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DIY Cat Toys That Will Keep Your Feline Friends Busy

If you’ve read the lists and tutorials we’ve posted before, then you probably already know by now just how much we adore crafting. Often, the DIY projects we make are for ourselves but that’s not always the case! We actually love crafting for other people we love perhaps even more than we do for our own benefit. It’s just so rewarding when you give a friend or family member something you’ve made and get to see their eyes light up when they realize how much time and care you put into it. Because we’re also huge animal lovers, however, the people in our lives aren’t the only beloved beings we loved to make things for; we actually craft for a our pets a lot as well! Even they get excited when we make them something new and seeing them enjoy whatever we’ve created and get some play and exercise out of it gives us satisfaction and makes us happy. That’s why we’ve been on the prowl for new crafting tutorials that will help us make a few fun new things for our cats! We moved into a new apartment recently and we want to make sure the furry members of our family feel right at home just like everyone else, so we’ve decided to make them some exciting new trinkets to chase around. Hopefully that will also stop them from trying to eat our shoelaces and tackle our house plants.

Just in case you’d love to start crafting for your cats as well but you feel like you could use some inspiration, guidance, or help with new ideas, here are 15 of the best tutorials and DIY cat toy resources we’ve come across so far in our search!

1. Feathered wine cork toys

Feathered wine cork toys

In general, the things our cats love to chase the most tend to be fuzzy or frilled in texture, with lots of edges and so on for them to grab at and bite. That’s why they love feathers so much! Now, we’re always careful to choose the feathers we make their toys with carefully because we don’t want to use the cheap kind that fall apart easily, since eating little feather pieces might hurt a cat. There are plenty of faux crafting feathers out there, however, that are actually safe for play! At the same time, we’re completely obsessed with upcycling projects, so this DIY cat toy idea from Cuteness, which lets us use feathers and upcycle old wine corks, was basically the perfect idea for us.

2. Toilet paper rolls with pom poms and straws

Toilet paper rolls with pom poms and straws

Do you already know that your cats are huge fans of textured things but you’ve made them countless feathered toys before and you’re looking for something else to try your hand at so that each of you gets a new experience? In that case, we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how The Samantha Show saved a few emptied toilet paper rolls and turned them into funny cat toys by gluing fuzzy pom poms all over them or poking holes in the sides that go straight through and sliding straws into them so they stick out all crazy. Our cats love biting and kicking at the different things sticking out and chasing the rolls around all over the floor.

3. Treat filled toilet paper roll toy

Treat filled toilet paper roll toy

Are you very into the idea of making cat toys from emptied toilet paper rolls but you don’t currently have any other supplies to embellish them with? Well, patience is a virtue and you can always wait to craft but sometimes when the DIY bug bites us, we just feel like we need to make something right now! That’s why we like keeping extra, super simple ideas like this one from Glue Sticks and Gumdrops on hand. For this idea, all you need is an empty toilet paper roll that you can fold the ends in on and fill with treats. Your cat will be able to smell and hear the treats on the inside and will have a blast tearing through the paper to get to them.

4. T-shirt kitty cat tent

T shirt kitty cat tent

We know that we said this post was going to be primarily about toys and technically cat beds aren’t really toys, but if you’d ever seen how our cat will actually pop in and out of her favourite bed and jump around playing with it between using it as a nap space, you’d understand why we didn’t hesitate at all to put this awesome idea from Dear Crissy on our list! They show you how to upcycle an old t-shirt and some wire hangers into a pop up kitty tent that makes for a fantastic, cool hideaway for your feline friend. We like the way they used the neck hole as a pre-made door, just to make things a little bit easier!

5. Knotted t-shirt rag cat toys

Knotted t shirt cat toys

Have you actually made a number of things from old t-shirts recently and now you’ve got a pile of fabric scraps leftover from the shirts you cut up? Well, you might simply want to throw those out, but what if we told you there’s a fun way to make use of even the ends after you’ve already finished a whole other project? That’s exactly what Muslin & Merlot did here and our cats loved chasing these little knotted bows around when we recreated their work. Gather up some scraps in different colours, tie them in a knit in the middle, and cut the ends off to make a fun little twist that your cat can bat around and chase.

6. Ombre cat scratching post

Ombre cat scratching post

Our cays have always adored scratching posts because they love to get their nails into basically anything that’s available, but the ones you can find at stores are always either kind of a decorative eye sore in the middle of our room or else much too expensive for our tastes if we do manage to find ones that contribute to the decor a little more. That’s why we were so happy to find this DIY cat post tutorial from Cuteness that’s both functional and pretty! Check out how they made it using three shades of rough string wrapped around a post in an ombre effect, with cute yarn pom poms attached for a little extra fun.

