Saving Money on Cat Toys

Cats and kittens love to play with toys, but the cost at the pet store can really add up. Often, it is unnecessary to spend a lot of money when your feline will be just as happy with something found or homemade. This is a guide for saving money on cat toys.

October 30, 2016 Flag
3 found this helpful

I have found that 6 week old kittens love to play on, in, and around neck pillows that are 'u' shaped. They also love playing and climbing through my big rolling basket on wheels.

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April 30, 2013 Flag

If you are looking for a quick and easy cat toy to make, give these a try:

pom pom cat toy

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January 5, 2007 Flag
2 found this helpful

Inexpensive Cat Toys

Giving your cat toys doesn't have to be expensive. My cat likes to play with things such as ping pong balls, empty spools, milk jug rings and bouncy balls. He likes to take his catnip mouse or a ball, and bat it around in the empty tub and chase it.

By Karen from Big Rapids, MI

Prescription Bottle

Don't buy expensive cat toys! Put a marble, a couple paper clips or some dried beans in an empty prescription bottle, put the lid back on, and roll it across the floor. My cat plays with these for hours!

By Becki in Indiana

Foil or Paper

My cats have as much fun playing with a rolled up ball of old foil or paper as they do with those expensive cat toys.

By Ness from Lakeview, NY

Plastic Easter Egg

Putting something that makes noise inside a plastic easter egg works for a cat toy.

By Marti

I put a plastic egg shell on the ground for entertainment of my cat.

By Mea

Dowel and Ribbon

You can get a dowel rod and tie ribbon and bells to the end of it (or feathers) and shake it around for kitty to bat at. It is long enough that you don't get accidentally scratched while kitty plays.

By Tawnda

Grocery Bags

Plastic grocery sacks that make crackle noises are my cat's favorite. I put a few bags into a tiny pillow case, sew it up and he plays with his toy for hours and carries it from place to place!

By meoowmom

Paper Bag

Nothing makes my cat happier than a paper bag.



Roll a whole walnut (in shell) on hard floors. Or any other large, round and hard nut. My two cats love them. Christmas is their favorite time because of all the holiday nuts (not my family... lol) in the house.

By Barb

Spray Catnip and More

  • A pencil on a hard floor amuses my cats.
  • Cardboard boxes with little "peep" holes cut out around the box. My two cats love spying at each other through these.
  • A flashlight in a dark room (laser pointers are good too! Do not point at eyes!).
  • A simple bright colored shoe lace.

Hint: Spray catnip (available at pet stores) can bring life back to any cat toy.

By Anna

Baby Mittens

I made my little cats some toys out of old baby mittens. I took some stuffing, stuffed the mitten and put a bit of catnip in it and sewed the top of it. I gave it to my cats and they loved it.

By Jerica

My cats love bubbles...

Pet stores have catnip flavored bubble solutions. I have yet to try that, cause it's a little expensive but I have 2 cats and they enjoy bubbles severely. It took them a while to warm up to it, but when they did, they don't stop. If you have a child, its a plus! You keep them all occupied!

By Mich

Fishing Bobber

My husband plays fishing with the kitties, he takes a smaller fishing pole and ties a bobber to the end of the line and then casts down the hallway and has them chase it, the cats could do this for hours.

By jennma521

Catnip Mouse

My kitty can't resist a catnip mousey. Just a bit of catnip and some cotton balls in a piece of felt (a wool sweater that got washed and dried) bundled together with a rubber band. It lasts for a long time!

By Lynn G

Lupe's Toys

I splurged on Lupe during Christmas (with the big toys), but here are her all time favorites:
  • soda/beer cases (she would crawl through the handles, even though she was fat!)
  • the white plastic seal off orange juice frozen concentrate (minute maid)
  • plastic bottle caps
  • her own food, and she'd eat it with her paws!
  • mini rawhide chew sticks (like for toy dogs)
  • my robe belt (I'd hold it in my toes and walk around!)
  • Someone gave me a dollar store toy, a weasel attached to a ball that moved, and she ripped off the weasel and carried it around (much to disgust of DH).
  • And of course, anything sprinkled with Alaskan catnip.

By camo_angels

Moleculer Ball

The best bouncy ball, though a little more expensive, is the "molecule". It's like a bunch of little balls, or the one with 16-18 sides. They move like prey! (05/21/2006)

By camo_angels

Cardboard Box

A cardboard box... "untra fun"! For a twist you can add some holes or roll up some paper and throw in there. My cat "loves" boxes.

