Homemade Cat Toys

Here are some ideas for homemade cat toys or extremely inexpensive household items that can provide fun and exercise for both you and your cat.

I've used several of these over the years to provide hours of fun.

As many a cat owner has found out, your feline friend can make a cat toy out of almost anything that suits her fancy.

The proverbial image of a cat playing with a ball of yarn or string ain't just whistlin' Dixie!

Always make sure your cat is safe and can't choke on any of the objects.

Strings, shoelaces and other items can be fun, but dangerous as well.

In fact, cats and string can be a deadly combination. String can cause blockage in the intestines which can result in death.

This goes for anything "string-like" and other items like holiday decorations as well.

Commercial cat toys can be just as dangerous. For example, interactive cat toys like the fishing pole type have a string, and the feathers on them will also break off and can be swallowed.

Always supervise play with toys! Always hold on to the other end of anything string-like and never leave these items out when you're not around.

  • Ice cubes make great hockey pucks. Frankie loves to play with ice so much that she almost always comes running when it drops on the floor.
  • Felt pads. You know those felt pads you can get for the bottom of the legs on your furniture? If you turn a chair upside down, Teddie will attack it and try to pry the felt pad off the bottom of the leg. These things fly like Frisbees, roll like balls, and slide like hockey pucks. It's one of the best homemade cat toys I've seen.
Teddie hunting for felt padTeddie tries to get the felt pad out from under the sofa.
  • Tie a string to an object and drag it around the house for some stalk, pounce and kill fun!
  • "Paws under the door." Close a door and let your cat play from the other side. Alternate sending something on a string, or maybe a light stick under the door and bringing it back out to your side.
  • A belt works great. Drag it around the house, on the floor and over chairs and watch the chase begin!
Priscilla cat playing with beltAn old belt is one of Priscilla's favorite toys.
  • Cats love to discover hidden treasures. Hide a feather under a pillow, a T-shirt, or a loose pile of newspaper.
  • Shoelaces and strings make tremendous toys (but are unsafe if swallowed).
  • An empty box or paper bag can provide all kinds of fun.
  • Hiding something under a blanket or a pillow can make a good game as well. Use your free hand to make a scratching sound for added fun for your cat.
  • A rolled up sock can be a great and inexpensive chase toy. Rub it with some catnip for extra fun.
  • Ping pong balls in the bathtub or sink can be a great, cheap game.
  • Cat treats or dry cat food can be spread around the house or thrown so you're cat will chase them.
  • A fish tank or goldfish are good for gazing. Fish can provide quite a bit of entertainment for your cat. Just make sure the fish are well protected.
  • Running water is a favorite of some cats. Just turn on the sink and let it run for a while.
  • Chase your cat around the house and you can both get some exercise. After all, humans are known to be one of the best cat toys ever.

Sometimes, a wadded up ball of paper is all it takes to amuse a cat...

You can use homemade cat toys to increase your cat's exercise level, which can help prevent obesity and diabetes and is good for overall health.

Don't stress your cat with too much activity though. If your cat has been playing with you for a while and then finds a spot to start grooming, that may mean it's time to rest up.

As you can see from the list, "making cat toys" doesn't mean you have to be a professional toy maker or an arts and crafts wizard. Some of the above, like ping pong balls, obviously have to be purchased, but they're inexpensive.

If you have a ping pong table then you're all set. Perhaps you even have a ping pong cat at home! Other items you might already have in the house anyway as well.

I personally would not recommend letting your cat loose on your iPad as some others have done. But, who knows, maybe your cat can make some extra money as a product tester.

The idea is to create an environment where your cat can break out the hunting skills, get exercise, relieve stress, and be mentally stimulated as well.

A paper bag from McDonald's and a ball can be fun (video proof below)! You can make the ball yourself or use a sock.

We know that most cats don't consume enough water, so your garden hose may be just the thing to keep your kitty occupied, hydrated, and clean too!

I'm going to repeat myself... whether it's homemade cat toys or the commercial variety, safety first! Always supervise play and when not in use, lock away anything that might cause a health issue.


Best Cat Toys

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