Top 5 Household Items That Double As Great Cat Toys

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on November 30, 2017

You don’t need to spend an entire paycheck at the pet store to keep your playful kitty entertained. Built with the athleticism of perfect predators, cats need physical stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. Toys replace the prey they would be hunting out in the wild, but in the mind of a cat, a toy could be anything. Your feline can be tough and tenacious, but they’re also silly and imaginative. Sometimes, their favorite toys aren’t toys at all. Here are a few common items you have in your house that would make purrfect playthings for your feline friend.

#1 – Cardboard Boxes

This one’s a no-brainer. Every cat owner knows their pet has a strange fascination with boxes of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes that attraction comes from a cat’s need to feel protected and safe, but boxes are also great for playtime. They’ll have fun jumping in and out and batting the flaps with their paws. You can even pamper your pet with their very own feline fort by cutting out windows and getting creative with the box.

#2 – Cardboard Tubes

The next time someone forgets to change the toilet paper roll, think of your cat. What most people think of as trash can easily turn into hours of entertainment for a cat. The tubes roll and spin, and they’re light enough to carry around and throw in the air. Try unwinding a bit of the roll to give your kitty something to hang on to. Empty paper towel rolls will work just as well.

#3 – Yarn

Image via Flickr/sk

A kitten playing with a ball of yarn is picture-perfect. Yarn is easy for them to sink their claws into, and a ball of yarn can be thrown around the house without worrying about causing damage. The key is to make sure you have enough yarn that kitty won’t try to swallow their new toy. They can chew and carry it around in their mouths, but keep them getting too curious. The key is to always supervise them when playing!

#4 – Paper


No one knows better than a cat owner exactly how multi-functional paper can be. Cats love all kinds of paper—they lay on your morning newspaper as you’re trying to read it and prevent you from turning the pages of your book. They’ll gladly steal the paper you’re currently using, but you can use that love to lead them into less bothersome playtime. Leave pages of the newspaper on the floor where kitty can roll and rip. You can also crumble old notes to make paper balls .

#5 – Bottle Caps

Bottle caps are the ideal size for your cat’s small paws. They can be tossed across the room for your cat to chase down, and they also work when kitty is playing by themselves. Metal caps from beer bottles can have sharp edges, but hard plastic caps are safe. They can be from a water bottle, syrup bottle, or any other kind of bottle.

The best part about this list of unconventional cat toys is that every item is free. The price of keeping your cat entertained can quickly add up, but these are items you’ll already find in your house. Your cat doesn’t care whether or not you splurge on expensive toys or rummage through the junk drawer; they’ll be happy you’re thinking of new and exciting ways for them to have fun!

If you want a quality toy for your kitty that gives back, check out our Project Play™ Collection of toys – each toy provides a scratcher for a shelter cat in need.