DIY Cat Toy “Catnip Pillow” Tutorial

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Have you ever tried looking for DIY cat toys? They’re pretty hard to find. I remember looking awhile back and I just couldn’t find anything that didn’t require knitting (which I’ve never done) or a sewing machine for perfect stitches. I wanted something very simple that my cat could enjoy without costing much money. I ended up trying to make my own DIY cat toy and the results were fantastic. Flakes (our cat) LOVES these toys and they’re so easy to make. Just follow the tutorial below and enjoy!

Supplies you’ll need for the DIY catnip toys: Fabric (remnants work GREAT!), needle, thread, felt (any color), scissors, a plastic grocery bag and catnip. If you don’t have any felt, you can also use pillow stuffing or even yarn remnants. Basically anything that’s fluffy is perfect!

DIY Catnip Pillow Toy Tutorial

STEP 1 – Cut the Fabric

Cut a piece of fabric equal to twice the width you want your toy to be. I typically cut mine about 4-5 inches wide and 4 inches high so I will end up with a 2 inch by 4 inch pillow. I encourage you to make several different sizes to figure out what works best for your cat. For the purposes of this tutorial, I cut mine a little bigger than normal and I found that my cat liked this more than his previous toys.

STEP 2 – Fold the Fabric

Fold the fabric in half (good sides facing) “hot dog style”. It should be longer than it is wide.

STEP 3 – Sew Up 2 “Open Sides”

Sew up bottom and the long side. Leave the other side open for now.

STEP 4 – Turn Inside Out

Turn the newly sewn pillow inside out. The “good side” should be facing out now.

STEP 5 – Cut off Button of Bag

Use the pillow as a template for how much you should cut. The cut bag should be 3/4 as tall as the pillow.

STEP 6 – Fold Bag to Fit in Pillow

Fold the bag so that it will fit inside the pillow.

STEP 7 – Pour Catnip on Felt

Pour catnip into a small section of felt. As long as it will fit inside the pillow, it works. You will want to repeat this step with another piece of felt.

STEP 8 – Roll Grocery Bag and Felt Together and Stuff Pillow

Roll the grocery bag and 2 pieces of felt together and stuff them into the pillow. The pillow should be nice and full.

STEP 9 – Sew up the Open Side of the Pillow

Sew up the open side of the pillow. The stitches don’t have to be pretty because only your kitty will be seeing it. 😉

Once the side is sewn up, you’re all done! Rub the pillow to activate the catnip and toss it to your kitty. My cat Flakes LOVES his (yes, he plays with a pink toy, so what?). Check out some of the pictures I took of Flakes when I gave him his toy:

Flakes playing with catnip toy


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13 Comments

  1. Great idea, however I find it easier to use a old pillow, saves me the sewing. I remember the days when I used to build tree houses for my cats.

  2. I usually rub catnip on the outside of her toys. This is an interesting idea, gonna give it a try tonight.

  3. Hi Jessica.
    I know it is off on a bit of a tangent but my sister has a laser pen and when she uses it my cat will chase it forever never getting tired of it you have to get adventurous when it comes to cat toys. Love your catnip.

    Thanks lee

  4. That is adorable! And something even I could do 🙂 We can also toss the toy into the microwave for a FEW seconds to get the last bit of oils out of it.

    My favorite material for easy cat toys is cardboard; we always wind up with boxes around, and then it’s biodegradable!

  5. Since we just adopted a new kitten… this looks like a great project to save us money on Cat Toys! Thanks for the easy to understand directions and idea. {by the way… Flakes is a cutie love his coloring} =)

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