DIY cat toys

21 Jun 2023

Making homemade cat toys is a great DIY craft project for humans, and a free and sustainable way to provide your cat with enrichment and fun.

Here at Battersea, our staff and volunteers get creative making toys and enrichment puzzles for all our animals and we’ve asked them to show you how it's done, so you can make some for your cat. You can watch our helpful videos or follow the step by step guides below.



Cat wand toys like this are great to give to your cat, as when they’re playing, cats like to search, stalk, chase, pounce and catch. A DIY cat toy such as this can be played with by your cat independently (with supervision) and you can also use it to play with them.

It’s a good idea to make sure play time with your cat appeals to their natural predatory instincts, so it’s best to play in short bursts of activity just before feeding times, and make sure that it ends on a positive note by allowing your cat to catch the toy!

Read the steps

  • A pair of scissors
  • Old t-shirt or jumper (We recycle old Battersea uniforms but you can use any and as many colours as you like!)



Start by cutting 4 long strips from your t-shirt, all of the same length. You can make them as long or wide as you like, depending on how big you want to make the toy. The longer and wider you make them, the bigger your cat wand toy will be.




Gather the 4 strips together end to end. Use two of the strips to tie a knot to secure the 4 strips into place at one end.




Turn the knot upside down and make two loops, a left loop and a right loop, using the strips on the top and the bottom. Take the strip in the top right and loop it over the strip in the bottom right, holding it in place with your thumb. Then, loop your bottom left strip over the top left strip and hold in place with your index finger.




Still holding everything in place, pass your loose right strip around the front of the right loop and then through the left one. Then pass the left strip around the back of the left loop and through the right one. Pull all four strips to tighten the knot.




Repeat the whole process until you have almost run out of material, leaving yourself enough room to tie a knot in the end.

It’s best not to leave your cat with this toy unsupervised as there’s a risk they may get their claws stuck. Cats are naturally excited by new things, so by clearing toys away this means they will stay interested in them for longer too. When playing, watch out for any loose parts and make sure to remove them to prevent your cat from swallowing them.


Get your free pet care guide

Our free guide is packed with expert advice and answers to all your questions on toxic foods, body language, training, and brain games for your pet. We’ve even included recipes for making pet-safe homemade treats and toys.


Cats love hiding places and it’s very beneficial for them to have somewhere like a hideaway that they can go to, as it helps them to feel safe and secure. It’s also super easy to make!

If it is safe to do so, we recommend putting your cat hideaway somewhere high up. Cats feel safer when they are off the ground as they like to observe their surroundings. If you do pick a high up place, make sure the hideaway is stable and secure, and make sure your cat is able to get down safely, as it is always easier to climb up than to come back down.

Read the steps

  • A cardboard box
  • An old t-shirt
  • Sticky tape



To start, tape down the sides at the opening of the box so that your cat can easily get inside.




Pull your t-shirt over the box, positioning the neck hole over the open side of the box.




Take the two bottom corners of the T-shirt and tie them into a double knot to secure it in place. Tuck the t-shirt sleeves in so they’re not loose.




Your hideaway is ready for your cat! Put some of their favourite bedding inside to make it smell familiar and then leave it somewhere quiet for them to investigate in their own time.



This free knitted mouse cat toy pattern makes a great homemade cat toy which your cat can play with independently or as part of a pounce and fetch game!

Want more advice?

From new tricks to grooming tips, get expert pet advice straight to your inbox by signing up to The Battersea Way email.