My Junk Creation: Cat Toy (and more) from Ketchup Bottle


After rinsing a used ketchup bottle, I decided it had a different destination than the recycling bin.

Cats love a puzzle. And better yet, I didn’t have to spend anything to make this toy. I already had the toy mouse to go inside.

cat-toy-outside.JPGThis is a very easy reuse project, plus if you save the bottle cap, your options widen even more, but we’ll talk about that in a bit.

What I used:
Clean wide-mouth ketchup bottle
Elmer’s glue (non-toxic)
Tea tags

The junk project:
-Remove bottle label by soaking in hot water. After the bottle is dry, plan your design.

-In my case, I decided to make a simple cat face from jute. It doesn’t really matter want you choose as long as you don’t completely cover the bottle. The idea is to allow kitty to see inside it.

-I drew my design with a Sharpie and then applied glue one section at a time. I cut the jute to match my design and applied.

-For the whiskers, I untwisted a piece of jute. This gave me three thinner, curly pieces to use.

-For the nose and inside of ears, I cut out designs from a raspberry tea tag.

-I considered using buttons for the eyes, but they looked creepy and I was afraid my cat would eat them. So, I drew the eyes on with a Sharpie.

As always, supervise your cat when playing with the toy. Make sure you haven’t used any materials your cat may eat. Use non-toxic glue.

Additional kitty uses:
Cat treat container — Put treats inside and shake before treating. Cats learn this noise and react when you’re about to give them a treat. Keep lid for this use.

Catnip infuser — Put mice or other toys inside with catnip when not in use. The catnip bath will keep pets interested in toys when you bring them back out. Keep lid for this use.

Cat food scoop — Cut off portion near mouth for a handy scoop.

Would your cat enjoy this junk toy?

Images via Peggy Rowland.

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    • Sharon D

      This is a cute idea.
      All my cat plays with is junk toys!
      We’ve bought her all types of toys and they all end up in her toy bucket.
      Virtually untouched.

    • Peggy

      Hi Sharon. My cat ignores most store-bought toys as well. He loves things he can’t have — rubber bands, plastic bags, my food…

    • Noreen Crone-Findlay

      Fun idea, Peggy, but keep a close eye on the twine decorations. White glue won’t hold things to plastic for long and you don’t want kitty eating the twine. It can cause fatal intestinal foul ups.

    • Peggy

      Hi Noreen. Yeah, I have the warning in there because I think cats can probably mess up any toy.

      My particular cat loves ribbon and dental floss (we have a covered trash to keep him out), but not twine. He’s more into trying to eat carpet right now.

      I tried it undecorated at first, but it reminded me too much of trash.

    • Eileen

      Hi Peggy,

      Here’s another use for flip-top kethcup bottles.

      I buy white (PVA) glue in the quart size and transfer the glue to a flip-top ketchup bottle like you’ve used here.

      The glue lasts “forever” and the top doesn’t get gummed up like the typical glue bottle tips.

    • Peggy

      Great tip Eileen.