Homemade toys for cats

by PDSA | 17 April 2023

It can sometimes be challenging to keep your cat active but luckily, it’s not too tricky to tap into their natural instincts and get them moving. Cats love nothing more than chasing, pouncing and ‘zoomies’, preferably in short bursts of 5-10 minutes.

They are usually most playful at the start and end of the day, and like plenty of rest in-between play times! Homemade toys help keep them active, without breaking the bank.

Cats like to play with a range of toys - they have often have different preferences and can quickly get bored. Try to figure out your cat’s favourites, then have one or two out at a time and swap them around every few days to keep them interested. You can make toys with items from around your house.


Cardboard boxes

Cats love boxes! Even the biggest cats will try to find a way to squeeze themselves into a shoe box. Try closing up a medium-sized box and cutting a couple of holes in it. Your cat can climb in and out of it to play, sleep, or hide if they feel worried.

Before putting your boxes in the recycling, why not build your cat a box fort? Attach a few boxes together and create tunnels leading them from one space to the next. Just make sure it’s stable and secure before letting them play in it.


Puzzle feeders

Puzzle feeders are a great way to occupy your cat while satisfying them with a reward. You can do this with everyday items around your home in a couple of ways.

Toilet roll tube

Empty toilet roll or kitchen roll tubes are a cheap and easy way of keeping a kitty happy. You can turn them into puzzle toys by popping a few treats in, folding the edges inside, and letting your cat figure out how to get inside.

For a less challenging toy, cut some holes in the tube and fill it with treats that come out as the cat moves the tube around.

Egg box

Before throwing away your egg boxes, make a snuffle feeder with just a few household items. Put some of your cat’s favourite treats in some kitchen roll or fabric, scrunch it up loosely and place it into the egg cups. Leave with your cat to figure out where the treats are hiding.  

Old clothing

You can repurpose old clothing into fun new toys for your cat.

Try cutting old t-shirts into strips and knotting a few in the middle. Hold a couple of strips and dangle or wiggle this near your cat - they will love to pounce! Make sure the fabric has no loose threads that your cat can chew and swallow.

You could also make a kick-toy by filling an old sock with fabric or paper scraps and a generous pinch of catnip. Then sew or tie it up at the top.

Wand toy

Cat wands are great for playing with your cat. You can make them at home with a piece of dowel, elastic and fabric strips, raffia or feathers. Drill a small hole in the dowel, tie the string to this and tie, glue or sew some fabric strips, feathers or raffia to the end to make a tempting toy for your cat.


If you’re still feeling crafty, why not try make your kitty some homemade tuna treats for them to nibble on? Check our recipe.

Share this article on:  PDSA | 17 April 2023


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