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15 DIY Cardboard Cat Toy Plans You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

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By Nicole Cosgrove

cat and cardboard box

Cats love to goof off and play with all kinds of toys. As a cat owner, maybe you realize that those cat toys you’re buying at your local pet store aren’t being played with much, or maybe they’re getting lost. A good alternative to spending money on cat toys is to make a few yourself using ordinary cardboard that you probably have lying around your house.

In this article, we’ll look at some of the best DIY cardboard cat toy plans. Most of them are simple, while a few are a bit more complex. Regardless of what you’re looking for, we’ve got a plan for you below!

The Top 15 DIY Cardboard Cat Toy Plans

1. Cardboard Cat House

Materials: Cat-sized cardboard box, ruler, pencil, box cutter, scissors, glue, clothespins, non-toxic marker
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Moderate

If your cat loves cardboard boxes as most cats do, he’ll love this cardboard cat house he can call all his own! To make this DIY plan, you just need a cat-sized cardboard box and some basics you probably already have, like a ruler, pencil, box cutter, scissors, and glue. Once you get the cat house built, you can draw on some shingles and other features using a non-toxic marker in the color of your choice.


2. Super Simple Cardboard Mouse

Materials: Cardboard, mouse template, masking tape, utility knife, glue, cutting mat(optional)
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Novice

This cheap and easy DIY plan for making a cardboard mouse is perfect if your cat is always losing his toys. This plan is as simple as can be, and it won’t cost you anything at all! All you need is some rigid, lightweight cardboard, a printed or hand-drawn template of a mouse, and a few things you probably already have, like a utility knife, masking tape, and glue.

If your cat is always batting his toys under your furniture, make a bunch of these cardboard mice so you always have a toy for your cat. This DIY plan calls for a cutting mat, but you can substitute that for a sheet of cardboard if you don’t have a mat.


3. Cute and Colorful Cardboard Cat House

Materials: Cat-sized cardboard box, cardboard sheet for roof, utility knife, ruler, glue, embellishments like craft paint, ribbon, etc.
Tools: Hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Any cat would love playing in and hanging out in this colorful cardboard cat house that’s more elaborate than the first one on our list. Once you get this house built, the fun part starts, which is decorating so your imagination and be creative!

You can paint the house any color you like and use some embellishments like ribbon or clipart for adding features like a mailbox or porch light. Once you’re all done, put a comfy pillow or blanket inside your kitty’s new house so it’s just like home.


4. Mega Cat Puzzle Toy

Materials: Toilet paper and paper towel rolls (about 150), cat-sized basket for making the shape, scissors, utility knife, glue
Tools: Hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Novice

You can save all those toilet paper and paper towel rolls to make this fun cardboard cat puzzle toy to keep your feline friend occupied and out of trouble. To ensure the puzzle is large enough for your cat to get into, use a cat-sized wicker basket or wastebasket to form the puzzle. Once you get all the cardboard rolls cut the same size and glued together, you’re done!

Place a few of your cat’s favorite treats into some of the rolls on the puzzle so he has to find them and bat them out. If you’d like, you can use the leftover bits of cardboard to make some simple toys for your kitty to bat around.


5. Cardboard Cat Play Box

Materials: Cat-sized cardboard box, packing tape, box cutter or scissors, glue, craft supplies like string, pipe cleaners, feathers, pom-poms, etc.
Tools: Hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Novice

There’s no doubt that your cat will love playing in and around this fun-filled cat play box! It’s also a sure bet that you’ll love putting his plan together because it’s fun! It’s a great plan to get kids involved with, so grab those little ones and the materials you need and start making this playpen for your family’s cat!

You can make use of those craft supplies of yours by adding lots of dangling excitement to your box, like little pipe cleaner fish and birds. Use your imagination, go wild, and have loads of fun! Don’t be surprised if your cat decides to play with his new toy before it’s done because cats can’t resist colorful stings, feathers, and other moving things!


6. Puff Ball Toy

Materials: Cardboard sheet, scissors, yarn
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Novice

This incredibly simple puff ball cat toy is great for kittens and adult cats to bat around. Once you get it all done, pop it into a jar filled with catnip and leave it for a few hours. The catnip will make this cat toy even more enticing than it already is! The materials you need for this plan are simple as it only requires a piece of cardboard, scissors, and yarn.

Once you cut some cardboard donut shapes, you need to wrap the yarn around the cardboard to make the puffy toy. The more yarn you use, the puffier the toy will be so it’s your call!

When you’re finished wrapping the yarn around the donut, you have to cut it off around the edges and you’re done! Your cat is sure to love this toy that’s perfect for playing fetch or batting across the floor!


7. Cardboard Cat Mouse Toy

Materials: Sheet of cardboard, scissors, thin rope, knitting needle, or something similar for poking holes
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Novice

This adorable three-dimensional cardboard cat mouse toy is as easy as it can be to make. All you need is a sheet of cardboard, scissors, and some thin rope. You’ll also need something to poke holes through the pieces of the mouse body for the rope to thread through. A knitting needle will do the trick or anything you have around the house with a pointed end.

Once you get one cardboard mouse put together, you’ll see how sturdy this cat toy is! You’ll likely want to make several of these cat toys because they’re fun to make and look so cool when done!


8. Cardboard Cat Ball

Materials: 2 mm thick cardboard, glue, scissors, compass
Tools: Hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Novice

There’s no reason to spend money on a cat ball when you can make your own! Not only is the cardboard cat ball easy to make, but it’s also eco-friendly! To make this cat ball, you’ll need to dig that compass out of your desk drawer to draw and measure the cardboard circles.

