Best Cat Toys Made From Things Around The House

Rhazia Fazal

Sharing is caring!

A great cat toy has two main requirements – it has to be fun and it has to be safe. Other than that, the only limit is the collective imagination of you and your cat. You can turn many common household objects into cat toys with little or no work or cost. Here is a list of the top ten cat toys found around the house. See how many of these you have around your home, and get ready for some fun.

Crumple ball – Some things get to be classics for a reason and the crumple ball is definitely one of them. Safe, fun, and fast, you can make this toy simply by crumpling up a piece of paper or aluminum foil. Try using different types of paper and making different sizes of ball to see what your feline friend likes best (make sure it is too big to swallow). If you’re lucky, your cat might turn out to be a fetcher.

String – Another kitty classic. A string, shoelace, length of yarn or a ribbon will give your cat hours of fun. Tie it to a doorknob so your cat can play without you, or engage in a game of chase. Your cat will love stalking the wiggly end of a string around the house, and it’s great exercise for both of you. For variety, you can tie a bell, button, feather, or scrap of paper at the end of the string. Because some cats like to eat string, you might want to restrict this toy to supervised use only.

Flashlight – A flashlight or laser pointer will engage your cat’s hunting instinct and give her lots of exercise. Run the light along the floor, up walls, and over obstacles. If you use a laser pointer, be sure to avoid pointing it directly at your cat’s eyes. 

Ball – Golf balls, marbles, ping-pong balls, tennis balls, bouncy rubber balls – the options are almost endless. Harder balls that don’t bounce are great because of the noise they make as they roll across a hard-surfaced floor. One of my cats is in love with a large glass marble and the noise it makes on the hardwood floor. Bouncy balls will give your furry acrobat a reason to test out his jumping skills. Try letting once bounce down the stairs or toss it into an empty bathtub.

Milk rings and twist ties – Simple plastic rings from milk or juice containers are lightweight, bouncy, and easy for your cat to pick up. You can bend twist ties into different shapes to give your cat variety and make the tie easier for her to pick up. These items require supervision, as cats’ teeth are sharp enough to slice through both. If loose bits are swallowed they could lodge in the cat’s digestive system.

Snack rattle – This easily created cat toy starts with a small pill bottle or plastic film canister (remember those?). Wash and dry the container and lid thoroughly. Then, add a few pieces of dry cat food or hard treats and place the lid on the container. Let your cat roll it around on the floor. If the lid pops off she gets a treat – if it doesn’t, she still has a great toy. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could poke a few holes in the container so she gets the scent of the snacks.

Toilet paper tube – The cardboard tube from inside a toilet paper roll is lightweight, rolly, and makes a satisfying noise as it skitters across the floor. Larger cats may appreciate the longer tube of a paper towel roll. These are big enough that your cat can get a good, full-body grip and do some serious “bunny-kicking”.  

Boxes – Along with large paper bags and tented newspaper, boxes make great structures for your cat to play in and defend. Combine the box with other toys like laser pointers or crumple balls, or poke holes in the side so you (or other pets) can play peek-a-boo. For larger cardboard boxes, be sure to remove any metal staples. Check shoeboxes for small bags of silica desiccant and be sure to remove them.

Wine corks – Corks are small, lightweight, fun to chew and easy to smack around. Some cats even seem to like the residual smell from the wine that was once in contact with the cork. If you are not into wine, you can purchase fresh corks from craft or wine supply stores. Be sure to check the cork occasionally to make sure it is not degrading due to heavy chewing. 

Sheets and blankets – One of the most exciting moments at my house – at least for the cats – is when the bed linens are changed. Cats come running from all directions, leaping onto the bed and under the fresh sheets as they float down toward the mattress. You can do this without getting cat hair in your clean bed by using a small rug, pillowcase, towel or old sheet and tossing it over your cat as he sits on the floor. If you are feeling brave – and fast – poke him (gently!) through the sheet. If he is on top, poke something under the edge of the fabric to make it wiggle. Avoid using your hands or toes as this might teach kitty that it is acceptable to bite the hand that feeds.

There you have it – the top ten cat toys that you probably already have around the house. Of course, the common denominator in most of these toys is you. The friendship between you and your pet is what makes all the difference.

While these toys are fun on their own, what really makes them worthwhile is how they can strengthen the bond between owner and pet. For physical and mental fitness, plan for some one-on-one time with your favorite feline today.