Quit Spending Money on Expensive Cat Toys and Go DIY

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
Come on, get crafty – make your own cat toys and save money!

If you have ever gotten frustrated by your cat refusing to play with an expensive do-dads you purchased at the pet store, it’s time to change the way you look at cat toys. Most felines actually prefer some of the simplest and most inexpensive toys over the more advanced, battery-powered, and pricey options at your local pet shop. And, to save even more money, you can use items around the house to make cat toys of your own that your pet will love. And when he destroys these toys, they will be easy and cheap to replace, making it a win-win for everyone.

Below are a few homemade cat toy ideas you can try if you want to take a DIY approach to your feline’s playtime.

Related: Top 5 Gotta-Have-‘Em Cat Toys

A Spare Shoelace

First, a word of caution: when it comes to giving your cat a string to play with, always be there to monitor him during playtime. The last thing that you want is for your kitty to swallow the string and end up with a blockage or tear in the intestines, or even passing the string but not getting the entire thing out in one bowel movement (you can probably imagine what that would be like, and it’s certainly not pretty!).

Although there are plenty of toy strings for sale in stores, you can keep it on the cheap by using a spare shoelace you have lying around. This alone will get your cat excited, as he will be intrigued enough to chase it all over the house as you run with it behind you, making this a fun exercise for you as well. You can also drag it along the floor for your cat to pounce at it, probably as he imagines that the string is a mouse’s tail, or you can dangle it in front of your cat, who will want to swat at it.

Related: How Safe Is Your Cat From His Favorite Toys?

Add a small stuffed animal or a set of feathers to the end of the shoelace and you have a toy that will keep your kitty engaged and having fun while also getting a great workout to maintain a healthy weight.

Craft Your Own Catnip Toy

If you like to knit or sew, you can certainly make your own cat toys in the shapes and colors that you want, and you can save a lot of money too. For example, you can knit a little ball and stuff it with a soft filling that will give it its shape. Add catnip to the inside as a bonus that your cat will go crazy for, and then watch him swat it around all over the house. You can also sew a toy mouse together in the same fashion, adding the catnip if you wish. And the great thing is that, when these toys are worn out, you can simply make more with leftover supplies rather than having to purchase more toys.

Cardboard Box Hideaways

Don’t have room in your home for an elaborate cat tree with hiding places? Then use a cardboard box to give your kitty a great place to retreat to, rest, and play. You can really go all-out by cutting holes through more than one box and then arranging them in a maze-like fashion or into a tower that your cat will be able to navigate through. Let your creativity run wild and make sure you place a few toys or perhaps even a soft bed for your cat to lie on while inside his little cardboard haven.

If you get creative, you can certainly make a lot of your own cat toys at home. Even a crumpled up piece of paper can keep your kitty occupied for hours. Or you can take a paper towel roll and fill it with jingle bells before sealing it up on each end with paper so that your cat can roll it around. The possibilities are truly limitless. Just make sure you observe your kitty while he plays to ensure he’s safe, especially if any of the toys may pose a choking hazard.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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