Natural Cat Toys You Can DIY

More and more in today’s society it has become a necessity to be ever-conscious of what we allow in our environment and how we are taking care of our bodies with nourishing foods. Nobody should have to bear a toxic load, and that includes our pets. Today, I have a fun DIY tutorial for you today that will give your furry feline family members a treat that will not only entertain, but will be free of poisonous rubbers and harmful chemicals. Interested? Let’s get our craft on and make some natural cat toys!

Calico Cat Playing with DIY Natural Cat Toys by Prodigal Pieces |

Aside from being healthy, the best part about these natural cat toys is that it makes perfect gifts. It only takes about 20-30 minutes of your time, and once you get the hang of it, they’re easy to whip one up.

Supplies to Make DIY Natural Cat Toys by Prodigal Pieces |

*tutorial first seen on Angie’s List. Post contains affiliate links so you can find the products I love too. (see full disclosure)

Here is what you’ll need to get started:

  • hollow papier mache shapes – I used fruits and vegetables, you can use any style you want
  • craft glue – either school glue,or wood glue (I found using a tiny amount of hot glue makes this go faster)
  • 6 yds/18ft. of colored twisted paper (aka paper twist)
  • sesame seeds
  • catnip
  • scissors
  • drill with 3/32 drill bit
  • optional extras: toilet paper tube, rubber bands

For this tutorial, I am showing you how I made the carrot toy since 0nce you get the idea, it really is only a matter of changing it up a bit to get a different fruit or veggie. I found my papier mache shapes in an online store, but you can find them at your local craft or hobby store or you can even make them yourself at home too. Now wouldn’t that be a flashback to elementary school days?

Since most of the shapes are ornaments, you will need to snip off the string.

Removing Paperboard Ornament String for Cat Toys | Prodigal Pieces |

In order for the cat to smell the catnip, you will drill holes with your 3/32 drill bit all over the cone.

Drilling Cone for Carrot Cat Toy | Prodigal Pieces |

The cone has an open end and you will make a top by cutting down the length of a toilet paper tube with scissors.

Cutting Toilet Paper Roll for DIY Cat Toys | Prodigal Pieces |

Flatten the roll out and then trace the top of the cone on the roll.

Tracing Cone onto Paperboard | Prodigal Pieces |

Cut around the circle you just traced, leaving a half-inch border. Take your scissors and make small cuts from the outside edge of the paper circle up to the circle you traced at half-inch intervals.  This will make tiny flaps that will lay down around the top of your cone.

Paperboard Circle for Natural Cat Toys | Prodigal Pieces |

Using the tip of your scissors, make a hole in the middle of your paper circle that is about a half-inch in diameter. Before adding the top, fill the cone with about a teaspoon each of sesame seeds and loose catnip.

Adding Catnip to DIY Natural Cat Toys by Prodigal Pieces |

Adding Sesame Seeds to DIY Natural Cat Toys by Prodigal Pieces |

TIP: For non-cone shapes, I made a hole in the top and inserted a paper cone. Just fill with seed and catnip in the same way.

Paper Cone to Fill DIY Cat Toys | Prodigal Pieces |

Once the cone is filled, apply your glue to one side of the paper circle you just cut out and place it on the cone. You can use a rubber band to hold it in place while the glue dries.

Gluing Carrot Cat Toy Top | Prodigal Pieces |

Snip the tip of the cone off with your scissors. This will give you a hole to insert the twisted paper. Apply a small amount of glue to one end of the orange twisted paper and thread it into the point of the cone. Let the paper and cone glue have a minute or two to cure.

Threading Paper Twist into Natural Cat Toys | Prodigal Pieces |

Once the glue has set, begin to twist the paper around the cone, gluing in small amounts as you go. Make sure to keep the twisted paper taught and be sure to check that it isn’t coming untwisted. I found that I mainly used my craft glue, but that I needed a small amount of hot glue every so often to help hold the paper in place as the craft glue dried. Just make sure that you are using either a bead smaller than a pea or a spread out length of glue in case your cat should chew apart the toy.

