Cat Toys 101 – Keep Your Cats Safe And Happy

We all want our cats to be as happy and fulfilled as possible, and part of that equation is giving them something fun to play with. But who hasn’t returned from the pet store, excited to give the kitten her new toy, only to have her ignore it? Save yourself the money and confusion and start making your own cat toys, instead. They’re quick, easy, and free, so if she turns her nose up there’s nothing lost!

5 DIY Cat Toys in 5 Minutes


Leftovers are the best! No, not the turkey leftovers in your fridge. With all of the leftover wrapping and boxes lying around from opening presents, now’s the perfect time to make some new cat toys.

Pipe Cleaner Toy

Cats love pipe cleaners. If you’re crafty or have kids, you might have some in your craft bin. Grab a pack of pipe cleaners and twist them together to create fun balls and shapes for your cat to detangle. Toss them on the kitchen floor or poke them around the corner for your cat to attack.

Just like when you get your child an expensive gift and then they end up playing with the box instead, most cats will be thrilled to play with a simpler toy than you would expect – including a cardboard box!

Deluxe Cardboard Box

The most basic box is the perfect cat toy. Try these ideas to make a box the ultimate playhouse for your cat. Your cats might start fighting over who gets to be in the box!

  • Add some used wrapping paper to the bottom for a satisfying crinkle.
  • Toss in a small cardboard bag with the handle cut off.
  • Cut a large hole in the side and close the top to make a secret entrance.
  • Cut little holes in the corner to poke feather toys, laser pointers, or pipe cleaners through.
  • Tie a mouse toy on a string to the top flap.
  • Cut a large hole in the side and attach a smaller, longer box to make a tunnel.

Cat Wands

Grab a clean stick from your yard or your crafts bin. Add a topper like leftover ribbon, wrapping paper, or even an empty cat treat bag. You could also use an old bandana. Fold it into a long strip and knot the middle so it doesn’t unfold, then tie it to the end of a stick.

Have an old feather toy that’s broken or your cats don’t play with anymore? Combine two old toys into one new toy. Tie a different plush cat toy to the end of the string. Now your cat has a new wand!

Read more — 5 DIY Cat Toys in 5 Minutes | PetSafe Articles

Have you ever made your own cat toys? What worked best for you?

While you’re planning out their next toys – either store bought or homemade – remember that different kinds will do different things for your feline friend. You can tailor the toys to your pet’s emotional and physical needs to make sure it’s the best possible fit.

Cat Toys and How to Use Them

Active toys

Round plastic shower curtain rings are fun either as a single ring to bat around, hide or carry, or when linked together and hung in an enticing spot.

Plastic rolling balls, with or without bells inside.

Ping-Pong balls and plastic practice golf balls with holes, to help cats carry them.

Paper bags with any handles removed. Paper bags are good for pouncing, hiding and interactive play. They’re also a great distraction if you need your cat to pay less attention to what you’re trying to accomplish. Plastic bags are not a good idea, as many cats like to chew and ingest the plastic.

Sisal-wrapped toys are very attractive to cats that tend to ignore soft toys.

Empty cardboard rolls from toilet paper and paper towels are ideal cat toys, especially if you “unwind” a little cardboard to get them started.


Catnip-filled soft toys are fun to kick, carry and rub.

Plain catnip can be crushed and sprinkled on the carpet, or on a towel placed on the floor if you want to be able to remove all traces. The catnip oils will stay in the carpet, and although they’re not visible to us, your cat will still be able to smell them.

Catnip sprays rarely have enough power to be attractive to cats.

Not all cats are attracted to catnip. Some cats may become over-stimulated to the point of aggressive play and others may be slightly sedated.

Kittens under six months old seem to be immune to catnip.

Catnip is not addictive and is perfectly safe for cats to roll in, rub in or eat.

Comfort toys

Soft stuffed animals are good for several purposes. For some cats, the stuffed animal should be small enough to carry around. For cats that want to “kill” the toy, the stuffed animal should be about the same size as the cat.

Toys with legs and a tail seem to be even more attractive to cats.

Cardboard boxes, especially those a tiny bit too small for your cat to really fit into.

Read more — Cat Toys and How to Use Them PAWS

Does your kitten have a favorite toy? Or does a healthy dose of catnip make any toy their favorite?

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