Free Cat Toy from a Toilet Paper Tube

Updated on October 11, 2014

Make a Free Cat Toy

Cat toys are expensive. Make this free cat toy out of something you'd normally just throw away, an empty toilet paper tube.

If you're just tossing the empty toilet paper tube anyways, what do you have to lose?

It only takes five minutes, plus it's so easy, anyone old enough to use scissors can make it :)

Class Project

This is a great project to make in a school classroom as it's easy enough for even fairly small children to make.

It teaches kids to recycle and care about animals, plus it's great for their hand dexterity.

All the kids need are safety scissors and empty tp rolls. Even if the children don't have pets, the toys can be donated to the local animal shelter.

Supplies to Make the Cat Toy

To make the cat toy, you'll only need two things:

Empty cardboard toilet paper roll


You can also use empty sections of wrapping paper tubes and paper towel rolls (once you're done playing light saber with them of course ;-).


You have a minute or two of free time? Get a toilet paper tube or three and the scissors and set them out on a flat surface to work on.

Get Good Scissors

Fiskars Recycled 8 Inch Straight Scissors
Fiskars Recycled 8 Inch Straight Scissors

If you have a good pair of scissors, this cat toy is super easy to make. If you don't have a great pair, pick up a set now.

Toilet Paper Roll for free Cat Toy
Toilet Paper Roll for free Cat Toy | Source

Clean off the Toilet Paper Tube

If there is any toilet paper left on the empty tubes, peel off as much as possible. Some brands are easier to clean up than others.


Cut a Slit in the Toilet Paper Tube

At one end of the toilet paper tube, use the scissors to cut about an inch long slit into the tube. Try to make it as close as possible to parallel with the side of the tube.


Make Another Cut into the TP Tube

Make another inch long slit into the toilet paper tube, parallel to the first, but about a quarter inch over.


Cut More Slits in the Toilet Paper Tube

Next to the first two slits, cut more. Each should be about one inch long and about a quarter inch apart. Go all around the base of the toilet paper tube.

Try to keep the slits as even as possible.


Cut the Other Side of the TP Tube

After you finish that end of the toilet paper tube, flip it over and cut the other end of the toilet paper tube into tabs as well.

DIY Cat Toy from Toilet Paper Roll
DIY Cat Toy from Toilet Paper Roll | Source

Splay Out the Tabs

After the ends are all cut, splay out the ends of the toilet paper tube. Each end will look like a wheel with spokes.

Let Your Cats Have Fun

Toss the toy to the waiting kitties for them to enjoy. Each cat responds differently. My Imp likes to rip them to shreds. My Yuba likes to wallop them across the kitchen floor. And my William just likes to claw at them after I bury him in all his new toys.

They may bat it around or carry it, but all cats seem to love it.

Imp Anxiously Awaits His New Cat Toy

Free Homemade Cat Toy from Toilet Paper Roll
Free Homemade Cat Toy from Toilet Paper Roll | Source

William Surrounded by Free Cat Toys

DIY Toilet Paper Toys for Cats
DIY Toilet Paper Toys for Cats | Source

Imp Attacking His New Cat Toy

Cat Playing with Homemade Toilet Paper Roll Cat Toy
Cat Playing with Homemade Toilet Paper Roll Cat Toy | Source

Even Rabbits Like This Toy


Since the cat toy is free and easy to make it's super simple to make a ton, enough to tire out even the most active of kitties.

Store-Bought Toys
Homemade Cat Toys
Cheap or free
Far safer
Possibly dangerous materials
You know what you used to make it
Cats refuse to play with them
Cats love them!

Yuba Playing with His Homemade Cat Toys

Yuba spies his new toy
Yuba spies his new toy | Source
He checks out the homemade cat toy
He checks out the homemade cat toy | Source
He realizes what fun it is and starts playing
He realizes what fun it is and starts playing | Source

Add this Free Cat Toy to a Fishing Pole

Go Cat Da Bird Pull 2 Piece Pull Apart Rod & Bird, Handmade in The USA (1 Bird)
Go Cat Da Bird Pull 2 Piece Pull Apart Rod & Bird, Handmade in The USA (1 Bird)

If you get this cat fishing toy you can attach this toy to the end and make it much more interesting. My cats love to go fishing to their toys.


What do you think of homemade cat toys made from toilet paper tubes?

4.1 out of 5 stars from 10 ratings of Homemade Cat Toys from TP Tubes

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

    © 2011 Alisha Vargas

    What Do you Think? - Have you made the toilet paper tube cat toy?

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      • profile image


        5 weeks ago

        Wish you had more ideas for me

      • profile image

        Lena - 6 Weeks Old Bunny Name Bear  

        2 years ago

        No I Havent But Im going To Try It To See If He Will Play With It

      • profile image


        3 years ago

        Easier yet ,, just crunch a piece of paper into a little tight ball and toss it down the hall ;)..

      • gottaloveit2 profile image


        6 years ago

        I LOVE the pic of your cat inundated with these great cat toys. Off to make one right now - seriously!

      • SusannaDuffy profile image

        Susanna Duffy 

        6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

        Great idea for a cat toy!

      • workable profile image


        6 years ago

        What a wicked idea for a cat toy. My cat loves to push grapes and blueberries around, but I hate finding them months later on furniture. Great lens:)

      • persistance lm profile image

        persistance lm 

        6 years ago

        Kudos to just_Dawn, my cat LOVES playing with toilet paper too. He often make his imprint on it so bad when it's my term to use the toilet, it's already ruined and I had to get a new roll out. >.< I also feel strongly about Alisha's comment about how it is such a gamble when you purchase a cat toy. I always get my hopes up, and, sorry, not interested.

      • profile image


        6 years ago

        This idea is awesome! Easy to make and cheap. My cat loves it! :)

      • AnnMarie7 profile image


        7 years ago

        Good idea. I'm going to try this for my cat. As you've stated before, cats just don't like store-bought toys for some reason, and it's a waste of money. Thanks for sharing.

      • justDawn1 profile image


        7 years ago

        My cat makes her own toy out of toilet paper! She shreds the TP with her front claws while kicking the roll with her back feet! Fun for her, but not for me! :(


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