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!


Sonia M
Sonia Mabout a year ago

Great article with good tips thanks for sharing

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Jeanne Rogers
Jeanne R2 years ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elizabeth Brawn
Elizabeth Brawn2 years ago


Valentina R.
Valentina R2 years ago

Thanks for sharing. We are experts at making cat toys with used (safe) items.

Elisa F.
Elisa F4 years ago

Thanks for sharing.

David Andrew Murray


Suzanne L.
Suzanne L6 years ago

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

Shan D.
Shan D6 years ago

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...

Stella Gamboni
Stella Gamboni6 years ago

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