How to Make a Pipe Cleaner Cat Toy

By Susan Paretts

Cats need a variety of things to play with and pipe cleaners are easy to shape into different types of toys for your cat. Toys aren't just for fun because they help to enrich your cat's environment, keeping him busy during the day, engaging his mind and helping to prevent destructive behaviors. Use inexpensive pipe cleaners, found in craft supply stores, to make toys that are light enough for your cat to bat across the floor and carry around the house in his mouth.

Pipe Cleaner Spider

Cats love to chase and catch bugs. This is one bug you won't mind him playing with. Create a spider using pipe cleaners for your cat to bat around. You'll need three pipe cleaners for this project.

Cut two pipe cleaners in half.

Place the four pieces together in a bundle and twist them in the middle.

Wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle of the bundle to form the "body" of the spider.

Bend the pipe cleaners outward from the center to form eight "legs."

Create knees for the legs by bending each leg up and down at a 90 degree angle. Bend each tip outward to form feet so that the spider can stand on its own.

Set the "spider" down for your cat to bat around. You also can tie a string around the middle and dangle it in front of your cat for him to chase.

Corkscrew Toy

This toy can be made in minutes. Create it using a pipe cleaner, two wine corks and a paper clip.

Wrap a pipe cleaner around a pencil to form a springlike, corkscrew shape.

Slide the pipe cleaner off of the pencil. Stretch it out a bit by pulling on each end.

Poke a hole in each corkscrew using a paperclip, about 1/2-inch deep.

Insert each end of the pipe cleaner into a wine cork.

If you don't have any wine corks, simply give the curled pipe cleaner to your kitty to bat around or attach small polystyrene craft balls to each end instead.

Other Pipe Cleaner Ideas

You can make a variety of shapes out of pipe cleaners for your kitty to play with or use them to modify other toys.

  • Wrap a pipe cleaner very loosely around a little tinfoil ball to create a cagelike ball that rattles when your kitty plays with it.
  • Make a chain out of pipe cleaner links. Wrap another pipe cleaner around the top link and a chop stick or pencil to secure it. This creates an instant wand toy for your cat to play with.
  • Thread pipe cleaners through the bars of your kitty's carrier and use them to attach feather toys that he can play with on trips to the vet or other locations.
  • Bend the pipe cleaners into rings, twisting the ends together. Dip the rings into dried catnip and let your cat bat them around.

Pipe Cleaner Safety

Always monitor your cat when she plays with any toys, including those made from pipe cleaners. Check the toys regularly for signs of wear and discard any that appear brittle or chewed.

If you notice your cat attempting to **eat** a pipe cleaner toy, take it away from him to prevent him from ingesting it.