When all the circles are cut, you must glue them together correctly to form a sphere. If you pay close attention to the plan directions, you shouldn’t have any problems at all! When your ball is done, you may need to give it a little squeeze so it will look like a proper sphere. Then toss that ball down and let your cat play!


9. Whack a Mole Cat Toy Game

Materials: Cardboard, popsicle sticks, compass, ruler, pencil, utility knife, scissors glue
Tools: Hot glue gun, power drill
Difficulty Level: Moderate

It takes some patience, lots of measuring, and a couple of tools to make this whack-a-mole cat toy game, but it’s worth all the trouble because your cat is going to love it! This toy will keep your furry friend entertained for hours, and it will be lots of fun for you to watch him play!

If you plan on making this puzzle toy, plan on spending a couple of hours because it takes time to build. When you pick out the cardboard to use, make sure it’s sturdy because your cat will be climbing on top of the toy to reach inside the holes when whacking at the popsicle sticks.


10. Cardboard Bus Cat House Toy

Materials: Large cardboard box, masking tape, ruler, box cutter, scrap cardboard, scissors, non-toxic craft paint, paintbrush, glue
Tools: Hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate to advanced

This DIY cardboard bus cat toy is one of the cutest things ever! Imagine the reaction you’ll get from your friends when you show them this elaborate toy you made with your own two hands. This amazing cat toy looks just like a real VW bus, and you can paint it any color you like!

Once you get the bus together, you need to use some non-toxic craft paint to bring your magical kitty bus to life! You can give it a two-tone vintage paint finish or customize it with your favorite colors. When it’s all done, put a soft rug inside so your cat can take comfy naps when he’s not playing in the bus and climbing all over it.


11. Chic Cardboard Cat Hammock

Materials: Large box, box cutter, masking tape, tape measure, 1 yard of fabric, scissors, non-toxic craft paint
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Advanced

Your pet will be the coolest cat on the block when he has this cardboard cat hammock for playing and lounging about. Not only will your cat have a cozy nook for napping, but he’ll also have lots of fun climbing on top of the hammock and diving into the hanging fabric. This DIY plan will take a few hours to complete, but once it’s done, it will be fabulous!

You won’t need any special tools to do this project, but you will need about a yard of fabric, a cardboard box, and some basic materials like scissors, a box cutter, and a tape measure.


12. Cardboard Fish Cat Play Box

Materials: Cat-sized cardboard box, pencil, box cutter, scissors, glue, marker
Tools: Hot glue gun
Difficulty Level: Novice

Cats love fish and boxes, so it only makes sense that your cat will adore this cardboard fish cat play box! This play box looks like a fish when it’s all done, complete with scales, fins, and a tail! Your cat will flip over this box he can climb on, crawl inside, and bat at the moveable tail and fins!

You’ll have to draw the scales and eyes by hand, which should be easy, regardless of whether you’ve got a flair for drawing or not. Be sure to use a sturdy cardboard box because your cat may play kind of rough with this fantastic DIY cat toy!


13. Cardboard Cat Tower

Materials: Large cardboard box, utility knife, measuring tape, pencil, a couple of yards of fabric, two wrapping paper tubes
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Advanced

Your cat will think he died and went to kitty heaven when you pull out this multilevel cardboard cat tower. Surprisingly, this tower can be made without a glue gun and glue because the parts you cut out are held together with flaps that fit into slots you cut into the cardboard. The posts for the platform are made using wrapping paper rolls.

This plan will take a while to complete but don’t get discouraged by that! If you follow the directions carefully and look at the photos while you go, the time will fly by, and you’ll get it all right in the end! This cat tower is the perfect solution for a bored cat or one that likes to climb, and it’s a sturdy piece that will last.


14. Interactive Cardboard Cat Toy

Materials: Cardboard box, box cutter, measuring tape, pencil, screws, popsicle sticks, glue, ping pong balls
Tools: Hot glue gun, power drill
Difficulty Level: Advanced

When you get this interactive cardboard cat toy put together, you and your cat can bond by playing together. You don’t need any special skills to complete this plan, but you do need to be patient and have the ability to follow directions. Just watch the video tutorial carefully and replay any parts you don’t understand. This is an awesome cat toy that’s sure to bring you and your cat tons of joy!


15. Toilet Paper Roll Puzzle Feeder

Materials: Toilet or paper towel rolls, utility knife or scissors, treats or catnip, pipe cleaners(optional)
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Novice

This catnip or treat-filled toilet paper roll puzzle feeder is a great way to keep your cat active and engaged. It’s a super easy toy to make that doesn’t take much time. This plan involves cutting some squares, diamonds, or circles in a toilet paper roll that are bigger than the treats you plan to use. Once the holes are cut, you fold and tuck the ends of the toilet paper roll closed so your cat has to bat the toy around to get his treat.

This is a super easy plan to follow that’s perfect for kids. Small hands won’t have any problem folding toilet paper rolls, so get your little ones involved! Be sure to fill the treat with something your cat loves. If your feline loves organic catnip, just sprinkle in a little. If it’s a special cat treat he favors, drop in a couple so he has to work on getting them out.

Conclusion

You don’t have to spend money on cat toys because you can make your own using cardboard. We hope you enjoyed these cardboard cat toy plans you can make today. Pick your favorite from the bunch and get to work!

Regardless of whether you decide to build an elaborate kitty cat playhouse or a simple toilet paper roll cat toy, there’s no doubt that your cat will love it!

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Featured Image Credit: tranmautritam, Pixabay

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