9 DIY Cat Toys That Are Perfect for Your Feline Friend

cat playing in living room
Photo: Martin Deja / Getty Images

Curling up on your lap to keep you warm, snuggling up by your side, simply being the "purr-fect" listeners any time, any day—there are so many reasons to love our feline friends. As cat lovers ourselves, Martha and her editors have come up with the best projects to make fun toys that'll keep your furry friends busy for hours, and cozy beds that they'll adore curling up in. After all, they deserve to know just how much you love them.

Playtime is important for cats. Luckily for you and your felines, we have plenty of great ideas: Have a few empty cardboard boxes lying around? Turn them into an adventurous playhouse that's all your cat's own. You can even customize it by painting on their nickname and adding cute embellishments; the more toys to bat at, the better! Or, turn your knitting skills into this adorable miniature mouse they'll carry with them everywhere.

If your four-legged friend loves lying in the grass but doesn't have as much of it around, try growing wheatgrass as a safe alternative that'll also keep them away from digging into your houseplants. And we bet any cat would agree that there's no such thing as too many feather toys! Our version—made with colorful wool felt and little bells—is simple to create and easy to make multiples of. Whichever DIY idea you decide on, we're positive that any cat will adore these handmade toys and surprise treats.

01 of 09

Cat Scratching Post

cat scratching post
Kirsten Francis

Your cat's ideal hangout? This scratching post doubles as a perch for your feline co-inhabitant. At home, outfit an oversized cardboard tube with sisal, and top it off with a sheepskin-lined tray. The textured surface is great for scratching while the indoor/outdoor nooks are a prime spot for napping.

02 of 09

Feather Cat Toy

Laura Moss

A cat can never have too many feather toys. These are made of a soft wool felt and can be customized in an array of cute colors, dangled from a dowel, and tied to tiny, jingling bells for hours of fun.

03 of 09

Cat Window Perch

window ledge cat bed
Michael Mundy

Felines of all kinds will be thankful to have this cozy, custom-built napping perch, ideal for long afternoons basking in the sun. Top it off with a soft cushion or sheepskin and we bet they'll love you even more than they already do.

04 of 09

Cat Basket

hanging cat basket with white and gray cat inside
Gieves Anderson

For most cats, all the toys in the world can't compare to a simple basket. Give their cozy hiding nook an upgrade—and an elevated rise off the floor—by mounting it to the wall with hardware. Add a blanket to keep them warm and content.

05 of 09

Pet Paw Balm

paw balm small jars
Chloe Mackintosh

Cold weather can often mean irritated paws for your four-legged friend. To help keep them healthy and safe during the winter months, stash this homemade balm—made with all-natural ingredients like shea butter, coconut oil, and beeswax—nearby all season long.

06 of 09

Cardboard Cat Playhouse

Johnny Miller

Your cat will love to meander through this DIY playhouse, which you can construct from three cardboard boxes in just a few simple steps. Our printable templates help you design and cut out windows and doors, while your creativity helps make the playhouse a space that's all your cat's own.

07 of 09

Menswear Mouse Toy

Dana Gallagher

Treat a kitty to a game of cat and mouse with a few dapper toys. There's no mistaking these critters for the real thing—they're constructed from brightly colored suiting and shirting fabric.

08 of 09

Knotted Ball Cat Toy

knotted cat toy hanging from doorknob
Kara Whitten

A great way to upcycle an old T-shirt and keep your cat happy, this knotted ball toy is made by cutting up old fabric into strips and tying them together. Add a longer piece of fabric to the finished ball for easy hanging and ta-da—playtime in a pinch!

09 of 09

Petaled Collar


This adorable collar is perfect for Halloween. With just two steps and our printable templates, you can transform a bit of velcro, ribbon, and wool felt in your favorite colors into a beautiful, wearable blossom. Pet-unias, anyone?

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