DIY Cat Ideas: 25 DYI Projects That’re Totally Going to Change Your Cat’s LifeReading Time: 6 minutes
These DIY Cat Toys and Cat DIY Projects Will Make Your Cat Happy
What is going on inside your cat’s head? Last week, they absolutely adored that plush mouse on a string you bought them. This week? They couldn’t care less.
Your cat needs stimulation, though, so it’s off to the pet store for you to buy them yet another toy. Cue the same repeated cycle: your cat is excited about the new toy for a few days, then they grow incredibly bored.
Are you ready to change things up a bit? Instead of constantly dropping money to keep your cat entertained, why not go the DIY cat toys route? It’s really not that tough, and your cat will love you for it. Whether you want to make homemade cat toys, beds, or more, you’ll need inspiration. Check out these 25 DIY cat projects for plenty of fun ideas for your furry friend.
25. A Literal Cat Tree
You know what a cat tree looks like: it’s a sprawling, often wooden structure covered in rope and carpeting. Your cat may even already have one. If not, why not take the “tree” in cat tree literally with this DIY project? It’s recommended you choose juniper tree branches for their looks and durability. You can either buy the tree branches at a craft store or cut them down yourself (but make sure you have permission to do so first!). After some staining and finessing, voila! Your cat will love it.
24. Cat Hammock
Give your cat a taste of the good life by making them a cat diy hammock. They’ll sit in the lap of luxury with little effort on your part. You only need a cardboard box for the base (make sure you can get one without your kitty claiming it!) and an old cloth for the hammock. With some cutting and tying of the cloth on both sides, your cat will be ready to spend their days judging all us humans from their new perch.
23. Peek-a-Boo Ball Game
Is your cat tired of the same ol’, same ol’? Then make your own fun homemade cat toys! Get their heart pumping and their brain working with this totally uncomplicated homemade peek-a-boo ball game. You will need a plastic cat ball, but you probably already have one of those lying around, anyway. Otherwise, just repurpose a thin, lengthy cardboard box, painting it for appeal. Cut a few holes that fit the size of the ball and prepare for hours of fun with your feline.
22. Wall Shelves
You know it annoys you to no end when your cat climbs atop your bookcase or knickknack shelves. You’re always afraid kitty is going to knock something over. Give them their own shelves with some cat-friendly seating. You can buy premade, simple shelves at your favorite home supply store. To avoid splinters, stain and paint the shelves. If you’re feeling extra generous, add some carpeting so kitty is comfortable all day and night.
21. Outdoor Enclosure
Some cats are terrified of the great outdoors and want to remain inside at all times. Others like to roam for a few hours before returning to the safety of their home. Others still could spend hours outside. If your cat likes the outdoors, build them a safe, roomy enclosure. In this cat DIY project, you’ll only need wood and some chicken wire on hand. The cool part about this project is you can customize it to your liking! For instance, your cat can have a smaller enclosure or you can build one that sprawls the width of your house.
20. Cat Wand
Save money making toys for your cat with a DIY cat wand. It’s recommended you use a dowel rod for the wand itself. Otherwise, you’re free to add whichever creative touches you want, such as pieces of felt, paper, or whatever other material gets your cat going. Wrap some felt around the dowel where your hand will go for hours of comfortable playing. Here’s a hint: to engage your cat for the first time you introduce the wand, rub some catnip on it. That will get your kitty ready for some thrills!
19. Kitty Teepee
It’s no secret that cats get scared…a lot. Everything from the doorbell to the vacuum cleaner to the house settling will send them running and vanishing for hours. That’s why it’s a good idea to give your feline friend a secure place that’s their own, such as a teepee. For this cat DIY project, grab a few slim wooden dowels, twine, safety pins, and a small blanket. Your cat will take refuge in their pet-sized teepee. It’s also a fantastic place to nap.
18. Cat Tent
Want another lodging option for your cat? Why not try a kitty tent instead? (Or maybe make this in addition to the teepee, in which case you have one lucky feline!) You’ll find that diy cat projects like this one comes together very fast, as it mostly consists of cardboard and an oversized t-shirt. You should also have safety pins, tape, and wire hangers to put it all together. Make sure you choose a colorful t-shirt, at least for your own sense of style if not your cat’s.
17. Cat Grass
Yes, it’s true that if a pet intentionally seeks out grass to eat, it likely means they’re experiencing an upset tummy. For cats though, regularly nibbling on the green stuff can improve digestive tract and stomach health. For that reason alone, you might want to grow your own grass. The best types of grass for cats are wheat grass or rye oat grass, so you’ll need seeds for either of those. Then, make sure you water your grass regularly. You can grow your cat grass outdoors or indoors!
16. Suitcase Bed
Is your cat a traveling diva? Does she love hopping on a plane and going with you on your adventures? If so, you must make this darling suitcase bed. Although this looks like it’d be expensive to reproduce, it isn’t. You’ll need an old suitcase you don’t mind parting with and some pillows and blankets. Dowels keep the suitcase in place so your cat can enjoy some pleasant dreams. The best part? When your cat is out of the bed, you can close the suitcase and save some space.
15. Litter Box Curtain
Look, just because the cat likes to get in the bathroom and watch you do your business doesn’t mean the feeling is mutual. Not only can you give your kitty some privacy with a litter box curtain, but the curtain also makes this unsightly but necessary box disappear. The toughest part of this job will be deciding where to hang the curtain, but most small spaces will fit via a tension rod. If you can’t sew, don’t worry; you can always glue the curtain together instead of using a needle and thread.
14. Hanging Scratching Post
Reimagine the common scratching post with this smart, creative DIY version. This scratching post is shorter, flatter, and goes on the wall. This will challenge your cat, who is used to an easily accessible scratching post at ground level. They’ll have to stretch to hook into the rich fabric and cut with those sharp claws. Do make sure you hang this scratching post where your cat can reach it, or else you’d just be teasing them.
