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9 DIY Catnip Toys You Can Make Today! (With Pictures)

Suppose you want a new toy for your cat but can’t access the pet store, no problem! You can create various stunning DIY pet toys using the basic supplies you may already have right in your home.

Every modern cat owner understands that catnips are a hit with cats. Catnip’s aromatic oils charm cats, and that’s a fact.

Catnip toys perfect for kitties since they are crazy about catnip. There’s a reason why felines love catnips, and there are plenty of cool ways you can make your kitty enjoy the substance. Check them out.

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Top 9 DIY Catnip Toy Ideas:

1. DIY Catnip Sock Toy by Honest and Truly

If you have lots of worn-out or miss-matched socks and have been searching for their uses-DIY catnip toys are perfect for it. And, if they have some color and fabulous patterns, the better!

DIY catnip toys made from socks are straightforward and may or may not need sewing skills. You only need a chunk of polyfill and some catnips.

Spread the polyfill and sprinkle about a teaspoon of catnip over the polyfill. You can stuff a tiny bell in the sock, too, for added effect if you want.

You may need to fold up the polyfill for it to absorb the catnip and get into your toy securely and more quickly. After stuffing it in the sock, fold the opening if you lack sewing capabilities, or close it up with a needle and thread. Either way, it takes minutes, and your kitty will surely love it!

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2.   Refillable Catnip Toy by Finding Our Frugal

Instead of buying pre-refilled catnip plaything, make a refillable catnip toy for your cat to enjoy over and over. Since catnips lose their effectiveness over time, refillable toys give you the chance to replace the overstayed substance with fresh good quality organic catnip.

Ensure you have some fabric, velcro, stuffing, a pouch, a zipper, some sewing skills, and of course, sufficient love for your kitty if you want to DIY a refillable catnip toy.

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3.   Yarn Ball Catnip Toy by TrendHunter

It’s safe to say that catnips and string are two of a cat’s all-time favorite things. So, if you want to make your cat’s dream come true, make it an entire ball of yarn and lace it with catnip.

You won’t need lots of tools for a yarn ball catnip toy-no sew, just a little glue, a continuous strand of yarn, and a styrofoam ball. However, you may need some pretty spare time because the process is a little bit extensive.

This DIY toy should be easy, especially if you are a creative guy, as you’ll be gluing pieces of catnip on the styrofoam balls, wrapping the yarn tightly to secure it, and turn as you go, to make the toy as uniform and round as possible.

Playing is an important part of keeping your cat mentally and physically engaged, and a great toy will make it much easier. We like Hepper's Catnip Stick Toys because they're sturdy enough to handle intense play and completely filled with organic catnip. You'll love the fun range of pastel colors and your cat will enjoy the prey-like shape!

Hepper Cat Stix

At Excited Cats, we’ve admired Hepper for many years and decided to take a controlling ownership interest so that we could benefit from the outstanding designs of this cool cat company!

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4.   Crocheted Catnip Toy by To Craft at Home

If you have some knitting skills in you, you understand the thrill of making some colorful toys full of character. You can embrace your crotchet skills and knit some yarn around a ball of catnip in a sealed pouch, and make any toy design you want.

The most common crocheted catnip toy designs include feathered chicks, simple balls, or mice, although you can create any other adorable creature if you have the skills.

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5.   DIY Fish Toy by Martha Stewart Living

Cats are downright fish crazy, and there’s no amount of fish you provide it would stop this desire. But as much as you’d want your kitty to have fish around it all the time, you wouldn’t want to have a fish toy that leaves a hint of ocean in your home.

The good thing is you can replace the “fishy” scent with catnip’s inviting aromatic oils using DIY fish toys. The catnip-filled DIY fish toy is a straightforward cute way of allowing your kitty companion to enjoy quality time with a fish.

This one only requires basic sewing skills, fabric, catnip, and a bit of creativity.

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6.   Second Life Cat Toy by Etsy

Don’t throw stuffed animals away just yet, even though your kids may have outgrown them. If you have a cat, you’ll be glad to know that you can bring the stuffed toys back to life by making them your cat’s favorite catnip toys.

You only need to wash, dry, and cut the stuffed toys open and insert bits of catnips in them to give them a second shot in life.

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7.   DIY Bunny Catnip Toy by FaveCrafts

Cats are natural predators and may always prey on bunnies. However, there’s a way to accustom your feline friend to bunnies so that they can learn not to chase rabbits-make them bunny catnip toys.

This crafty toy is even more helpful if you plan to bring a bunny pet to your house or polish your embroidery skills. You may need a fabric marker to mark eyes and nose, sharp scissors, freezer paper to iron patterns on, acrylic felt, and embroidery floss.

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8.   DIY Catnip Pillows by Catnipfever_

Cats love comfort, and pillows offer them something to lean on, rest their heads on, and a surface to occasionally bite.

And, you can still add catnip to the pillows and make them your cat’s favorite thing to rest on, bite, and kick. A catnip pillow is a super easy project-it only requires a small amount of fabric, some sewing skills, some stuffing, bits of catnip, and a cat!

