You could earn SmartPoints on this page!SmartPoint Coin

October 26, 2011 at 12:22 PMComments: 7 Faves: 0

Free and Low Cost Cat Toys

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

You needn't break the bank to keep your cats happy and entertained! These common household items will keep them amused for hours.

Paper or Aluminum Balls

We all know recycling is the RAGE! Help your kitty Go Green too, by taking paper that you are going to shred or recycle and rip medium size length strips and roll into balls. Toss onto the floor for kitty to bat around. They also LOVE aluminum foil; take aluminum foil and roll into a medium size ball, toss on the floor, and your cat will have loads of fun chasing after these!

Paper Bag or Cardboard Box

A simple brown paper bag from the grocery store. Pop it open and throw some of their current toys in there. If you have some cat nip, toss some cat nip in the bag and kitty will enjoy rolling around inside the bag! They LOVE the sound of a crinkling bag. Throw in some of those paper and aluminum balls you made too for extra fun! Cats LOVE cardboard boxes just as much as toddlers! Give your cat an empty box, throw a toy in and they will have fun rolling around in that box for hours!

Plastic Spiral Bind

A plastic spiral bind that you are looking to recycle is a great toy for a cat. Just snip in different sizes once it is removed from the paper. Cats love the texture and the way these tend to spring about will give your kitty enjoyment.

Plastic Milk Rings

These are by far Casey's FAVORITE toy. He even plays fetch with milk rings and us. These have the scent of milk on them, how alluring is that for kitty! These are easy to obtain, when you purchase a gallon of milk and twist the cap off, there is a ring attached, just remove and toss on the floor for your cat to have fun with their milk ring.

Shoe Laces

Shoe laces are a fun favorite for cats! Getting their claws stuck in the shoe lace is entertaining for kitty! You can tie one of their current toys to the end of the shoe lace, even tying multiple shoe laces together and dragging it around the house, will give your cat a chance to chase after this moving prey! Using an old pair from sneakers is the way to go; they have an abundance of outdoor scents on them enticing for kitty! If they are too dirty, just throw them in a mesh bag and wash them with your next load of towels. Your cat doesn't care about their condition either.

Elastic Hair Ties

DO NOT USE RUBBER BANDS! If you are a female or live with females, I guarantee you have some of these lying around! These are great for your cats to carry around and bat at. Our cat, Casey, LOVES my daughter's elastic headbands too! I think he LOVES having her scent on these as Casey and my daughter have a special bond every now and then we catch him carrying around her headbands ever so proud!

Hair Pins

Again, if you are a female or live with a female, it is almost guaranteed you have some of these. Attach a few of these pins together to make a long train or make a "V" shape. Throw these on a kitchen or wood floor will be fun for your cat to scoot these around with their paws.

PLEASE NOTE: Please note these household items can be dangerous if swallowed. So if your kitten or cat tends to eat anything in sight, these recommendations need to be reconsidered. Safety comes first so always monitor your cat with these items. Remove all items when kitty is done playing.


Adopt a Pet - Ideas for DIY Free Cat Toys

More from Health Coach Victoria Swanson Others Are Reading


  • My friend's cat, Molly, loves playing with plastic milk rings and hair ties. It keeps her entertained for hours! I think why buy a cat expensive toys when they are perfectly content with less expensive options?

  • It really is inexpensive and cats love these things, I missed one cats LOVE jumping in and out of cardboard boxes too! I will even throw milk rings in a box and they love pouncing after them!

  • Oh yes, I forgot about cardboard boxes! Molly loved that too. When packages got delivered to our apartment, she would instantly jump into the box once everything was cleared out of it. If it was a big box, I would hide my face on one side and she'd jump at me or try to bat me with her paws. She did have front claws, so I had to make sure to move fast as to not get scratches on my face! lol

  • Our cat brings milk rings and hairbands to play fetch with. My whole life, I grew up with cats and never had one play fetch. Then my last two cats did. How awesome is that?

  • That is awesome Sprouty! I think it is so fun when a cat fetches!

  • I am not in favor of giving a cat shoestrings, ribbon, etc. UNLESS TOTALLY SUPERVISED after having a cat almost choke to death on string she had found in my sewing trash and swallowed. I thought she only had a bit in her mouth and it turned out that there was a lot! I just kept pulling and pulling - it was thread I had taken off a bobbin. Even the strings attached to fishing poles are not left out in the open unless in play now, just to be on the safe side.

  • Thanks Sharon, I agree, when using items such as shoelaces, headbands or any other such type string or yarn, it should always be monitored, and if kitty likes to swallow these things, they should be avoided all together. Safety first. Many kitties LOVE putting these types of items in their mouth, so it might not work out for many pet-parents and their cats. My cats, however, just enjoy batting them around, thank goodness! Point well taken! Thanks again!

Comment on the Smart Living Network

Site Feedback