It's Simple and Fun
Do your cats love toys? Do you love cheap and easy ones you can make? Then check out this homemade cat toy you can make in minutes from cheap little pipe cleaners you probably have lying around from other crafts.
This DIY cat toy is so simple, kids can do it, and will want to since they love having fun with pets. It would be a wonderful project for Girl Scouts wanting to help animal shelters as well.
Get Pipe Cleaners
Start with Two Pipe Cleaners
All you need to start this kitty craft is a pair of pipe cleaners.
Place the two pipe cleaners in an X shape on a flat surface.
Two Pipe Cleaners in an X Shape
Twist the Pipe Cleaners Together
Just center the middle of one pipe cleaner over the center of the other pipe cleaner then twist them together where they touch.
Twist One Pipe Cleaner Around the Other
Bind the Pipe Cleaners to Each Other
Twist one pipe cleaner in the middle around the middle of the other pipe cleaner. One loop around should be enough. It should now look like they are clinging to one another.
Now twist the second pipe cleaner around the first, making them both twisted around each other. The double twist will keep them from coming apart. Again, one loop should be enough.
This will keep them securely together at that point.
Twist Other Pipe Cleaner Around the First
Twist the Ends Together
Take both ends of one of the pipe cleaners (it doesn't matter which) and twist those ends together.
This will leave the toy with one full loop attached to one straight pipe cleaner.
Twist Loose Ends of One Pipe Cleaner Together
Smooth End Tips
After you made the loop out of the first pipe cleaner you may have the little ends sticking up, twist them down and around the pipe cleaner as tightly as possible so that they aren't dangerous and the area is relatively smooth.
This will make the pipe cleaner look at first glance as though it is one complete circle.
Twist Tips Fully Around So They Don't Stick Up
Bring Another End to Meet
Now take one of the ends of the flat pipe cleaner and bring it up to meet where you just twisted the first pipe cleaner into a loop. At that seam, twist the free end onto the first pipe cleaner to make another half loop.
Wrap Loose End of Other Pipe Cleaner Around the Seam
Make a Complete Ball
Now take the last free pipe cleaner end and twist that into the place where all the other ends meet. Make sure it's twisted tightly and securely.
Wrap Final Loose End Around Seam and Shape into Ball
Make sure all loose ends are as tightly twisted as possible. Then, form the loops into a more rounded shape. The toy should look like a little ball now.
Toss the toy to your cats. It'll bounce and skitter across the floor, leading to chase fun.
Some of my cats like to carry it around and then drop it to play with it again. All love the light, bounciness of the toy.
This toy should only be used under supervision and removed if your cat starts really chewing on it.
Always keep your pets safe.
Butte Playing with Cat Toy
Yuba Batting the Toy Around
Jerry Falling to Sleep, Still Clutching His Toy
Jerry Won't Even Let the Toy Go After Falling to Sleep
Refresh the Toy Occasionally
If your cats tromp on the toy too much just reshape it. It's easy to do and the cats like the toy more when it's rounder since it will bounce around more.
Squeeze the Cat Toy Back Into Shape if it Gets Crushed
Twist Together More Pipe Cleaners
There are a lot of variations you make with this toy. This version is the simplest, most basic, but you can really mix things up.
Pipe cleaners are a perfect thing to experiment with since if something you try doesn't work, you can untwist them and try again.
One version I would suggest is to take more pipe cleaners and twist together into the ball shape. To do so, when you start with two pipe cleaners in an X, add a few more crossing the center point. Then just continue on, twisting together at the central point and then bringing all the ends together. This will make a heavier, but sturdier ball.
Or just use one pipe cleaner and turn it into a spring shape.
There are all sorts of fun shapes you make from this flexible little craft basics.
Get More DIY Cat Toy Craft Ideas Now
This toy should only be used under supervision and removed if your cat starts really chewing on it. The little hairs that make up pipe cleaners can be dangerous is ingested.
Always keep your pets safe by providing toys only when you can watch them.
Another Idea for a Pipe Cleaner Cat Toy
Get the pipe cleaners you need for this cute kitty craft now
Michel Marsh on December 18, 2018:
No, no, a thousand times no! Those shiny little pieces of pipe cleaner, or broken pieces of the wire, can be eaten and cause a myriad of intestinal problems! And, the pipe cleaners have wire inside of them, and the kitty can get poked in the eye, nose, side, anywhere! This is NOT a good toy for a cat or any pet! Don't use any pipe cleaners, not even the fuzzy ones, they all have wires in them. Don't do this ever! Please!
Carissa Carter on April 17, 2017:
But tinsel and wire are dangerous for cats. They can choke on tinsel, it is metal and sticks to their throat. As for wire, yikes.
Linda Robinson from Cicero, New York on February 22, 2016:
A very fun, interesting and ingenious, creative hub, so many excellent ideas. So nice meeting you Alisha. I look forward to following you. So nice meeting you. Hope that you will also stop by and visit mine, a huge animal lover myself. Talk to you again. Linda
loser from loserville on April 29, 2015:
I loved this, it was kind of hard at first but then I got it. spoiled kitty loves it.
Jane Ramona Rynkiewicz Frieman from Morris County, New Jersey on October 05, 2014:
What a great idea! Do you have freecycle.com in the area where you live? Last year I found someone who was giving away all her craft items and moving out of state. In the past I had constructed two kitty fishing rods using items that would have been thrown away. I saved the wooden handles from two back scrubbers and I used long shoelaces, threaded the shoelaces through the wooden handles and was able to bring very energetic interest and activity for my two cats. Believe it or not, those kitty fishing rods are durable and last forever!
Lorelei Cohen from Canada on May 14, 2013:
This reminds me of the pair of pipe cleaner glasses my granddaughter made for herself. Lol...she wore them every time she visited. Your cat sure looks like a sweetheart.