Plus, you can DIY catnip pillows to any shape you want, although it’d be easier in a simple square or rectangle.

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9.   Mice Catnip Toy by Martha Stewart

Not only are DIY mice catnip toys cheaper, but they also feel like a lot more personal gifts to your feline friend. Mice catnip toys may take a bit of effort and skills but will be a much-appreciated gift and a worthy leisure time engagement.

The items you need to make this craft you can find at home, meaning that it should cost you almost nothing.  You may need an old t-shirt, paper and pencil for drawing out the mouse pattern, scissors, stuffing, needle and thread, something like twine for the tail, and of course, catnip.

If your toy mouse has eyes, ears, and a tail, you’re all done! Now, allow your cat to go on an endless catnip-mouse hunting spree.

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What Is Catnip?

Catnip, also known as Nepeta cataria, is a perennial herb and a mint family member responsible for creating euphoric effects in cats. The herb has nepetalactone – essential oils that induce mood and happiness. It’s a sense of euphoria with similar outcomes like a hallucinogenic drug has on humans.

Catnips acts like a feline’s sex hormones, making cats mimic a queen cat’s behavior in heat. A cat picks up a catnip experience after smelling the herb, where a single sniff triggers the kitty’s “happy” receptors, turning it into a crazy furball.

Although these reaction behaviors vary from cat to cat, most display excessive affection, relaxation, and cheerfulness; they may start to lick, chew, roll, and rub before they eventually zone out.

Image Credit: Sonja-Kalee, Pixabay

Some cats may also become hyperactive or downright aggressive for some time, after which it wears off gradually.

How Long Do Catnip Effects Last?

The high effect usually lasts up to 10 minutes, although it can go up to hours sometimes. Your pet may become susceptible to the catnip effect again after about two hours.

However, only adult cats experience catnip happy effects as kittens do not react to catnips. The sensitivity doesn’t show up until a feline is three to six months of age.

Health Benefits of Catnip

  • Boosts the Health of the Cat’s Digestive Tract – Apart from smelling, cats can also eat catnip. Ingested catnips have antidiarrheal properties that may be helpful for a cat’s digestive system.
  • Encourages Activity – You can use catnip to enrich your cat’s routine, especially if it is lazy, as catnips encourage play and movement in cats.
  • Reduce Anxiety – The catnip’s relaxing effect helps reduce stress in anxious cats, especially if they are in unfamiliar settings.

Side Effects of Catnips

  • Catnip Resistance – Overexposure might reduce the effect of the herb on your kitty.
  • Health Problems – Although overdosing on catnips is highly unlikely in felines, they can fall sick if they overuse. Your feline friend may develop health problems like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and walking difficulties. Being mindful of when your kitty has had enough and administering a little at a time helps prevent overindulgence.
Gray Cat Enjoying Fresh Catnip_Anna Hoychuk_shutterstock
Image Credit: Anna Hoychuk, Shutterstock

Types of Catnips You Can Give Your Cat

Live Catnip Plants

You can plant catnip in your garden because it is easy to grow. It is readily available in most pet stores as seeds and seedlings, allowing you to develop them from scratch.

Live catnips provide your feline companion with the freshest and most potent possible euphoria version of this substance. You can offer your kitty cut leaves for it to chew, eat, paw at, or rub.

It would be best to plant these herbs outdoors if you have a garden because they grow large and thrive in sandy soil and sufficient sunlight. You can also dry and store live catnips for future use.

Dried Catnip

Dried and frozen catnip is the most classic form of this substance and is readily available in pet retail shops. However, it would be best to buy dried catnip in pet stores that turn their stock supply frequently because dried catnip’s appeal depends on its freshness.

Although dried catnip tends to contain less nepetalactone oil than live catnip, it has a more robust smell. You can store dry catnips in the freezer to preserve their effectiveness.

Place the dry herbs in a well-sealed plastic container or bag before freezing it. The cold temperatures will prevent the nepetalactone oil from drying up, boosting its effectiveness.

You can remove the herbs from the freezer and sprinkle some on toys and scratching posts to entice cats when needed.

Dried green catnip for cats spilling from container
Image Credit: gvictoria, Shutterstock

Catnip Toys

You can use catnip-enhanced toys to administer this stimulant to your kitty. These popular playthings are the most common method most cat parents use to engage their kitties.

Although you can find pre-filled toys in pet stores, they may contain low-quality catnip that may be ineffective, especially if you bought from a low-turnover store.

The good thing is, you can make a catnip toy from home as long as you continue to replace or refill the substance to ensure that it is always potent enough to impact your kitty.

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You can entertain cats with the simplest of things and even add a bit of catnip to your cat’s DIY playthings for happiness overload.

All in all, be sure to rotate the toys, change the catnip often, and store the herb carefully to ensure they remain fresh and fragrant because, unfortunately, a catnip’s potency is short-lived.

Most importantly, put the catnip toys away after playtime, so your kitty friend doesn’t get bored or accustomed to the substance.

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Featured Image Credit: DarkmoonArt_de, Pixabay