13. Cat Food Bowl Stand
Your cat sips their water and eats their kibble throughout the day. How low do they have to dip their head to do this? As you probably know, this eating habit can result in water dribbles and loose kibble everywhere you look. Cat diy projects such as this cat food bowl stand contains the mess. With some paint, wood, and a few power tools (like drills), you can easily make your own food bowl stand sure to keep your kitchen cleaner and your cat happier.
12. Cat Window Perch
Cats love few feelings more than the warm sunlight glinting off their fur. That’s why they’re always sitting by the window or door, trying to get some of that sun. Make it more convenient for them to laze by the window with their very own homemade window perch. Like many of these projects, it’s easier to do than you think, requiring only screws, shelf brackets, a pillow, and an old tray. You may want to cover said tray in fabric for looks and comfort, but that’s entirely up to you.
11. Homemade Mouse Toy
Give your cat a gift made with love in the form of this DIY mouse toy. Made primarily of felt, this toy is safe for cats to swing at, bite, bat, and chase. Feel free to get as fantastical as you want with the felt colors; who says you can’t have a pink and blue polka dot mouse? The tail should be made of rope and long enough for your cat to grip. Again, to get your cat interested, we recommend rubbing some catnip on this mousey.
10. Crocheted Cat Bed
Perfect to cozy up to in the autumn and winter, your cat will be toasty each time they crawl into their spacious crocheted cat bed. This may look like a daunting DIY project, but as long as you’re comfortable with some minor sewing, you’ll be fine. Besides, you can find patterns online to follow along with. These beds are very versatile, so let your creativity shine as you design this comfy haven for your kitty.
9. No-Mess Litter Box
Litter boxes are expensive, not to mention imperfect. These need large openings for the cat to get in and out, which is oftentimes the perfect amount of space for kitty to pass his litter throughout the house. If you have carpeting nearby, you know how hard it is to get kitty litter out of the carpet fibers. Ugh. This cheap, no-mess alternative repurposes a plastic storage bucket, opening up just enough space for the cat to get in and out of the litter box without the ability to transfer messes with it.
8. Green Litter
No, we’re not talking about literal green litter here, but rather ecofriendly litter that you can make yourself. Now that you’ve already gone ahead and made your cat a more efficient litter box, you might as well finish the job, right? All you need for this litter is some cedar shavings, baking soda, and chicken scratch. Blend them all together and you should get a mildly fragrant litter that won’t cost an arm and a leg! Be patient as your cat adjusts to the new litter. It’s definitely worth it.
7. Kitty Trapeze
Don’t worry, your cat doesn’t have to run away to join the circus to appreciate this kitty trapeze. With some rope, a hook, plush pillows, and some drapes, you can create a multi-layered trapeze your cat can climb. If you have more than one cat, they can both get hours of bonding time chasing one another from pillow to pillow and seeing who can reach the top the fastest!
6. Self-Petting Station
What is a self-petting station, you ask? It’s a contraption with a giant pipe-cleaner-like toilet brush affixed to a wooden block that’s carpeted. Instead of rubbing against your legs or feet while you try to get important stuff done around the house, your cat can entertain themselves with this petting station. The toilet brush is meant to mimic the sensation of a thorough petting. Your cat feels loved, you get your to-do list done; it’s a win-win! This station can also double as a toy in a pinch.
5. Treat Dispenser Puzzle
Your cat is a good girl or boy, so of course they deserve treats from time to time. Still, unsealing the bag and dropping the treats on the floor (or handfeeding your cat if that’s more your thing) is lacking a little something. Make treat time game time with a DIY treat dispenser puzzle. You can use an old plastic food storage container for this project. By cutting variously-sized holes out of the top of the lid and filling the container with a bunch of little toys, your cat will use their creative thinking to get their treats freed from the puzzle.
4. Cardboard Cat Cocoon
What is this cat cocoon made of? At first glance, it looks like intricately woven fabric. It’s actually cardboard, layers upon layers upon layers of the stuff. If you have that much cardboard available, you can make your own cat cocoon. The shape is completely customizable. What matters most is that your cat has the room to crawl in and stretch their legs. If you have more than one cat, multiple pets should have ample space. You can use glue to adhere the cardboard, but make sure each layer is fully dried before moving on to the next one!
3. Cat Yarn Balls
Does your cat often use your clothes as its own yarn ball, tossing and rolling and playing? Do you hate finding scratches and tears and—oh no—mounds of cat hair on all your outfits? You better make these cat yarn balls ASAP. This DIY project is as easy as they come, with no sewing required. You just take some yarn, ball it up, tie the ends so none are loose, and let your cat play with their new toy instead of your expensive clothes.
2. Kitty Door Scratcher
Here’s a variation on the hanging scratching post idea mentioned above. If you don’t want to hang your cat’s scratching post to the wall, hook it on the doorknob instead. This scratcher has the same premise: it’s slim and tall, so it’ll be sure to keep your kitty busy for hours. Given its secure fit on the doorknob, it’d be very hard (but not impossible) for your cat to knock this scratcher off the door. Try this on a lesser-used door, such as a closet door or even a guest bedroom door.
1. Cat Condo
Let your cat live like a human in this inspiring cat condo. Okay, so in reality, it’s just a series of huge tubes affixed together, but your cat will think it’s living large and in charge (well, more so than they already do!) To make this structure yourself, you’ll need several sizeable concrete foam tubes to hold kitty’s weight. Make sure to cover each of these tubes in carpeting on the inside and outside so your cat is comfortable and has a place to scratch. Then sit back and watch the fun happen, especially if you have more than one cat.
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