10 DIY Cat Toys to Spark Your Cat’s Play Instinct

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Cats don’t need expensive toys to keep them occupied. As long as they’re colorful, fluffy, and mentally stimulating, even the simplest object can become their new favorite plaything. 

Here are some easy and low-effort DIY cat toys to make for your cat: 

1. Pompom Hanging Cat Toy 

A colorful pom-pom garland strung across a doorway, adorned with dangling yarn balls and jingle bells for batting fun.


  • Rattan basket (wire frame with open sides)
  • Pompoms in various colors
  • Rope

Fill a rattan basket with pompoms of varying colors, textures, and sizes. You can purchase a bag of pompoms for cheap from craft stores and online retailers like Amazon. 

Fill the basket generously, letting the pompoms spill out of the open sides. 

Cut a length of strong yarn or rope and tie it secretly to each side of the basket, creating a loop for hanging. 

Find a suitable location to hang the toy where your cat can easily reach and play with the pompoms.

2. Treat Treasure Hunt Shoebox Toy

A repurposed shoebox transformed into a puzzle feeder with cutouts for paws to reach in and retrieve hidden treats.


  • Shoebox with lid
  • Assorted cat treats 
  • Small containers or cups 
  • Scissors 

If you’ve got an unused shoebox or two, turn it into this interactive treasure hunt toy! 

Create little “enclosures” using small squares of cardboard or craft paper. Tape them inside the shoebox to create individual compartments for the treats. 

Then, using a pair of scissors, cut small holes in the lid of the shoebox. These holes should be large enough for your cat to reach a paw in. 

Fill the squares with assorted cat treats and watch as your cat reaches her paw in to get to the treats! 

Similar: 11 Cat Toys for Indoor Cats to Enjoy in 2021

3. Bell-Ringing Yarn Toy

Rope hung across doorway with colorful pompoms, yarn and bells hanging from it


  • Thick rope or twine 
  • Assorted colorful yarn 
  • Small jingle bells

Tie several balls of yarn on a rope at regular intervals. If you don’t have yarn, use pompoms. Make sure they’re of varying colors and sizes to make the toy more visually stimulating for your cat. 

Thread a small bell onto each yarn ball or pompom to create a tinkling sound whenever your cat interacts with the toy.

4. Needle Felt Mouse Cat Toy 

A DIY toy filled with crinkly paper and catnip, tied shut and adorned with colorful felt cutouts to resemble a playful mouse.


  • Needle-felted mouse toy
  • Crinkly paper 
  • Catnip (optional)

For this DIY cat toy project, you can either purchase a pre-made needle-felted mouse toy online or make one yourself. 

If you’re a beginner, you can make a simple oval-shaped mouse using a single color of wool roving. More advanced crafters can add details like whiskers with individual strands of wool roving and stripes for a more realistic appearance. 

Sprinkle a bit of catnip on the mouse, then wrap it with crumpled paper to give it a textured surface. 

5. Simple Rope Toy

Braided colorful rope woven into a toyh


  • Colorful rope, preferably sisal
  • Catnip (optional)

This cat toy is the simplest one on the list. 

All you need is a colorful rope (preferably sisal so it can double as a cat scratcher). 

Tightly coil the rope into a spiral shape, making sure it’s wrapped snuggly to prevent it from unraveling. 

Once you’ve coiled the entire length of the rope, tuck the end underneath the coils to hold them in place. 

That’s it—your colorful rope toy is now ready for your cat to enjoy! If your cat doesn’t show interest in the toy, sprinkle on a bit of catnip to entice her to play with it. 

6. Toilet Roll Cat Park 

A cardboard tunnel covered in colorful fabric scraps and dangling toys at the end, creating a thrilling play tunnel for exploration.


  • Toilet rolls of varying sizes
  • Hanging cat toys
  • Cat treats 

Don’t throw your toilet rolls away! Instead, turn them into a fun and interactive play space for your cat. 

This budget-friendly DIY toy is made from empty toilet paper rolls of varying sizes, stacked and arranged to create a multi-level play park. 

For added fun, attach hanging toys to some of the rolls using string or yarn. Fill the rolls with assorted cat treats to encourage exploration. 

7. Catnip Bottle Toy 

A repurposed water bottle filled with crinkly paper and a few catnip leaves, transformed into a lightweight rolling toy that encourages playful chases.


  • Empty water bottle with lid 
  • Crinkle paper or shredded paper filler 
  • Scissors (to puncture holes in the lid) 
  • Catnip 

Fill an empty water bottle with crinkle paper or shredded paper filler, then add a generous amount of catnip inside. Shake the bottle to distribute the catnip evenly. 

Puncture a few small holes in the lid and cover it back securely. The punctured holes allow the enticing scent of catnip to escape, attracting your cat to the bottle. 

Recommended: 8 Homemade DIY Small Cat Room Ideas

8. Catnip Ice Treats 

A frozen catnip popsicle made from an ice cube tray filled with water and catnip, perfect for a cool and stimulating treat on a hot day.


  • Catnip 
  • Ice tray 

Cats deserve a cooling treat now and then, especially during the summer. 

To make this treat, mix one heaping teaspoon of dried catnip with 250 ml of cold water. Pour onto an ice cube tray and freeze for a few hours. 

Once completely frozen, pop out the catnip ice cubes and place them in your cat’s water bowl or a shallow dish. 

9. DIY Cat Tower 

A DIY cat tree with sisal rope and fluffy balls


  • Cardboard tubes 
  • Sisal rope 
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks 
  • Cardboard or plywood base
  • Hanging toys 
  • Fabric, carpet scraps, or faux fur for covering

Made from cardboard tubes wrapped in sisal rope, this sturdy and durable cat tower is perfect for climbing, scratching, and exploring. 

The sisal rope provides a satisfying texture for your cat to scratch, helping to keep their claws healthy and sharp. 

Customize the cat tower with additional features such as hanging toys, platforms, and perches to create a unique and exciting play space for your cat. 

For detailed instructions on making a cat tower, check out this guide on DIY cat room ideas

10. Cat Castle 

A cardboard box transformed into a whimsical castle, complete with cutouts for peeking and towers wrapped in sisal rope for scratching.


  • Cardboard of varying sizes
  • Sisal rope 
  • Hot glue gun 

Make a mini version of your house using cardboard! 

Stack several boxes on top of each other to make multi-tiered passages and secret hiding places. 

Tightly wrap sisal rope around a cardboard tube, making sure the entire surface is covered. 

Your cat can use this as a cat scratcher, keeping her paws sharp to swat at any intruders invading her mini castle!

Final Thoughts 

There you have it; 10 easy DIY cat toys you can make in minutes! These cat toys are fun and stimulating, providing hours of entertainment and exercise for your feline friend.