4 DIY Ways to Spoil Your Cat During the Holidays

| CJ Silvasi

Make your kitty feel extra loved this holiday season with these DIY cat treats, beds, and toys. They also make great gifts for the cat lovers in your life.

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Get your cat involved in the holiday fun while staying on a budget with these fun DIY gifts. 

They’re not just the perfect way to show your cat how much you care; they’re also a great way to spread holiday cheer to family, friends, and neighbors with cats. 

DIY Cat Treats

You can make your own cat treats with ease by using cat-friendly foods in your recipe. Check out these recipes to get inspired:

Holy Mackerel Cat Treats from CD Kitchen

These treats are made from canned mackerel, so your fish-loving kitty will absolutely adore them and reap all of the health benefits. We love that these are easy to make and come together in about 30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup drained canned mackerel broken into small pieces

  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (the recipe recommends whole grain)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 1 beaten egg

Directions

  • Thoroughly combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Drop bite-sized dough balls onto a greased baking sheet leaving 1-inch of space between each ball. 

  • Bake at 350°F for 8 minutes. 

  • Store covered in the refrigerator. 

Tuna and Catnip Kitty Treats from Daily Paws Test Kitchen

These treats require a little more effort than the mackerel treats, but the addition of catnip will probably make them a favorite for your cat. We’re big fans because they can be stored at room temperature for up to 1 month, no refrigerator required!

Ingredients

  • 2 cans drained solid light tuna (5-ounces each, and not chunk tuna)

  • 2 egg whites

  • 1 teaspoon dried catnip

Directions

  • Beat egg whites with electric mixer. Start on low and gradually increase speed until stiff peaks form.

  • In blender or food processor, combine drained tuna, dried catnip, and ¼ cup of the egg whites. Blend until smooth. This may take several minutes. Fold mixture into remaining egg whites until combined. Be careful not to over mix or your egg whites will deflate.

  • Transfer mixture into a piping bag with a star tip, and pipe ¾-inch treats onto a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet.

  • Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until thoroughly dried and treats release easily from the parchment paper. Store in an air-tight container at room-temperature for up to 1 month.

Cheesy Homemade Cat Treats from Cowboy Way

Is your cat particularly cheesy? These cheese-forward cat treats are the perfect snack! We love that the dough is rolled out and can be cut into shapes like holiday cookies.

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup shredded cheddar cheese

  • ⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese

  • ¼ cup sour cream or plain yogurt, unsweetened

  • ¾ cup flour (recipe recommends white whole wheat)

  • ¼ cup cornmeal

  • ¼ cup water +/- 

Directions

  • Combine cheeses and sour cream or yogurt in a large bowl, then add in the flour and cornmeal. Slowly add in water until you have workable dough. You may not use the entire ¼ cup, or you may need more. Dough should stay together without being sticky.

  • On a piece of parchment paper or lightly floured surface, roll dough until it is ¼-inch thick. Cut the dough into bite-sized pieces.

  • Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes. 

Easy DIY Cat Beds

Cats love a cozy spot to curl up for a nice nap, and DIY cat beds are fantastic ways to use up or repurpose old fabric, pillows, and even clothing.

DIY Wicker Cat Bed by A Butterfly House

This stylish bed is very trendy and can be expensive from other sources. It’s a bit time-consuming to make, but we love the look of it, and your cat will cherish having a mostly enclosed space to curl up for a long winter’s nap.

Best DIY No-Sew Pet Bed by Cat Toy Lady

We love a bed that doesn’t require a lot of special equipment, so this no-sew option is perfect for non-crafty folks. Feel free to use old fleece blankets with this method.

Cat Bed from an Old Sweater by Relax My Cat

Got old sweaters lying around? Get more life out of them by turning them into a cuddly bed for your cat. This bed is easy to make with supplies you probably already have. It’s a great way to use the filling from an old pillow, so nothing goes to waste. 

DIY T-Shirt Cat Bed by Because We Love Pets 

This easy-to-make bed not only uses an old T-shirt and blanket; it’s also the perfect way to repurpose all those shipping boxes you have lying around. This cat house’s enclosed spaces will surely be a hit with your cat.

