No prickly needles, all pouncing fun! Cats can't wait to play with a soft, colorful toy that's filled with enticing catnip.

Updated January 24, 2019
Read step by step instructions after the video.

This idea comes from our friend Kara Whitten of A Kailo Chic Life. Catnip toys are a great way to entertain your cat and aid in healthy exercise. Don't worry about this toy falling apart: "The process of needle felting creates a solid toy. And because of the nature of the wool, the more the cat plays with it, the more the cat helps to felt the wool (with their nails, much like a needle felting tool) and the stronger the bond between the fibers becomes," she explains. "Plus, they are the perfect way to incorporate catnip into a toy." The strong aroma of catnip invigorates your cat's instinctive desire to catch prey, and the toy itself is perfectly sized for chasing, batting, and wrestling.

If you're looking for more ideas, scroll through our collection of cat crafts.

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What you need

Materials
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How to do it

Part 1

forming cactus shape on felting mat
Step 1

Place wool roving onto the felting mat, layering pieces of it into the shape of a cactus. (Note: No need to get it perfect at the beginning as you felt, you can add more roving to create a perfectly shaped cactus.)

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green felt cactus on felting mat beside felting needle
Step 2

Punch the roving all over with a needle-felting tool, manipulating the roving with your fingers as you work until the fibers begin to bind together to create a solid piece of felt fabric. (Tip: Always be sure your needle is pointing straight down, not pointed on an angle as it can break that way.)

dried catnip sprinkled on green felt cactus
Step 3

Once the roving has solidified into a cactus shape (about 10 to 15 minutes), flip the toy over, and add a sprinkling of dried catnip.

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more felt applied to green cactus on felting mat
Step 4

Add more roving and needle felt into shape to safely encase the catnip in the cactus toy.

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more felt applied to green cactus on felting mat
Step 5

Add more roving as needed to get the desired cactus shape and size. For details, use thin pieces of white roving to add cactus spines or pink roving to add cactus blossoms.

needle applying pink roving detail to green felt cactus
Step 6

Use a single felting needle to work the detail pieces into the main felted cactus toy. (Note: Once the toy is sufficiently felted, it should be firm and hold its shape well. The details should be well attached to the cactus shape and not able to be pulled off. If you can loosen them at all, continue to use the needle to felt the toy for another 10 minutes until it becomes very dense and solid.)

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