Inexpensive Cat Toys

Inexpensive Cat Toys

cat in orange bag

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 Annie Rios Hill

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 Jen Bennett

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 Kelly

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 Kelly

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

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By KootLady (Guest Post)
January 5, 20070 found this helpful

You just made my year and the cats year with these cat toys. Way to go ...... 2007. Just got 2 cats Been a while since I had cats and those are the best ideas I have heard period. I like the mittens the best and the egg came So there you are we just found out the egg doesn't come first always. The best to your family in 2007""

By (Guest Post)
January 9, 20070 found this helpful

My cats are suckers for the mini makeup brushes that come in blush compacts.

In fact, one of mine has figured out where I keep my normal makeup brushes and many mornings I have to remind her that these are mine and I have to hunt around for one of hers before she will let me continue putting on my make up.

By flora (Guest Post)
July 12, 20080 found this helpful

Cats love sound. For this you will need:
-A plastic cup

If you would like, first decorate the plastic cup. Tie some bells to the string. Make a hole at the center of the plastic cup and tie the string attached to the bell into the cup.


Tie some ribbons into some pretty bows for details. Shake the sound cup to your cat. I'm sure this activity will last hours.

By umengine3 (Guest Post)
January 24, 20090 found this helpful

Don't use foil for cats. If they ingest some of it, for some cats it makes them crazy. It effects their brains. We lost a cat due to this. Just wanted to share this thought.
Another good idea, tie a lace to a door knob and a feather on the end of that. Feathers just tossed on the ground is great too.

By neocat (Guest Post)
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.

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!

August 26, 20130 found this helpful

I have 6 cats and check out the dollar toy isle and the baby isle at Walmart for great toys.


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December 11, 20160 found this helpful

Lol, I am sure anyone coming to my house would wonder at the assortment of "junk" on the floor. My cats love selvage edges from fleece blankets when I make them, or the plastic milk jug caps or even the strip that holds the lid on orange juice concentrate cans. One cat is fascinated with straws. Lumpy loves large twisty ties and holds one in her mouth while twanging it with her paws...anything is fair game no need for expensive cat toys.


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