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Knotted Ball Cat Toy

Watch her pounce, chase, and swat at a lightweight toy for hours of fun. And it's a great upcycling idea: Cut an old shirt or jersey knit garment into strips, tie them into a knot, and hang it from a secure place like this doorknob.

knotted cat toy hanging from doorknob

Photography: Kara Whitten

Source: Martha Stewart


This idea comes from our friend Kara Whitten of A Kailo Chic Life. Cat toys are a great way to entertain your cat and aid in healthy exercise. This one can be both used in playtime with your cat one-on-one or when she's home alone. A ball toy can be dangled from a doorknob or secured to the inside of a catio enclosure, and is perfectly sized for chasing, batting, and wrestling. For this toy, we recommend recycling a knit shirt with some stretch in the material.


For more ideas, scroll through our collection of cat crafts.


  • Knit shirt

  • Fabric scissors


  1. Lay the shirt flat onto a workspace, and cut it along the side seams and around the sleeves.

    knotted cat toy materials t-shirt scissors
  2. Open up the shirt and cut one of the flat panels of fabric into strips by cutting in a curved snake-like pattern, back and forth, along the short side of the fabric. Be sure to leave approximately 1 inch from the uncut edge as you cut. Gently pull the strips, allowing the shirt material to curl inwards into tubular strands.

    t-shirt being cut into long strip
  3. Tie the strands into a knot, then wrap around it to form a ball; continue wrapping strands until you've made a ball of desired size. (Note: The one pictured here is 2 inches in diameter.)

    t-shirt cut into long strip for DIY cat toy
  4. To bind off, knot the working strand at the top of the ball to form (this will also prevent the yarn ball from unravelling). Cut the ends, leaving a tail so that you may hang the toy from a door handle or use it to play with your cat.

    finished DIY cat toy made from T-shirt

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