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Best Diy Toys for Cats and How to Make Them

Donna has been a cat parent and writer for many years, and her passion is to share her love for cats with others.

Sammie the Tuxedo cat playing with diy fish sock

Sammie the Tuxedo cat playing with diy fish sock

Best DIY Toys for Cats and How to Make Them

Play time with your cat is a healthy way to keep them active and entertained and is a way to develop a close bond with them. Interactive toys keep your cats' senses sharp and are a way for your cat to run off some excess energy. Especially if the toys they are playing with require a lot of pouncing and jumping!

Cat owners know that their cats can be fussy and buying them toys all the time is expensive. It's always "hit n miss" as to what your feline will like. So instead of paying a fortune on toys they won't play with, the other option is to make them toys!

The Sock Fish

Everyone has mismatched socks!

Everyone has mismatched socks!

The Sock Fish!

Your cats will love these DIY sock fish toys because it provides them with hours of playtime, and it is easy for your cat to bat and toss around the room yet light enough for them to carry in their mouths!

They are fun to make and on top of that it doesn’t cost a thing! Why? Because all the items that you will need are somewhere in your house, from socks that don't have mates to remnant materials.

I Love Cat Fishes - She Says!

She played with this sock fish all day long!

She played with this sock fish all day long!

Items You Need

  • Single sock – (different textures are perfect for the task!)
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Stuffing for the sock!
  • Catnip or bells

Making the Sock Fish

Choose the sock that you want to use and stuff the sock with paper or tissue, any material that makes noise. The noisier the better. However, if you don't want a lot of noise, you can use a different small sock as your stuffing.

Get all the stuffing you to the fullness that you prefer then tie the knot at the opening of the sock. Make sure to leave enough room for your knot and don't over-stuff it. At this point, you can add bells or catnip before tying the end off.

With the material sticking out after tied cut into strands to make it like fringe just take your scissors, cut strips to about the base of the knot, but not too close as to avoid the sock becoming untied. This will make a nice-looking tail for your sock fish.

Did You Know?

For an extra treat simply put catnip in the sock before you sew it up!

Additional Sock Fillings

Fill the sock with something that makes noise or put some catnip in it for a more pleasurable experience for your cat and you can also put bells inside to make some noise! Cats love to play with toys that jingle-jangle as they toss them around the room! They also love to roll around on catnip filled toys which produce hours of enjoyment!

Catnip Filled Mouse Toy

If you know how to sew, this is the way to go!

If you know how to sew, this is the way to go!

Menswear Catnip Filled Mouse Toy

If you’re a great seamstress, you may have remnants left over from previous projects or you might have some old dress shirts that your spouse no longer wears! Either one would make wonderful mice for your cat!

It's not that difficult to make and the directions are simple and the only thing I added to the original directions was putting catnip inside the mouse and then stuffing with cotton balls or filling from the fabric store.

Make sure to embroider the ears, nose, and eyes and secure a bell at the end of the tail.

The original directions are here at

What You Need


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  • Assorted menswear fabrics (such as cotton dress shirts)
  • Sewing machine and sewing supplies
  • Loop turner
  • Fill
  • Embroidery floss
  • Embroidery needle
  • Mouse Template

Mouse Template

Mouse template

Mouse template

Step One

  1. Print the pattern pieces and cut them out. Using the pattern as a guide, cut out one bottom piece and one side piece from the same or different fabric.
  2. Flip pattern and cut out another side piece.
  3. The tail, cut a 1-by-4-inch strip on the bias.
  4. Ears adhere to two different fabrics together using iron and fusible webbing, following manufacturer's instructions.
  5. Using pattern, cut out ears from fused fabric.

Tail and Body

Step Two

  1. Fold tail in half lengthwise, right sides facing; stitch with a one-fourth-inch seam allowance, leaving ends open.
  2. Turn tail right side out using loop turner.
  3. Pin body pieces together, right sides facing; stitch with a one-fourth-inch seam allowance, leaving a 1-inch opening at the back.

Stuffing the Body

Step Three

Step Three

Step Three

  1. Turn the body right side out and fill it with the stuffing.
  2. Insert tail into the opening; slipstitch closed.
  3. Make a knot at the end of the tail

Finished Mouse

Finished mouse

Finished mouse

Final Step

  1. Fold ears in half and attach to body with small hand stitches.
  2. Mark placement of eyes with pins
  3. Embroider eyes and nose using backstitches.

Be Creative with Tissue Paper

Sammie loves to play with crumpled paper!

Sammie loves to play with crumpled paper!

Crumpled Paper

Crumpled up tissue or paper makes for a quick fun toy. As stated above, cat's love toys that make noise so crumpled paper is the cheapest and easiest way to provide your cat with a new toy. Just take a piece of paper and crumple it into a ball and your cat will have the best time... for a few hours...

True Fact

Boxes are the number one favorite for your cat to play with instead of the toy that was inside the box!

DIY Cat Cave/House

Yay! Our own club house!

Yay! Our own club house!

Cat Cave

Well, I made a cat cave for my stray cat outside because he gets cold at night especially during the winter months, and he has used it for a year now although he used to go inside it until one night, I noticed he was laying on top of it!

He is amazingly comfortable; he sleeps on it nightly during the cold spells we get here, and it keeps him off the cold patio floor with lots of padding to keep him warm.

Items you need:

  • A box (choose the size you want) cut out a door and/or windows
  • An exceptionally large t-shirt, I used a 3XXX that I had bought for my son, and I had bought the wrong size, so I used those. (He wears large oops) used one to wrap the box and the other two to line the box.
  • Blanket/towels, throw blankets that never get used, and some old towels.
  • Thermal cordless heating pad for extra comfort

DIY Cat Toys by 87Beamara


Playtime has ended and naptime is at bay time to sum up our adventure!

Diy cat toys are easy and fun to make with ordinary things found in your house. All it takes is a little imagination, easy sewing ability and a cat! It's cheaper than buying a variety of toys at the store that your cat may or may not like. So, give it a try and you and your cat will have hours of enjoyment and after playtime, the cuddles are the best, thank you!



This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Donna Rayne


Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on June 02, 2020:

Thank you very much, Sonia!

SDB from Australia on May 31, 2020:

Some creative ideas Donna.

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on May 04, 2020:

Thank you Flourish and William for your sweet words. Let us know how your fish socks turn out Flourish!

God bless you both,

Donna Rayne

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 03, 2020:

That’s good use for those list sock mates. I have six cats and grow fresh catnip that I freeze dry for them. I will be doing this for them tomorrow!

William Kovacic from Pleasant Gap, PA on May 03, 2020:

Some great ideas here, Donna, but I think I'll just the toys Thanks for sharing.

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on April 30, 2020:

T- I agree! It was fun trying to stuff the fish because kept wanting to play with the stuffing paper haha it was too much fun!

The Logician from then to now on on April 30, 2020:

This article is terrific! You know what they charge for basically the same thing in pet stores? A lot more than this would cost. And what a great pass time for the kids.

Nothing is more fun to watch than kittens playing with their toys.

Donna Rayne (author) from Sparks, NV on April 30, 2020:

Ms. Pamela, sorry for your loss and I thank you for your sweet words. I hope you get a kitty soon!


Donna Rayne

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 30, 2020:

I think the cat house and the socks are such a good idea. I don't have a cat right now as mine passed away in Nov. We have not gotten another one yyet. I think the catnip is the secret to the cats loving that toy. I want another cat and I really like this article.

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