How to Build a DIY Interactive Toy for Cats Using Recycled Materials?

As pet parents, we all know that our feline friends love to play. A stimulating toy can provide endless hours of fun and exercise for your kitty, while also keeping it mentally sharp. However, it’s not always feasible to keep buying new toys. So why not create some on your own using recycled materials? Not only is it cost-effective and eco-friendly, but it also allows you to customize the toy to your cat’s preferences. Today, we will show you how to make DIY interactive toys for your cats using simple materials like cardboard, paper, and glue. Let’s get started, shall we?

1. DIY Cardboard Box Puzzle Toy

The first project we are going to explore is creating a cardboard box puzzle toy. This simple yet effective toy is designed to stimulate your pet’s natural curiosity and hunting instincts.

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All you need is an old cardboard box, some treats or catnip, and a bit of creativity. Begin by cutting random holes in the box, large enough for your cat’s paw to fit through. Remember to smooth out the edges to prevent any accidental cuts or scratches. Then, hide some treats or sprinkle some catnip inside the box.

The idea is for your cat to have fun trying to fish out the goodies through the holes. You can sit back and enjoy watching your kitty having a ball while exercising its problem-solving skills. You can also vary the size and positioning of the holes to provide a more challenging puzzle for your pet.

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2. Homemade Toilet Paper Roll Cat Toy

Next on the list is a toilet paper roll cat toy. This is a great way to recycle those empty rolls while giving your kitty a fun plaything.

Start by cutting the toilet paper roll into rings, about an inch thick. Then use non-toxic glue to stick these rings together in a ball-like structure. Once the glue has dried, toss a treat or a pinch of catnip into the hollow center and watch your cat have hours of fun trying to retrieve it.

The bouncing, rolling nature of this toy makes it perfect for cats that enjoy active play. The added bonus of a hidden treat or catnip will keep your pet’s interest piqued, making for a thoroughly entertaining play session.

3. Easy DIY Paper Ball Cat Toy

The beauty of making homemade toys for your cats lies in the simplicity of the materials and the process. Our next project, a paper ball toy, is a testament to that.

To make this toy, all you need is some old newspaper or scrap paper. Start by crumpling the paper into a tight ball. You can add some catnip in the center for added excitement. Then, use non-toxic glue to make the ball sturdy and compact.

This simple toy can provide hours of batting and chasing fun for your cat. Plus, it’s so easy and cheap to make that you can create a whole collection of these paper balls in various sizes for your pet’s entertainment.

4. DIY Cardboard Catnip Toy

Our final project is a DIY cardboard catnip toy, which is a surefire way to captivate your cat’s interest.

Begin by cutting out two identical shapes from a piece of cardboard. It could be a fish, a mouse, or any other shape that your cat will love. Then, sandwich some catnip between these two shapes and glue them together. Be sure to let the glue dry thoroughly before giving it to your cat to avoid any potential ingestion of glue.

This cardboard catnip toy can provide hours of amusement for your cat. It will enjoy batting around the toy and getting a whiff of the enticing catnip scent every now and then.

5. Food Puzzle Boxes

Last but not least, let’s talk about an interactive toy that combines fun and food – a perfect combination for any pet, indeed.

Take a cardboard box and cut holes into it just big enough for your cat to reach in. Inside the box, place multiple small containers (like empty yogurt cups) filled with dry cat food. Close the box and watch your cat have a blast figuring out how to get to the food.

This toy is not just fun, it’s also a great mental exercise for your cat as it needs to figure out how to reach the food. And because it makes eating a bit more of a challenge, it’s a good way to keep fast eaters from gobbling down their food too quickly.

Creating DIY toys for your cats can be a fun and rewarding experience. Not only do you get to show your love and affection for your pets, but you also provide them with new, exciting ways to play. And all this while being environmentally-friendly and cost-effective. So the next time you’re thinking about buying a new cat toy, why not try making one yourself? Your cats – and your wallet – will thank you!

6. DIY Sisal Rope Cat Scratching Post

A cat scratching post is an essential toy for cats as it allows them to exercise their natural instinct to scratch and keep their claws healthy. Instead of purchasing one, you can build a DIY sisal rope cat scratching post using recycled materials.

To begin, look out for an old wooden post or a sturdy tube. You can even re-purpose a portion of an old chair or table leg. The idea is to have a base that’s sturdy and won’t easily tip over when your cat plays with it.

Next, you’ll need sisal rope, which is a tough and durable material that cats love to scratch. Start by securing the end of the sisal rope at the bottom of the wooden post with hot glue. Then, wrap the rope tightly around the post, ensuring there are no gaps. Every few loops, use a bit of hot glue to secure the rope to the post. Continue this process until the entire post is covered.

Lastly, make sure to check instructions and safety precautions for all materials and tools used, including scissors and hot glue. Remember, the difficulty level of this DIY cat project is easy, but safety should always be a priority.

The result is a practical and long-lasting cat scratching post. Your cat will love to dig its claws into the sisal rope, giving it a satisfying scratch session. More importantly, it provides a dedicated place for your cat to scratch, keeping your furniture safe from potential damage.

7. Recycled Paper Roll Cat Tunnel

Cats love exploring and hiding in small spaces, and a DIY cat tunnel made from recycled paper rolls fits the bill perfectly. It’s an easy project that requires minimum effort but offers maximum fun.

Start by collecting a number of paper rolls. You can use rolls from toilet paper, kitchen paper towels, or even postal tubes. Depending on the size of your cat, you might need anywhere from ten to fifty rolls.

Next, start connecting the paper rolls together using non-toxic glue to form a tunnel-like structure. You can make it as long or as short as you like, and even create branches or multiple exits to add an element of surprise.

Once your cat tunnel is complete, place a light toy or ball at one end and watch your cat have fun exploring this new play area. This DIY cat toy ticks all the boxes: it’s eco-friendly, cost-effective, and provides loads of entertainment for your cat.


Creating DIY interactive cat toys using recycled materials is a fun, rewarding, and sustainable way to keep your feline friends entertained. By following these detailed instructions, you can easily make a variety of cat toys like a cardboard box puzzle toy, a toilet paper roll cat toy, a paper ball cat toy, a cardboard catnip toy, food puzzle boxes, a sisal rope cat scratching post, and a paper roll cat tunnel.

These toys are not only easy to make but also customizable based on your cat’s preferences. They offer various difficulty levels to keep your cat’s play sessions challenging and stimulating.

So, instead of buying off-the-shelf cat toys, try your hand at these DIY toys. Not only will you engage your creative side, but you’ll also contribute to a more sustainable environment by re-purposing materials that are all around you. After all, the joy of watching your cat play with a toy you’ve made yourself is incomparable. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your beloved pet.