Homemade cat toys: how to build a cat house or scratching posts...from scratch

Want to make homemade cat toys? Put together a DIY cat house, fortress or castle with cardboard boxes? Craft your own scratching post? Check out our ideas.

Cats are always grateful when you present them with new toys. Bit expensive, you say? Don’t worry, you don’t need to rush out to the store to buy all the best cat gear! With whatever material you have around the house and a few cardboard boxes, you can craft homemade cat toys and scratching posts, or make a real DIY cat house.

DIY cat toys

Fold the end of an empty toilet roll closed, hide some cat treats inside and rub the outside with kibble. The smell will soon convince your cat to take a look. Tested and approved!

Or spray some catnip on a handful of wood shavings, stuff a old stray sock with it, and tie it up. Instant fun guaranteed.

Custom-made scratching posts

You can easily make scratching posts yourself by wrapping sturdy sisal rope or jute around a wooden board. Remove sharp corners or splinters first. Or you can use a longer, narrower plank, which you attach to something like a pole. Or you can make a wider scratching board that you screw an extra block onto at the bottom along one side. This way you can place the plank on the floor at an angle. To encourage cats to play, reapply some catnip spray. And voilà! Homemade cat toys that will make your pet happy.

The ultimate cardboard box

Have you already seen cats go crazy over cardboard boxes? Maybe you’ve found out the hard way: you bought a cuddly soft pillow or toy for your cat to play with, but it turns out your pet is much more interested in the cardboard packaging. Cardboard boxes provide a safe vantage point from which cats can keep an eye on their environment. Or where they can hide while ‘hunting’.

Using a simple box, it’s easy to make a cat house with an entrance and cutting out some peepholes. Or get the whole family involved in the crafting and build a real fortress or castle with nothing more than a Stanley or box cutter, some good glue and lots of inspiration. Need ideas? You'll be sure to find something to your taste and skill level on Pinterest!

Lofty spaces

Cats like heights: they are safe places from which to have a bird’s eye view of everything. Do you want to build permanent climbing boards for your cats to scale? Then place some bookshelves against the wall as stairs for your cat to climb up. But perhaps best to re-shelve your books in another location first.

Build an outdoor playground!

You can also make homemade cat toys for outside. How about a cat rod to unleash your feline’s hunting instincts? A simple straight branch, some rope and some feathers attached: that's all you need!

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