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Household Cat Toys

Some of the best cat toys are everyday things we all have around the house. Most cats love store bought cat toys, such as toy mice and pom-pom balls, but household items like paper bags, cardboard boxes, string, paper and milk rings make great cat toys. All for free.

Here’s a breakdown of the fun and games you and your cat can have with various household items.

Paper Bags

What cat doesn’t love a paper bag? We often eat at places like Cracker Barrel and bring leftovers home in one of their paper bags. When we’re done with the bag we put it in a corner of the living or dining room for our cats’ entertainment. They all love to crawl into the bag to play and sometimes even to sleep.

Occasionally one of our cats will pounce on the outside of the bag when another one is inside it! We’ve even witnessed cats playfully swatting each other back and forth, one inside the bag and one outside.

Buy at Art.comCaution: If the paper bag has handles be sure to cut those off, to prevent strangulation, before letting your cat play with it. The cut off handles are actually good cat toys too.

Plastic bags aren’t good toys for cats. As with kids, your cat might get trapped inside and suffocate. We even had one cat that loved to eat plastic so we couldn’t leave plastic bags out or we’d find holes chewed in them.

Cardboard Boxes

We’ve never had a cat that didn’t like climbing into a cardboard box to play, relax or sleep. One of our past cats always tried getting into boxes that were too small. It was quite entertaining watching her attempt an impossible task!

Recycle bins and plastic storage containers can be used in the same manner as cardboard boxes. Cats love climbing into them just as much. One of our past cats used to love getting into the recycle bin and being flown around the room.

Interactive Bag/Box Games


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Cats love to play with and chase sting. Shoestrings make excellent cat toys. One of our cats absolutely loves shoestrings. She has a couple that she carries around the house. Oftentimes she meows with shoestring in mouth or right after carrying it and dropping it near us.

Caution: Some cats like to try and eat string, so be mindful to your cat’s string habits.

Interactive String Games


Most cats like sitting on top of papers or attacking papers. Wadding up paper creates good paper balls. Christmas wrapping paper also makes a good cat toy and paper ball. Many times after the presents are opened on Christmas morning our cats love playing amid the torn wrapping paper.

Interactive Paper Games

Milk Rings

One of our past cats loved playing with milk rings. She used to bat them around the kitchen floor, jump in the air after them and truly go nuts for them. The best milk rings to use are the ones that remain intact after opening the milk.

Caution: Since milk rings are made of plastic some cats will chew on them and possibly try to eat them. If your cat does this then it’s best to keep milk rings away from him or her.

© Melissa Knoblett-Aman

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