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Cat Toys From Reused Household Items

Cat Toys From Reused Household Items

By Stephanie Sharpe, Planet Green

Cat lovers will do almost anything for their cats. Buy organic treats, luxurious cat beds, fancy toys—anything to keep your kitty comfortable and entertained. This makes for big business surrounding pet pampering. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Your feline friend may be just as happy with ‘toys’ you already have around the house.

For example I’ve always heard that cats love the plastic rings from the tops of milk jugs. However my cats have long been deprived since I tend to buy soy milk or organic milk in cartons. But thanks to my roommate, my cats have now discovered the joy of milk cap rings, and I discovered the joy of watching them play with them.

Take a break from kitty consumerism and try offering a few of these reusable household items as toys. You can spice up the ‘toys’ with cat nips or treats to make them even more interesting. It’s a great way to reuse household items that were headed for the recycling bin anyway, plus have tons of fun with your kitty.

Household Items that Double as Cat Toys

  • Paper bags (remove any handles)
  • Cardboard boxes (spice things up with a cat fort or make a cat scratcher)
  • Old or torn sock (pour in some catnip to make it more interesting)
  • Crumpled up scrap paper
  • Tissue paper that is too old for reuse
  • Milk rings (with supervision)
  • Old newspaper (when you’re done, donate them for animals)
  • Pencils (unsharpened) or pens (remove ink)

Animal Planet also suggests:

  • Toilet paper tubes (try putting treats inside)
  • Wine cork
  • Shower curtain rings
  • Egg carton with treats inside

Note: for your cat’s safety, don’t let them play with anything smaller than a ping pong ball without supervision. Also be wary of strings and ribbons, cats can easily choke on these.

Each of my cats has their favorite style of toy. One of them goes crazy for paper products like cardboard boxes and crumpled newspaper, while the other prefers to play with anything resembling a stick, like pencils or pens. So if your cat doesn’t seem interested in one toy, just give another a try.

There is nothing like watching your cat discover something new. And you can enjoy this priceless fun for no price at all!

Read more: Cats, Do Good, Green, Household Hints, Pets, Reduce, Recycle & Reuse,

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Megan, selected from Planet Green

Planet Green is the multi-platform media destination devoted to the environment and dedicated to helping people understand how humans impact the planet and how to live a more environmentally sustainable lifestyle. Its two robust websites, and, offer original, inspiring, and entertaining content related to how we can evolve to live a better, brighter future. Planet Green is a division of Discovery Communications.


+ add your own
9:02PM PDT on Mar 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

12:50AM PST on Dec 2, 2012


8:43PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

I buy them catnip toys which they love but cardboard boxes and cloth shopping bags are a big hit. They like tinfoil balls too.

8:37PM PST on Dec 1, 2012

My cats love playing with milk bottle rings. And (please shut up, any vegans reading this) I sometimes indulge in a McDonalds cheeseburger and crumple up the wrapper for the cats to play with - they love it. Cardboard boxes make excellent scratching posts.

But my younger cat (not the one in my avatar, my black one) also loves to play on the computer. I never know what I'm going to wake up to, and just pray she doesn't reformat the hard drive or something...

8:38PM PST on Nov 30, 2012

Cats, like kids, are probably more satisfied by the boxes things come in than in the things themselves.

12:07PM PDT on Oct 16, 2012

Thanks for the article. I like the fact these toys are so cheap, unlike the one's you buy in the store which are very expensive.

8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

All delightful toys, even crumpled up paper is fun for many cats who love to retrieve these in their mouths bringing it back to be thrown again and again!

11:59AM PDT on May 21, 2012

boxes and paper balls are the best :)

3:26PM PDT on Oct 16, 2011

Great ideas. I actually have that same box in my livingoom right now. :0)

11:24AM PDT on May 22, 2011


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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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