providing endless hours of feline fun. 

Do you love playing with cats and have some spare time? Sign up as a cat sitter on Pawshake and delight your clients with your homemade cat toys!

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