By Amac

February 13, 20090 found this helpful

My cat sleeps and scratches in a beer box, the ones that hold two 12-packs. The single-color print ones (like corona) are the best because the paper is scratchable (boxes with more than one color are too waxy). We replace it every 1-2 weeks since he loves it so much! And it keeps him from scratching our furniture or shredding our papers. Your local beer distributor should have plenty to spare.

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May 24, 20100 found this helpful

My cat likes those little colored mice. To make them even more fun, stick them in your catnip overnight!

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August 26, 20130 found this helpful

July 29, 2012 Flag
5 found this helpful

I made this playhouse for my new kitten from our leftover cardboard dinner carrier from Bojangles dinner meal box. I simply cut out a few holes for her to poke her legs through to play, and cut out an entrance. It has a nice carry handle, and could also be used to transport a small animal to the vet, etc., just make sure you cut out a few air holes. My new kitty Bindi loves playing in it, batting her legs through to grab at whatever wiggles by!

By Cheryl from Trinity, NC

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Anonymous Flag
July 31, 20120 found this helpful

What a cute idea! I wonder if your sweet little kitten will try to still get in there once he/she is too big? It's hysterically funny to watch them try because they so much love boxes :-)

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November 11, 20150 found this helpful

That is exactly the type of box the shelter sent my kitten, Snickers, home in, in 2007. I let him out, and left it on the floor for him to play in. Within weeks, he had scratched and chewed it into a flat mess! After that, I used to bring him empty cardboard Coke cartons (from the 2L bottles) to play in, replacing them as they bit the dust. He grew too big for those, and I stopped giving him boxes, but he still tries to get in whatever box I might leave temporarily around, and has destroyed a number of boxes that were not intended for him, Lol! When he sees a box, he's in love! They're his favorite toys. He'll try to stuff himself into any box, even if it's way too small. (I submitted a post to TF about Snickers several years ago.) It's such a riot to watch cats play with boxes!

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June 16, 2008 Flag
5 found this helpful

Our cats shred the store bought toys we have given them. So we decided to try out making a thriftier version. I use the old mismatched socks we end up with on the folding table. I put approximately 1/4 cup of dried catnip into an old sock and then knot the top.

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March 2, 2011 Flag
5 found this helpful

Here are some ideas for quick and easy cat toys that I've discovered over the years. Cat toys don't need to be expensive.

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March 31, 2013 Flag
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I make lots of cat toys to hang on walls where I can see them play. I won't let them have string toys by themselves, as they can eat the string.

Six pack and yarn cat toy.

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August 7, 2008 Flag

My cats are always batting something off the counters and playing with it. So, I remembered something I did as a kid. I put little bright things in a plastic drink jug. You can put beads, paper clips, buttons, and anything that will catch your cats eyes.

Water Bottle Cat Toy

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March 7, 2011 Flag
6 found this helpful

Many people like to make homemade toys for their children and pets. There are some very serious pros and cons to this idea.

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September 19, 2007 Flag
2 found this helpful

I have found that cats love to play with make-up brushes. From big to small brushes, cats can bat them, carry them in their mouth, hide them, and even play fetch.

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November 1, 2005 Flag
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Don't spend a lot of money on cat toys. They seem to love the cheap ones better. Aluminum foil in a ball works as a cat toy.

Picture of a house cat with white and brown markings.

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January 29, 2010 Flag
2 found this helpful

Here's a way to make a free toy for your cats. When you or your kids or family's kids have ponytail holders that have stretched out, loop several together to make a toy for your cats, the longer the better.

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October 12, 2007 Flag

This is a craft to make for a kitten or a playful older cat. I took the plastic strips off of frozen juice cans, put them together so that all the round loops faced the same way and wrapped an elastic band around the base of the loops.

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July 14, 2008 Flag
1 found this helpful

Here's the BEST cat toy in the world and you'll only need 3 simple things to make it. A dowel, stick, or a long knitting needle, a piece of fish line and some yarn. Take the dowel or stick and to the end, tie on a piece of fishing line about 4 feet long (since fishline is transparent, the cat won't see it).

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March 25, 2010 Flag

Both my cats love to play with a fishing pole toy for cats called Da Bird. It costs around $7, and consists if two feathers that twirl when you pull it. They can destroy Da Bird in about a minute. Refill feathers are available to clip onto the fishing pole for around $5.

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January 10, 2008 Flag
2 found this helpful

I have "Forced Air Heat" with registers on the floor. These registers only get a bit warm, not hot. So I tied a 8 - 10 inch piece of "Eyelash Yarn" onto a register in my kitchen that sits totally horizontal on the floor and my cat is having the time of his life!

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January 25, 2005 Flag
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"Hey man, I think you've had enough 'nip' already. The ball is over here stupid!" One old soda box, plus one jingle ball, plus two cats!

Cat with her head in a soda box.

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