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Easy-to-Make cat toys for older cats to Keep Your Aging Cat Young at Heart


Elderly cat playing with puzzle treat toy.

Cats, like a fine wine, only get better with age. But our senior feline friends need a little extra TLC to keep their minds sharp and their hearts young. Senior cat toys aren’t just about fun and games; they’re about providing much-needed mental stimulation that keeps your aging cat spry and spirited.

In this article, you’ll learn how to make a variety of DIY cat toys specifically designed for older cats. These ideas are both simple and creative, so you can save time and money while still giving your mature cat the playtime they need.

Why Senior Cats Need Toys

As cats get older, they may become less active and more prone to health issues. However, play is still important for their overall well-being. Here’s why senior cats need toys:

  1. Mental Stimulation: Playing with toys helps keep your senior cat’s mind sharp and prevents cognitive decline.
  2. Physical Exercise: While they may not be as energetic as when they were younger, senior cats still benefit from gentle exercise to maintain muscle tone.
  3. Bonding Opportunity: Interactive toys can strengthen the bond between you and your older cat, providing them with comfort and companionship.

Cat Toys for Older Cats to Keep Your Senior Feline Engaged

Now that you understand the importance of playtime for senior cats, let’s explore some easy-to-make cat toy ideas:

1. Puzzle Treat Toy

Puzzle Treat Toy

  • Materials Needed:

    • Cardboard box
    • Scissors
    • Treats or kibble
  • How to Make It:

    1. Cut several small holes in the sides of the cardboard box.
    2. Place treats or kibble inside the box.
    3. Close the box and watch as your cat tries to figure out how to get the treats out through the holes.

2. Feather Wand Toy

Feather Wand Toy

  • Materials Needed:

    • Dowel rod or stick
    • String
    • Feathers
  • How to Make It:

    1. Tie one end of the string to the dowel rod or stick.
    2. Attach feathers to the other end of the string.
    3. Wave the feather wand in front of your cat, encouraging them to swat at it and pounce.

3. Catnip Sock Toy

Catnip Sock Toy

  • Materials Needed:

    • Sock
    • Catnip
    • Rubber band
  • How to Make It:

    1. Fill the sock with catnip.
    2. Secure the open end of the sock with a rubber band.
    3. Place the catnip sock on the floor and watch as your cat rolls

1. DIY Cat Toys from Household Items

Crafting DIY cat toys from items you have at home can be a great way to keep your senior cat entertained. These toys are not only affordable, but they also help reduce waste – a win-win for both your wallet and the environment!

Plastic Easter Eggs with Treats Inside

Don’t throw away those plastic Easter eggs just yet! They can make fantastic interactive toys for your cat. Simply put some of their favorite treats inside an egg, close it, and let the fun begin. The sound of the treats rolling around will grab your senior cat’s attention and encourage them to play.

Food Storage Container Puzzle Toy

An empty food storage container can be transformed into a stimulating puzzle toy for your cat. Cut a few holes in the container that are slightly larger than their paws, then place some treats or a jingly ball inside. As your cat tries to retrieve the goodies, they’ll engage both their mind and body.

Toilet Paper Roll Ball Track

Who knew toilet paper rolls could be so entertaining? Create a mini ball track by cutting slits on each end of several toilet paper rolls and connecting them together in a straight line or circle. Drop a small ball into one of the rolls, and watch as your feline friend bats it around, trying to keep it rolling through this homemade maze.

Ping Pong Ball Bounce Game

Ping pong balls are lightweight and perfect for swatting around. Throw one gently across the room, and observe as your older cat chases after it with renewed energy. This simple game is an excellent way to get their paws moving!

These are just a few examples of how you can repurpose everyday items into engaging toys for your senior cat. With some imagination, there’s no limit to the fun you can create while keeping your aging companion mentally stimulated and physically active.

Homemade Cat Toys

When you make homemade cat toys with love and creativity, you’re not just crafting; you’re tailoring playtime to your senior cat’s unique personality. It’s special to see your cat playing with a toy that’s been made especially for them, knowing it matches their specific quirks and preferences.

Here are some ideas for homemade cat toys that are easy to make and will bring lots of joy to your older kitty:

Catnip Yarn Balls

Roll up some fun with yarn balls! Here’s how you can make them:

  1. Take a small object, like a crumpled piece of paper, and use it as the core of your yarn ball to give it some structure.
  2. Start winding the yarn tightly around the object, making sure to cover it completely.
  3. When you reach the end, secure the yarn in place so it doesn’t unravel.
  4. For an extra enticing touch, sprinkle some catnip on the yarn as you’re winding it. Cats can’t resist the allure of catnip!

Catnip yarn balls are great for interactive play sessions with your senior cat. They can bat them around, pounce on them, and have a ball of a time!

Feather and String Wand

Create a magical dance with a DIY feather wand. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Colorful feathers
  • Sturdy string or thin rope
  • A stick or dowel rod

Here’s how you can make it:

  1. Tie several colorful feathers securely to one end of the string.
  2. Attach the other end of the string to the stick or dowel rod.

Now you have a feather wand that you can wave and twirl around for your senior cat to chase and jump after. It’s like having a mini circus performance right in your living room!

