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7 DIY Cat Enrichment Ideas You Can Make Today (with Pictures)

Genevieve Dugal

By Genevieve Dugal

Cat playing toy

Cats need mental and physical stimulation to stay fit and healthy. If your kitty is confined between four walls all day, he absolutely needs stimulation, lest he become lazy, depressed, and chubby. This is where enrichment comes into play.

Alas, cat enrichment items sold at pet stores often cost a fortune. The solution? Make a DIY project to entertain and stimulate your beloved feline. Many cat enrichment plans are available online, ranging from easy to slightly more complex. Some require tons of tools and others just a container of margarine and a knife. But no matter what you’re looking for or your level of DIY experience, there’s a plan for you (and your cat!).

Here are the 7 DIY projects that caught our attention and that will undoubtedly awaken the mischievous side of your kitten.

Click below to jump to the different sections of cat enrichment ideas:

The 2 DIY Food Cat Enrichment Ideas

Make mealtime fun, engaging, and interactive: challenge brilliantly met thanks to these original and extremely simple cat feeders. Make every meal an enrichment opportunity for your fierce panther!

1. Cat Puzzle Feeder

Materials: Round food container, screw-on lid
Tools: Utility knife, non-toxic glue
Difficulty Level: Beginner

A feeder for cats is good, but a puzzle feeder to arouse the curiosity of bored kitties is even better!

Indeed, a puzzle cat feeder is an interactive toy that forces your cat to use his dexterity and imagination to find his kibble. For example, he may have to fish his treat out of the cardboard prison or move his kibble along a maze.

There are a variety of puzzle feeders you can DIY at home. On Purina, you will find the steps to make the Wheel Puzzle Cat Feeder, which is extremely simple but will provide hours of fun and hunting for your kitty. Besides, the extra calories that your cat will burn during this game will compensate for the treats contained in his new toy!


2. Grass Food Puzzle

Materials: Cat grass seeds, empty egg carton, acrylic paints, and brushes, grow mats, tiny rocks, bread ties, cat toys
Tools: Utility knife, non-toxic glue
Difficulty Level: Beginner

This cat puzzle enrichment is a genius idea. By adding cat grass to this pretty cat feeder, you ensure that your cat can graze on all the grass he needs to eliminate nasty hairballs more easily!

Plus, you probably already have all the necessary materials in your kitchen. You can even add wine bottle corks and other small accessories to make this food puzzle even more entertaining for your cat.


The 5 DIY Environmental Cat Enrichment Ideas

By creating an environmental enrichment project, you are giving your feline the opportunity to have fun in complete safety. It’s all about creating a fun and safe place for your cat, filled with stimulating toys that will help chase away his boredom. The possibilities are endless!

Let your creativity run free or get inspired by one of the DIYs presented below.

3. Catnip Kicker Toy

Materials: Fabric of your choice, catnip, stuffing
Tools: Scissors, tape measure, sewing machine
Difficulty Level: Medium

Make a DIY cat toy for your precious fur baby with Nifty Thrifty DIYer‘s tutorial. This entertaining kicker toy is pretty easy to make, as long as you have a sewing machine handy.

All you have to do is choose a fabric you like, sew the edges and fill it with cotton wool or other stuffing material. Then, add some catnip to it and watch your cat go crazy biting his mini pillow and hitting it with his tiny hind paws!


4. Kitty Treat Treasure Chest

Materials: 6 toilet rolls, cat treats, colored piece of cardboard
Tools: Scissors, sticky tape
Difficulty Level: Beginner

A simple roll of toilet paper would make any cat happy (not as much as a good old box, but it comes close!). Indeed, cats of all ages love to chew, scratch, or kick a roll of toilet paper forgotten in the bathroom.

However, there are many other entertainment possibilities with this innocuous object. With a little imagination, this simple cardboard marvel can be transformed into even more stimulating toys for kitties. For example, the Kitty Treat Treasure Chest is a DIY cat enrichment that will test your cat’s concentration, problem-solving skills, and reflexes. Plus, this super easy-to-make toy will reward your kitty with a well-deserved treat!


5. Epic DIY Cat Castle

Materials: 5 large boxes, 2 medium square boxes, acrylic craft paint, dowels, felt, twine, cat drinking fountain, small plant pots, cat grass
Tools: Box cutter, duct tape, scissors, hot glue gun, paintbrush, black permanent marker,
Difficulty Level: Advanced

Forget boring cardboard boxes: your kitties deserve royal treatment! Build an epic castle for your majestic felines using this awesome DIY project. This project is a bit more ambitious than the others, but the result will be worth it. It’s ideal if you have multiple cats that like to have some intimacy in their stronghold while still having plenty of room to play king and queen!


6. Giant Maze Labyrinth

Materials: Cardboard
Tools: Box cutter
Difficulty Level: Advanced

This giant labyrinth for cats and kittens is breathtaking! And yet relatively easy to make, provided you have patience, time, and imagination! You will first need to draw the maze on paper or take inspiration from images found on the internet.

Then, all you have to do is cut cardboard pieces to the desired height and length and lay them out on a flat surface. You can place treats all over the maze, which will entice your cats to venture into it.


7. Cat Play Gym

Materials: 8 feet of 1×2 wood, drill bit, dowel, white rope, ribbons of choice
Tools: Scissors
Difficulty Level: Medium

Does your cat spend all his time in your house without having access to a garden to stretch his paws? The time has come to build him his own private gym! And no need to buy him dumbbells: simple multicolored ribbons, wood, rope, and a little know-how, and voila!

Plus, this mini-gym easily folds flat, so it can be stored in a closet when your cat is done exercising. However, for best results, it would be best to leave it in sight of your athletic feline at all times!

Conclusion

As you know, domestic cats sometimes have little daily stimulation. Environmental enrichment provides beneficial physical and intellectual stimulation for all cats and can also help improve your relationship with your pet, as well as between cats in the same family.

All the more reason to try a DIY cat enrichment project today!


Featured Image Credit: Onishchenko Natalya, Shutterstock

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