Cat toys can be very expensive. They don’t last very long and end up missing in a lot of cases. Instead of spending your hard-earned money on cat toys that will just end up getting lost, destroyed, or eaten by the dog – Why not recycle? Yes, some items you throw out on a weekly basis make very good playing toys for your cat. No need to mention boxes here, we all know that one! Here are 9 things you throw away that make great cat toys!

Drinking Straws

I have never found a cat who didn’t enjoy playing with drinking straws. This is a fun and cheap way to keep your cat happy and encourage play. You can give them to your cat as is or you can even connect them and make different shapes.

TIP: Be sure to rinse them good if they have been used.

Milk Caps & Rings

It is no joke, cats really do enjoy milk rings and caps. Why not keep a collection on hand for them? No matter the age, something about a small piece of curled plastic or a flat and lightweight disc really gets a cat going. You can save up a bunch and give them to your cat(s) all at once for a hilariously funny treat.

TIP: Store them in an airtight baggy or jar with catnip, they will absorb the scent and be even more fun for your cat.

Pipe Cleaners

These can be loads of fun for your cat because they come in different colors and you can shape them however you wish. When giving these to them, always supervise play time as the edged can be quite sharp. Create spring-like shapes so they move and rotate randomly.

TIP: Making closed rings will be safer for your cat.

Foil Balls

Not sure if it is the look, the sound, or the smell but cats really seem to enjoy foil. Whenever you use foil for food, give it a rinse, roll it up in a ball, and let it dry. After it has dried, toss it in the kitchen or any room that has a wooden or tiled room and enjoy as your cat slides across the room ecstatically.

TIP: Put a pinch of catnip in the center and make a loose ball so the nip will fall out slowly and work as a dispenser.

Paper Bags

Need I say more? I really don’t have to but in case you were wondering, paper bags of all sizes and shapes and enjoyed by cats. Have an old gift bag that the handles broke on? Give it to your cat!

TIP: On bigger paper bags, cut small holes in the sides or bottoms so your cat and reach outside and grab toys or treats.

Pop/Water Bottle Caps

There is no science to this one. They are small, colorful, and when you hit them, they move around in a random fashion. What more can a cat ask for?

TIP: Take a hot needle and poke holes in the center of the caps and thread string through to make a fun new string toy for your cat.

Tissue Paper

Much like the paper bags, there is no need to explain this one. Anytime you have a celebration and have tissue paper lying around, lay it out flat and your cat will enjoy playing on it and dashing under it. Sprinkle some catnip on top just for fun.

TIP: Be sure to remove any tape or gift tags from the paper before giving it to your cat.

Empty Vitamin/Pill Bottles

If you have a cat who loves bell and rattle toys, you have to give this a try! Take an old pill bottle and rinse it well. Let it dry and after it does, fill it will beads or small stones to make a rattle. If your cat is a genius that can open bottles, fill it with treats and catnip instead!

TIP: Always seal the cap if you put small items inside (that aren’t treats/food) as they can become choking hazards for your kitty.

Old Pasta

Anytime I make pasta, I have to fork some uncooked pasta over to the cats. Ever try it with yours? If you have old pasta lying around, keep some for your cat to enjoy. The different shaped ones work best but regular spaghetti is just as loved!

TIP: Put the dry pasta in a shallow bowl and allow your cat(s) to take it out piece by piece.

Do you reuse anything as toys for your cat? Share in the comments!

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Cara Susanne Ives
Cara Susanne Ives

All my cats I have ever had young and old love boxes. Shoe boxes, shipping boxes, big boxes and small ones. They will find a way to squeeze themselves into very small boxes (useally break them) but they have a blast. My kid loves boxes as well. So, this gives them something to fight over and it is pretty funny to watch!