7. Handmade felt mouse toys

Handmade felt mouse toys

Are you actually quite experienced in the world of DIY, so you’ve been scrolling through looking for a tutorial that will help you put some of your more refined skills to use or maybe even give you a little more of a challenge? Well, if you’ve ever been a sewing enthusiast then we think maybe we’ve found the perfect tutorial for you! Check out how Lia Griffith transformed simple pieces of felt and some thread into these adorable mice filled with cat nip. Besides being lots of fun for your cats to play with, these will also impressed your friends quite a bit when they find out that you stitched them all yourself.

8. Rolled papier mache cat toy veggies

Rolled papier mache cat toy veggies

Are you still thinking about how you’d love to make your cats something that’s a little more of a challenge for you but you’re just not sure you feel like hand stitching small toys because that project takes a lot of patience? Then here’s another more detailed toy that we think you might prefer to try out instead! Check out how Prodigal Pieces used papier mache techniques to make thin paper rolls and then wind them carefully into different shapes that can be painted however you please. The possibilities with these projects are pretty much endless but we’re huge fans of the adorable vegetable basket this tutorial outlines!

9. No-sew goldfish toys

No sew goldfish toys

Were you a pretty big fan of the felt soft toy idea but you’ve been scrolling through our list hopefully because you’re actually not very confident in your sewing skills and you’re not sure hand stitching something so small is a challenge you’re ready for? Then maybe you’d get along better with this simple no-sew felt toy tutorial instead! Southern Mom Loves guides you through the process of making round little fish using felt, stuffing, and yarn.

10. Pom pom cat wands

Pom pom cat wands

If you’re going to make your cat a toy to play with, would you actually rather create something that you can both enjoy together? Personally, we love actively playing with our cats so much that we’re pretty sure we might have a better time at it than they do. That’s why cat wands are some of our favourite things; we get a kick out of wiggling the wand around while our feline friends chase the baubles on the end! Because we’re such avid knitters, this DIY pom pom cat wand tutorial from Think Make Share was basically the best cat toy we’ve ever seen, since it lets us use up and repurpose some of the yarn ends we’ve been stashing away over the years.

11. Simple spare yarn pom pom toys

Simple spare yarn pom pom toys

If you’ve ever watched your cat have the time of her life chasing around something as simple and regular as a drunk lid or a piece of rolled up paper, then we’re sure it’ll come as no surprise to you that one of our other favourite cat toys to make is nearly as simple and unassuming as those. Pop Sugar shows you how to make small yarn pom poms from even more of your spare yarn ends so that you can throw them across the floor for your cat and watch her run and jump to catch it.

12. Felt feather cat toys with bells

Felt feather cat toys with bells

Were you actually quite a big fan of the feather toy idea that we showed you earlier on our list but you know that your cat is very young and will eat just about anything he can get his paws on, so you’re a little bit concerned about the idea of using actual fluffy feathers, even if other cats are totally safe playing with those? Then maybe you’d have better luck with this false feather chaser idea instead! Martha Stewart shows you how to use small felt scraps to make fringe textured feathers. Tie them at the end of a string and add a bell to really get your cat excited!

13. Ribbon and bell cat wand

Ribbon and bell cat wand

Did we really catch your attention when we started talking about cute, playful cat wands and toys with bells because those just sound like the most amusing option to make and you think your cat will really like them? Well, not everyone has felt or yarn laying around, nor are those some people’s favourite things to use, so here’s another super fun alternative, just in case! We love the way Love Pets DIY made a cat wand using strips of brightly coloured and patterned ribbon, stringing bells along periodically there as well.

14. DIY cat puzzle from a Tupperware

Diy cat puzzle from a tupperware

Have you actually been scrolling through our list in search of cat toys because you have very young, very energetic cats who really like to get into mischief and you’re looking for creative ways to keep them busy so they get into less trouble? In that case, maybe you should consider making them something more akin to a game instead of just a toy! We thought this treat and toy loaded cat puzzle idea outlined on Handimania was rather intriguing and we could absolutely see our furry friends quietly working hard on getting at the treats inside for whole chunks of time. Your cats will stay interested in this one day after day because breaking in to the treats is like a reward!

15. Felt fortune cookie cat toys

Felt fortune cookie cat toys

Do you actually have quite a bit of felt left over from a number of things you’ve made, so you’re looking for something simple you can make for your own cats, your family’s cats, your friends’ cats, and any other cats that might come into your life? Then we’d absolutely suggest taking a look at how Dandelions and Lace made these fantastic catnip filled fortune cookies. We actually made these for all the cats we know in real life and we made some extras to donate to a shelter, that’s how simple they were to do.

Do you know a fellow DIY enthusiast and cat lover who’s always looking for fantastic DIY projects to make for their furry friends, but you know they’re always open to new ideas because their kitties are a little bit spoiled? Share this point with them for a little bit of crafty cat lady inspiration!