Gluing Paper Twist to Paper Cone for Cat Toy | Prodigal Pieces |

Before you get to the top, cut a 4″ length of green twisted paper.

Cutting Paper Twist for Carrot Top Cat Toy | Prodigal Pieces |

Unfold one end of the green twisted paper and fan it out about halfway. Take your scissors and make cuts in the paper to resemble carrot stems.

Cutting Carrot Top Cat Toy | Prodigal Pieces |

Apply glue to the unopened end of the carrot top and insert it into the top of the cone and let cure for a minute or two.

Inserting Paper Twist to Carrot Cat Toy | Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comContinue to wrap the twisted paper up and around the carrot top, and then insert the last bit into the same carrot top hole with a bit of glue. You’re done!

With those assorted shapes, I created a lemon, pear, plum, beet, and, of course, carrots.

Assorted Basket of DIY Natural Cat Toys by Prodigal Pieces |

Those cones could also make hot peppers, the balls could be apples…have fun with it!

Basket of Natural Cat Toys with Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

Now you sweet furry friend will have not only a fun toy, but a whole slew of natural cat toys. Our di,va cat, Lily couldn’t wait to have at these cute creations. Fun for all!

If you would love to have one of these toys already made, just head to my shop.

Shop Prodigal Pieces |

Calico Cat Playing with DIY Natural Cat Toys -Tutorial Included! | Prodigal Pieces |

The best part is that these are perfect for kids too. My guys couldn’t keep their hands off of them. So, go on and make other cats and cat owners happy by pinning and sharing these natural cat toys. And show me some love! ♥

How to Make Natural Catnip Cat Toys with Tutorial by Prodigal Pieces |

Up next, this chest of drawers will be getting a new look. Any guesses as to what treatment it will get? Head here to see.

Vintage Chest of Drawers Before Aqua Makeover by Prodigal Pieces |
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More of my projects like my natural cat toys:

Budget-Friendly DIY Farmhouse Style Bathroom Makeover by Prodigal Pieces | www.prodigalpieces.comDumpster Dresser Turned Boho Chic Diva by Prodigal Pieces |

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  • Debrashoppeno5

    These are so cute. I will need to Mae some for my kitties.

    May 31, 2016 at 7:14 am Reply
    • Larissa

      They will have a blast! Thank you, Debra.

      May 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm Reply
  • Patty

    These toys are so cute. I am without a kitty at this time, but I can’t wait to make some for my niece and some friends. Thank you for sharing this adorable fun little craft, these will make really nice little gifts.

    May 31, 2016 at 10:32 am Reply
    • Larissa

      I think my kids loved them so much that we’re going to make more for homeschool fun. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

      May 31, 2016 at 1:48 pm Reply
  • Hector

    What are the sesame seeds for?

    February 7, 2017 at 12:25 pm Reply
    • Larissa

      Cats like the rattling sound they make. 🙂

      February 7, 2017 at 1:05 pm Reply
      • Casey S. Manning

        Do you think it’d be okay to try using other things inside so the toys could make diff sounds or would that be a choking hazard? Like maybe jingle bells, popcorn kernels, diff kinds of beans/peas, etc. ?

        October 10, 2018 at 2:35 pm Reply
        • Larissa

          Probably not, as tempting and fun as that would be. Since many cats tear into their toys, I researched what is safe for them in case they get into the middle and this was what I chose to not hurt, but still entertain them. Beans or peas wouldn’t be a bad idea. 😉

          October 10, 2018 at 9:21 pm Reply
  • Elise

    What gorgeous toys!! I really need to try these, especially since even if my cat doesn’t like them, I know I will ;).

    April 26, 2017 at 5:37 am Reply
    • Larissa

      hahaha…I feel the same. Thank you. 🙂

      April 27, 2017 at 6:53 am Reply

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