We are a family of both dog lovers and cat lovers! I grew up with both… and love that my kids are able to experience the joy of pets as they grow up. We recently got a new kitten to hang out with our old lady cat. And the joy of a kitten, means the joy of DIY Cat Toys. I thought I would share the cat toys we have made/ used so far…. some are super simple, like a TP Roll, others a little more skills like my son’s crochet octopus!
I have made cat toys for my cats before, but as they grow older they haven’t been very interested. The kitten on the other hand LOVES all toys (including my toes… mmh, maybe we don’t need toys after all?!).
What types of toys are good for my kitten?
I noticed that our kitten, really is like a toddler! And like a toddler, loves lots of attention, different stimulations and that includes different sounds and textures. So the more textures you can introduce to your kitten, the more fun it can have and explore!
Remember – what you put it in, is also what you get out of it – you don’t have to play with your kitten all day, but do give it some dedicated time, with proper love and attention daily. Also “listen” to your kitten and if it doesn’t like something (e.g. usually being picked up!), then don’t do it.. let it to come to you and snuggle up or climb on your lap!
So what toys does our kitten like to play with:
A quick list and summary of the toys what our kitten LOVES to play with. He is very little (9 weeks old) and very playful. I expect him too loose interest in some of these as he grows older, likely to only play with feathers/ toys on strings and sticks once approaching 1.. and maybe stopping altogether after that. The success of DIY cat toys is very much linked to kitten age. Older cats love a good pet or cuddle if they are social around humans.
- The humble toilet paper roll
- Simple handsewn felt mouse with feather
- An elastic band
- A crochet mouse with bell
- Crochet octopus on a stick (we love this one!)
- A crochet ball or ping pong ball
- Feathers attached to string on a stick
- The cardboard cat fun house my daughter made (more info below)
- A small cardboard box
- What about My toes/ fingers/ hair?
The humble toilet paper roll
Yes, the humble TP Roll. As you know we are GREAT fans of TP Roll Crafts and have crafted and played with them many a time over the years. I have even made a cat toy out of TP Rolls before. This time round.. we found that simply a toilet roll – in it’s natural form, is plenty of fun for a kitten. Though I did also cut some strips into it, so the cat could have something to grab and chew. But really – keep it simple. Your little cat will love it.
A variation on this, is to staple one end of the TP Roll shut, fill it with some craft bells, and then staple the other end. But as mentioned – even just a plain TP roll seemed to be lots of fun!
Similarly – I notice, that our cat, loves to also play with a scrunched up ball! Think simple – think textures!
Simple handsewn felt mouse with feather
These little felt mice are super duper easy to sew – they are basically made using a circle piece of felt. Cut 2 ears, grab a feather. Then fold your circle in half. And sew it up using either an overstitch ( what we did here) or a running stitch. Be sure to secure the feather into the back of the felt mouse really tightly. The nose and eyes were made with embroidery twine! My friend Me and My Shadow has a simple tutorial you can follow!
An elastic band
Some will probably say an elastic band is dangerous for your cat. So maybe check what your kitten is like.. but mine basically just loved to play and chase an elastic band it found.. literally for hours! Nothing simpler than an elastic band, right?
A crochet mouse with bell
So now we have 3 crochet cat toys for you. I appreciate not everyone is able to crochet – BUT – these projects coming up are all super simple and great for beginners and a great way to flex those crochet muscles and begin building those skills. All three crochet projects are MUCH played with by our kitten. I can’t say which he prefers.
First up, is this crochet mouse that my (11 year old) daughter made using this YouTube video. SO CUTE!
Crochet octopus on a stick (we love this one!)
Next up, is this adorable crochet octopus by Hooked by Robin (again on Youtube, so it really helps beginners follow a pattern step by step!). My (the 12yrs old) son made this when he was first learning to corchet at the beginning of this year. He went and found it again when the kitten arrived and attached it to a stick.
The kitten started attacking the crochet toy, whilst I was trying to photograph it. He loves it SOOO much. Especially all the “dangly bits. Too cute.
And here is an action photo of both the kitten and the octopus going bonkers! So fun! If you scroll right to the bottom of this blog post, I have embedded the video tutorial for you!
A crochet ball or ping pong ball
Next up, we have the humble crochet ball. I remember making a couple of these, when I first learned to crochet. A really great beginners project. Quick and easy and wonderful for using up odds and ends of wool. Again, head over to YouTube for LOTS of easy how tos and patterns for making this simple ball. Remember with crochet – there will be a “kink” in the pattern on the reverse side o the ball when crocheting stripes!
A ping pong ball will also go down a treat. Any sort of ball is super fun to chase and bounce on!
Feathers attached to string on a stick
Don’t underestimate the humble feather either.. we have had toilet paper rolls, scrunched up paper, an elastic band.. and now one of many many feathers. They love playing with them “as is” or attached to a stick. So fun, you end up falling a sleep mid play!
Similarly, we have pom poms of different sizes attached to some string. Kitten heaven. Making pom poms is super easy. We love using the pom pom cardboard disc method, but there are lots of ways you can make a pom pom.
The cardboard cat fun house my daughter made (more info below)
Pip Squeak (11yrs old) decided to make a “fun house” for the cat – a simple cardboard box, with a door and window… inside it has some fabrics hanging down (oh how the cat LOVES fabrics!), some feathers hanging down and a “pom pom ball pit”. SUCH fun. Add the coziness of the box and the kitten is in heaven… and is frequently found inside having a play. We just have to remember to find all the pom poms again and pop them back in the box!
A small cardboard box
Finally.. we have the box. This little kitten is teething, and like puppies, likes to chew on things. Our strawberries where delivered in this neat little box and the cat loves it!! I don’t know about you, but ALL our cats love ALL our boxes…. you can never go wrong with them. So do hang on to some and see which your kitten likes best!
My toes/ fingers/ hair???
Yes really.. your fingers and toes… ha. You can see our little kitten playing with my toes here…. As with children, he really just wants to PLAY and he wants to play with YOU! So cute.
BUT.. I advise you NOT to do this with your kitten. Yes, I shared a clip where we did… but actually, if you do this too much or actively encourage the play with your toes/ fingers, you kitten will continue to do this. And as your kitten gets older, the teetch and claws become bigger and sharper. And your kitten could turn into a “biter”. So this is an easy mistake to make and it is NOT an extra “toy” I would encourage, I really wanted to put this here to remind you.
If you kitten starts grabbing your toes a lot – or your hands and tries to chew them. Gently move them away… if that isn’t enough and your kitten clearly still wants to play, grab one of your toys (we find out dangly octopus or the pom pom on a string are prefect) and distract your kitten with those. If feet/ hand biting continues, give your kitten a clean, clear “no” (don’t shout) and then get another toy and play.
I hope you have enjoyed this guide to making your own DIY Cat Toys. Keeping your kitten busy, active, curious and happy doesn’t need to cost the earth. Make it! No need to buy it!!!