Our furry friends bring us so much joy. So it’s no surprise that we want to spoil them with some cute new toys to return the favor and give us the opportunity to play together, of course. Unfortunately, most store-bought pet toys contain plastic and other pollutants.
Instead of buying new, why not make your own? A wonderful thing about animals is that they don’t care how much money you spend on their entertainment. There are many DIY cat and dog toys that can be made from items you may already own, each customizable to the size of your pet.
DIY pet toys you can make for your furry friends
1. Braided rope toy with retired t-shirt
This homemade toy requires only one material: a t-shirt! Simply cut the shirts into three or four thin, even pieces of fabric, braid them, and tie a knot at both ends.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can choose a few different shirts to create an alternate pattern. Braided rope is a very customizable DIY: you can thread a tennis ball through the middle, braid it in a closed circle, or adjust the thickness and size to suit your pet’s size.
When creating with a cat in mind, you can cut smaller pieces and tie them through a single tight knot in the middle rather than braiding the fabric.
2. Whack-a-Mole Box
There’s a known truth to all cat owners: No matter how much you spend on elaborate and fancy toys, your cat will always end up playing with the cardboard box the items came in. So let them have fun, but at height.
To make your own mole box, first find an empty cardboard box. We recommend using thinner cardboard such as a soda can so that it is easier to cut and the edges are not sharp due to heavy corrugation. Carefully cut out one of the short sides which is thinner in width and use the cat toy which will act as a “mole” to measure the circles and create outlines on the top of the box.
If you don’t have such a toy yet, don’t worry! Simply make a pom pom from extra yarn and attach it to a stick or straw. Finally, cut the holes for your measured holes. Manually alternate the pom pom toy between the cutout areas and let your cat enjoy.
3. Tennis ball puzzle game
Does your smart pup like a challenge? Then this toy is a winning idea! Take a 3×4 cupcake pan and fill each pan with a tennis ball, hiding a treat under three of the balls. It can be helpful to do this step in front of your dog so he gets a sense of the purpose of the game. Then sit back, relax, and watch your pup do his best to find the treats!
4. Plush Sock Bunny
Instead of buying a stuffed animal for your pet from the store, why not try making one yourself? Find a long sock, fill it with stuffing or rice, tie a secure ribbon that separates the face and body, and finish it off with a cute face.
Instead of using components like buttons, glue, or foam, consider pulling out a needle and thread to create a detailed pattern and attach the ribbon. This craft is especially great if you have kids who want to have fun. It’s sure to result in a great afternoon for everyone!
5. Stick and string toy
This DIY gives pretty results. To create this toy, start by gathering old craft supplies like feathers, yarn, and ribbon that were never put to good use, or that may be the remains of a larger project. Look for a stick about a centimeter thick or find something that will work just as well in your home, like a take-out straw or chopstick.
After that, cut and fasten all the pieces of string together, tying and gluing them to one end of the stick. If you’re using something with a hollow center, you can skip the glue altogether and push the yarn through with a toothpick. Finally, wrap the secure area with more wire for added strength. Shake it in the air above your cat for hours of easy entertainment.
Want an eco-friendly doy toy option? Try this natural rubber and natural cotton pick.
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