Homemade Toy and Treat Ideas for Your Kitty Cats

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Homemade Cat Toys Treats

You and your kitty are going to love these homemade cat toys and treats!

Cats are supposed to be bored and disinterested with human behavior–so why would they want anything more than to be left alone to take a nap on Christmas morning? If you have cats, you’ll know they secretly love Christmas. The crinkle of the wrapping paper, bits of discarded ribbon sprinkled across the floor, and the space that is now open under the tree with all those pesky presents removed are all irresistible.

Homemade Cat Toys and Treats

We have always put kitty gifts under the tree. Cats are typically far less apt to open their own presents, but there are still some fun ways to let them discover their new treats. In the past we have placed a few catnip mice in a large, empty box, or simply put toys in the bottom of a stocking. The stocking method is particularly entertaining as they tend to play with and rub on the stocking first before diving headlong inside. Just make sure the stocking can accommodate the size of your kitty.

Your cat may act cool, but there is a reason they’re floating around the edges of all the action on Christmas morning. They’re wondering what Santa has brought for them and they simply aren’t going to admit it. Here are two of the treats I’m making for our cats this year.

Homemade Cat Toys

Homemade Cat Toys Treats 1

Amped-Up Catnip Mouse

Supplies & Ingredients

Pre-project Notes

I like to use duck cloth for my cat toys. It is a type of canvas and can take the back-footed bunny kicks and ecstatic chewing of even the most tenacious kitty. If you can’t find duck cloth but have a pile of old jeans, jean fabric will work well also.

Everyone makes toys with catnip, and catnip is definitely a cat favorite, but there is another herb that really drives them wild. Valerian takes the mania to a new level and I always add just a pinch to my toys. Don’t go too crazy with the valerian. I once had a cat that loved this herb so much that I would give him a little every time I opened the jar. One day I found him stumbling into walls as if he didn’t see them. I suspect in large doses it may cause seizure-like behavior. So, keep it to just a pinch AND if your kitty suffers from a neurological disorder it may be best to just use the catnip.

The mullein I add to these treats is the “stuffing” component. In the past, I’ve used the white fluffy fiber from the fabric store. I worry about kitty safety when the toy is torn open and they start to eat the inside. So, long ago I switched to an edible stuffing. Mullein is very fluffy and doesn’t flatten down.


  1. Cut your desired shape from the duck cloth. Don’t get overly ambitious, remember you have to sew this toy and then turn it inside out. A mouse should be a rounded triangle. You might get even more basic and just do a square.
  2. Sew three sides of your creation, leaving an opening on the last side. Turn your creation inside out through the hole you left.
  3. Add a good handful of catnip, a pinch of valerian, and stuff to your hearts content with the mullein. When you are happy with the toy, stitch up the remaining opening.

Homemade Cat Treats

Herbal Kitty Treats


  • 1¼ cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp dried catnip leaf (Nepeta cataria): find it here
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup tuna oil (from a can of tuna)
  • small plastic bottle cap


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the oats a few times to make them a bit smaller and easier to eat.
  3. Make yourself a tuna sandwich. Reserve the oil in the can for making these treats.
  4. Blend all ingredients together and roll out on a floured countertop. Using a recycled plastic bottle cap as a cookie cutter, cut small circle treats.
  5. Place the treats on a silpat lined cookie sheet. Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown. Store these treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

You’re now ready for hours of enjoyment–both yours and theirs!


About Dawn Combs

Dawn is a wife, mother, farmer, author, ethnobotanist, professional speaker, and educator. She has over 20 years of ethnobotanical experience, is a certified herbalist, and has a B.A. in Botany and Humanities/Classics. Dawn is co-owner of Mockingbird Meadows Farm. Her books include Conceiving Healthy Babies and Heal Local.

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  1. Kali Maya says

    Cats and dogs should never eat grain based foods, I never feed my cats kibble and such, but only raw meats. You can though make a kibble using pumpkin or mashed sweet potatoes mixed with raw meat and dehydrate at no more than 117 degrees. Only use beef or fish, not chicken. I feed mine raw chicken daily, but chicken cannot be dehydrated at low temps, whereas other meats must be dehydrated at low temps to prevent food poisoning.

  2. Wren says

    The OD on valerian story makes me a bit nervous to try that one without further research! However, another catnip alternative I discovered is peppermint. I was using it sprinkled on the floor at my front door to ward away spiders one year when they decided my apartment was The Place To Be (I’m phobic, and yes, the peppermint really worked!), when my mancat started rolling in it like I had just put down ‘nip. Since catnip is sometimes called catmint, I wonder if they just generally like any of the mints?

  3. Bea says

    Why valerian? It’s a very druggy sleepy-inducing herb that gives me an actual hangover. Cats are supposed to be frisky!

    • Dawn says

      Hi Bea, In the post above I talk about how valerian makes cats crazy. Be sure to note that you should only use a bit! As I shared, my cat Tucker loved it and when he overdosed it made him a bit weird.

  4. Emily says

    Are essential oils toxic to cats? My husband is getting me an essential oil diffuser for Christmas, but I’ve heard that the oils damage a cat’s liver. I know this is a website that promotes the use of essential oils, so any insight would be appreciated. I don’t want my crazy little cat to suffer just so I can enjoy my essential oils.

    • Paula says

      There is a book called Spoil Your Pet. You can buy it on Amazon. It is written by a Vet. It talks about oils to use for dogs and cats. Hope this helps.

    • Bea says

      Yes, I have also read and been warned by my holistic vet that cats’ livers don’t clear foreign chemicals as well as ours do, or even as those of dogs do. I know a woman who is into a certain high quality oil line who says that her supplier diffuses a lot, and her cats are fine. But, I think it might depend upon the particular oil; and, I haven’t found a definitive list of oils safe for cats. What I do, instead, which is very effective, is put a few drops on my hands and inhale; a carrier oil can be used for the ones that can’t be used “neat”. It’s not really necessary to fill the whole house with it.

    • breeze0000 says

      Hi Emily. Yes, essential oils are toxic to cats. For more detailed info you can check out this website in the link below. If the link doesn’t work, if you google ” ibd kitties toxic unsafe foods ” , the first link should be called Dangerous & Toxic Foods – IBD Kitties. It has lots of good info including how essential oils are toxic. The website also includes other links with info about the dangers of essential oils. IMPO, even though some companies claim they are safe, you might want to stay away from them, it’s better to be safe and stay away from essential oils, than sorry. One thing I have heard from a few different sources is how even when essential oils are used in a diffuser, even though they would not be put on the pets directly, the particles are airborne and land on the fur, and pets that clean themselves will ingest the oils when they lick their fur.


      Btw, Jackson Galaxy sells flower essences for pets. They are called Spirit Essences. Those are completely safe and created especially for pets. Flower essences are NOT essential oils. Also Bach Flower Remedies carries a line for pets. Those are also safe and not essential oils.

      Hope that helps.