Thrifty Ideas for Creative Cat Owners

If you love your feline companions, you may agree that little is more entertaining than watching them amuse themselves with their favorite toys.

Maybe you bought them a vibrating mouse or catnip-filled cardboard scratch post; either way, your furry friends are delighted as ever!

Delighted as ever, that is, until the vibrating mouse becomes an unraveled heap of non-vibrating thread and what was once a sturdy piece of cardboard begins to more closely resemble a piece of paper.

cats playing photo

Any cat owner knows that purchasing toy after toy can become a costly and inconvenient endeavor. Luckily, there are countless homemade cat toy alternatives that will help you save on time and money.

As bonus, you’ll be able to create something heartfelt that’s as individualized and unique as your pet.


Let’s begin with some basic solutions.

There are great deal of items that may be lying around your house at this moment that cats enjoy playing with or “stalking”.

To expect, these items could be anything from yarn, crumpled papers, ping-pong balls, mini red flashlights or any flashlights (to simulate fast-moving prey), or even old and unused socks.

To make these items even more entertaining for your critter, connect a string to one of the ends and use the “dangle-and-pull” method for playtime.


If you’re interested in taking on more challenging projects and would like something more realistic for your pet, you may want to try some of the following options:


Make a “bird”. You will need a tennis ball, golf ball, fabric, non-toxic glue, ribbon/fabric, fishing wire, and a stick.

  1. Glue the tennis ball to the golf ball for the body and head of the bird.
  2. Glue the fabric on the outside of the tennis and golf ball.
  3. Cut strings of ribbon or fabric and attach it to one end of the tennis ball to create the bird’s tail.
  4. Attach one end of the fishing wire to the bird and the other end to a stick.

cats playing photo

Make a “snake”. You will need at least three toilet paper or paper towel rolls, a long piece of string, non-toxic glue, fabric, and cat treats.

  1. Use the non-toxic glue to connect the inside of all three rolls with the long string.
  2. Glue fabric, of any color you choose, to the outside of the cardboard rolls.
  3.  Leave one end of the cardboard rolls uncovered by the fabric so you have the option to place treats inside.
cats playing photo
Photo by yoppy

You can mix, match and decorate with any of these basic materials to create all kinds of toy animals for your cat to enjoy.


Although building this is a bit more complex, it’s worth the effort.

Make a cardboard “castle” by cutting apart and attaching cardboard boxes with non-toxic glue or tape.

Get creative with tunnels and tiers!

cats playing photo
Photo by Joseph82|cc

Whether you want a creative, productive project on a rainy day or a more cost effective way to play, homemade cat toys are excellent alternatives to otherwise generic, store-bought toys.

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