Cat Toys

Play is such an important part of keeping your cat happy and healthy, and everyone loves getting new toys at Christmas. These toys are so easy to make, you’ll want to put them in stockings for every cat (and cat parent) you know. 

DIY No-Sew Pom-Poms by Sensibly Sara

Supplies

  • Cotton string or yarn

  • Fleece (about 2x12-in)

  • Scissors

Process 

  • Fold your fleece in half lengthwise, so it is now 1-in wide and 12-inches long. Cut slits halfway through from the open side, not the folded side. 

  • Unfold the fleece and tightly roll it down the length of the strip, so the cut edges are fluttering out on the sides.

  • Take 18-inches of string (or yarn) and tie it tightly around the middle of the roll. Fluff out the cut pieces into a ball shape.

  • Dangle it in front of your cat or run it along the floor by the string so your cat can pounce and chase the pom-pom.

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We love a project that reuses items that would normally go to waste, and this T-shirt-cat-toy project not only uses up old clothing, but it’s also incredibly easy. 

Plus, you’ll get tons of toys out of the process, so it’s a crafty way to make your own holiday gifts for cat lovers. Make it even easier by using a rotary cutter and cutting mat. If you don’t have those supplies, scissors and a ruler will do the trick.

Supplies

  • 2-3 T-Shirts (any size)

  • Scissors

  • Ruler

Process

  • Cut your t-shirts into 3x10-in rectangles. Be sure to use as much of the fabric as possible. Pro tip: once you measure one strip, use it as a guide to cut the rest from the T-shirts.

  • Stretch each strip, so it begins to curl in on itself and separate into piles of 6 strips each. Mix and match colors for a unique style. 

  • Take each set of 6 strips and tie into a tight knot. Trim the ends and pull the layers apart for a fun, fluffy toy. 

DIY Scratching Post Door Hanger by Design Sponge

This project is stunning. You can use any piece of wood and thick twine. Add your own personal touch by decorating the board with fun colors and patterns. Make one for every door in your house so your kitty has a place to scratch anywhere they go.

Supplies

  • Wood plank (measure and cut to your preferred size or use scrap wood)

  • ¼-inch sisal rope or thick twine

  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks

  • Scissors

  • Colorful string

  • Leather cord

  • Drill 

Process

  • Cut the wood plank to your preferred size. Make sure it’s not too long or too heavy to hang on your door.

  • Drill two holes ¼ inch from the top of your plank. String each end of your leather cord through the holes and tie the ends in a knot so you have a strap to hang over your doorknob.

  • Draw a line of hot glue across the width of the board, about 2-3 inches from the holes you drilled, and use it to attach one end of the rope to the board. Tightly wrap the rope around the board, running a line of glue on each layer and firmly attaching the rope to the layer above it. Wrap the rope over the length of the board. 

  • Wrap the colorful string around the board at varying intervals for a pop of color. Glue each strand of yarn to the back of the board.

Grow Your Own Catnip or Cat Grass

Cats are carnivorous, but they also love to snack on leafy green plants. If your kitty is a plant addict, consider growing your own cat grass and catnip for a safe and healthy snack. 

Buy a pretty pot and decorate it to match your home’s style, then just fill it with potting soil and catnip or cat grass seeds. Sometimes, you can find plants that have already started growing in your local pet supply store for an even easier start to this creative cat gift.

Enjoy the holidays with your cat and take a little time to make them something that shows them how much you love them. It’s a fun tradition to start with your family and your cat will look forward to their treats and toys every year.


Take some of the stress out of pet ownership with Accident & Illness Coverage through AKC Pet Insurance (underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company). Our cat insurance plans are designed to be there when you need them, allowing you to focus more on the health of your pet and less on costly veterinary bills.

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CJ Silvasi

CJ has always wanted to be a writer. She even threatened to drop out after her first day of kindergarten when they weren’t immediately going to teach her to read and write. Fortunately, she stayed in school, earned her degree in Creative Writing from Christopher Newport University, and now gets to live her best life with her husband, 3 Japanese Chins, and cat writing for AKC Pet Insurance.

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