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December 8, 2014

PetSafe® Expert

Roslyn McKenna

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. It’s like a second Christmas for your cat! I made these toys in about 5 minutes, and the cats had a blast playing with them.


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. Red and white candy cane pipe cleaners are perfect cat stocking stuffer ideas for next year. If you’re worried about your cat chewing the metal, twist the ends together and watch your cat when she plays with them. Take them away if she starts biting them too much.

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!    

Treat-Dispensing Toy


  • Put your cat’s treats or part of her meal in an empty toilet paper roll.
  • Fold or tape up the ends, then either leave the ends slightly open or cut tiny holes in the sides.
  • Make sure the holes are big enough to let the food or treats come out.
  • Toss the toy to your cat and show her that food comes out when she plays with it.

This is the perfect toy for a cat who needs to lose weight. For chubby cats, measure each of her meals and put it in the dispenser. She gets more exercise as she bats it across the room, and you can give her the right portions to help her lose weight. If she doesn’t understand how it works at first, make the holes bigger so food comes out easier. If it’s too easy or your cat rips through the cardboard, you can upgrade to more durable plastic treat-dispensing toys made just for cats.

Catnip Sock

Did you get yet another pack of socks as a gift? Turn that dud of a gift into awesome catnip cat toys! Fill a sock with stuffing or cut up another sock into bits. Mix some fresh catnip in with the stuffing. You can also break open an old catnip toy and mix around the catnip, then put the insides in the sock. Sew the sock closed or just knot the ends together tightly. Sprinkle some catnip or fish flakes on the toy and watch your cat go nuts.

Written by

Roslyn McKenna

Roslyn McKenna

PetSafe® Web Content Specialist

PetSafe® Expert

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