DIY Cat Toy Using a Toilet Paper Tube

Updated on August 6, 2019
AlishaV profile image

I am an online writer with a love for animals. I've been a contributor to many sites including eHow, Xomba, Helium, and HubPages.

Read this article if you want a cheap and easy way to entertain your cats!
Read this article if you want a cheap and easy way to entertain your cats! | Source

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 such an easy project that anyone old enough to use scissors can make it.

Craft a Cat Toy With a Toilet Paper Tube

Here are the steps necessary to craft your own cat toy using a toilet paper roll:

  1. Clean off the toilet paper tube
  2. Cut a slit in the tube
  3. Cut even more slits
  4. Repeat on the other side
  5. Splay out the tabs
  6. Let your cats have fun

By following these six easy steps, you'll have a new toy to introduce to your cat fairly quickly, and without having to spend money!


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

  1. Empty cardboard toilet paper roll
  2. Scissors

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

Cut an even, parallel slit in the tube.
Cut an even, parallel slit in the tube. | Source

Step 1. 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 than others.

Cut a second slit next to the first.
Cut a second slit next to the first. | Source

Step 2. 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.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Putting more slits on one side of the tube. Once that is done, do the same on the other side.
Putting more slits on one side of the tube.
Putting more slits on one side of the tube. | Source
Once that is done, do the same on the other side.
Once that is done, do the same on the other side. | Source

Step 3. Cut More Even Slits

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

Then, 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.

Step 4. Do the Same on the Other Side

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.


Step 5. 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.

Step 6. 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 and William With Their New Toys

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Imp anticipating his new toy.Imp batting the toy. William with several toys.
Imp anticipating his new toy.
Imp anticipating his new toy. | Source
Imp batting the toy.
Imp batting the toy. | Source
William with several toys.
William with several toys. | Source

Even Rabbits Like This Toy


A Cheap, Easy Way to Entertain Kitties

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.

This is also a great project for a 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 toilet paper rolls. Even if the children don't have pets, the toys can be donated to the local animal shelter.

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

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Yuba spies his new toyHe checks out the homemade cat toyHe realizes what fun it is and starts playing
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

What do you think of this project?

4.5 out of 5 stars from 2 ratings of DIY Cat Toys Made 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.

© 2011 Alisha Vargas

Have you made the toilet paper tube cat toy?

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    • AlishaV profile imageAUTHOR

      Alisha Vargas 

      5 months ago from Reno, Nevada

      There's a bunch more homemade cat toys. Check out this page too:

    • profile image


      14 months ago

      Wish you had more ideas for me

    • profile image

      Lena - 6 Weeks Old Bunny Name Bear  

      3 years ago

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

    • profile image


      4 years ago

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

    • gottaloveit2 profile image


      7 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 

      7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Great idea for a cat toy!

    • profile image


      7 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:)

    • profile image

      persistance lm 

      7 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


      7 years ago

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

    • profile image


      8 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.

    • profile image


      8 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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