Cardboard Cat Palaces

Turn boxes into castles, forts, or mansions with doorways and windows cut out for exploring. Here’s how you can make them:

  1. Gather some cardboard boxes of different sizes.
  2. Cut out openings in the boxes to create entrances and exits.
  3. Arrange the boxes in an interesting layout, stacking them if desired.
  4. Optional: Sprinkle a bit of catnip inside the boxes to entice your cat to explore.

Cardboard cat palaces serve as both a play area and a cozy hideaway for your senior cat. They can go on adventures, hide from imaginary foes, or simply take a well-deserved nap after their playtime escapades.

With these personalized toys, you’re sure to bring delight and encourage activity in your aging companion, keeping their mind sharp and their paws moving.

3. Other DIY Cat Toys for Senior Felines

Spicing up your senior cat’s playtime can be as simple as turning everyday items into an adventure. Let’s dive into some other DIY cat toys that tap into the curiosity and playfulness of your older kitty.

Cardboard Roll Treat Dispenser

  • Grab a cardboard roll from your kitchen paper towels or toilet paper.
  • Punch a few holes in it, large enough for treats to fall out but small enough to keep things challenging.
  • Insert some yummy treats and seal the ends — voilà, you’ve got yourself a homemade treat dispenser that’ll have your cat batting and rolling for their prize.

Feather Fascinator

  • Tie feathers to the end of a stick or even a long piece of string.
  • Watch as your cat leaps and pounces, trying to catch those tantalizing feathers.

Kitty Puzzle

  • Take a sturdy box and cut holes in the lid, varying in size.
  • Pop in some favorite toys or treats and let your feline friend fish them out. It’s not just fun; it’s also a brain workout!

Toilet Paper Rolls

  • Create mini towers or pyramids by gluing together toilet paper rolls.
  • Hide treats inside them to entice investigation and play.


  • Never underestimate the allure of a simple box.
  • Cut holes for peeking or entryways for hide-and-seek — boxes can be palaces or jungles to an imaginative senior cat.

Each toy taps into different senses and instincts, keeping things fresh and exciting.

4. Conclusion

Remember, playtime with your senior cat is not just a leisure activity; it’s a vital part of their wellbeing. Rotating those creative DIY toys you’ve crafted will keep their minds sharp and their bodies agile. Think of it as an ever-changing treasure box that keeps curiosity piqued and boredom at bay.

While the charm of homemade senior cat toys is undeniable, sprinkle in some interactive play sessions too. A good balance of DIY creations and quality commercial toys ensures your aging cat has the perfect mix for entertainment and stimulation. This variety mimics the richness of their natural environment, keeping them engaged and excited about play.

Watching our aging cats bat at a homemade toy or chase after a treat dispenser brings out their youthful spirit. It’s a reminder that no matter their age, they still have that playful kitten inside them. So here’s to many more joy-filled moments with your furry companion as you keep your cat young at heart through the love and laughter that comes with play.

Happy crafting and playing!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Why do senior cats need special attention and care?

Senior cats need special attention and care because they require mental stimulation through toys to keep them young at heart. As cats age, they may become less active, so it’s important to provide them with toys that engage their senses and keep them mentally sharp.

What are the benefits of using common household items to create toys for senior cats?

Using common household items to create toys for senior cats is beneficial due to its cost-effectiveness and environmental friendliness. It allows cat owners to repurpose everyday items into stimulating toys without having to spend extra money on commercial products.

How can homemade cat toys add a personal touch to playtime with senior cats?

Homemade cat toys add a personal touch by allowing for customization based on the cat’s preferences. Cat owners can tailor the toys to suit their aging feline’s specific likes and dislikes, making playtime more enjoyable and engaging for the cat.

What are some creative toy ideas for older cats using different materials and textures?

Creative toy ideas for older cats include a cardboard roll stuffed with treats, a feather fascinator, a kitty puzzle, toilet paper rolls, and boxes. These toys offer varied textures and interactive elements that can keep senior felines entertained and mentally stimulated.

Why is it important to prioritize playtime with senior cats and regularly rotate their toys?

It is important to prioritize playtime with senior cats and regularly rotate their toys to maintain their interest and engagement. This helps prevent boredom and encourages physical activity, mental stimulation, and overall well-being in aging felines.

How should DIY toys be supplemented for older cats?

While DIY toys are great for older cats, it’s also important to supplement them with interactive play sessions and quality commercial toys specifically designed for aging felines. This ensures a well-rounded play experience that addresses various aspects of a senior cat’s needs.

About The Author

Toys Cats Like

Toys Cats Like

The author behind Toys Cats Like is a dedicated expert and enthusiast in the world of cat toys. With an extensive collection and a deep understanding of what makes cats tick, they bring a wealth of knowledge to each article. Their reviews and recommendations are tailored to help cat owners find the perfect toys to engage and entertain their pets. From interactive gadgets for playful kittens to comforting items for older cats, the author's insights ensure that every toy choice leads to happy, healthy felines. Their passion shines through in every piece, making them a trusted source for anyone looking to enhance their cat's life through play.

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