How to Sew a Catnip Mouse Cat Toy

DIY felt catnip mouse cat toy

The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Overview
  • Total Time: 60 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

Your cat will go crazy for this DIY catnip-filled mouse cat toy. It's an easy hand-sewing project that you can complete in about an hour using the free catnip mouse pattern. Cats don't rely on realism for their toys, so you can use felt to make this little mouse in any color you like. The toy is only a few inches long, so you should be able to make several mice out of your fabric, depending on how much material you have. Besides giving a few to your feline friend, these toys also make great gifts for cat parents and donations for animal shelters.

DIY catnip mouse toy supplies
The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Sewing clips (optional)

Materials

  • Wool felt (wool or wool-blend felt will help the toy last longer)
  • Matching embroidery floss
  • Stuffing
  • Dried catnip

Instructions

  1. Print the Pattern and Cut the Toy Pieces

    Download and print the free catnip mouse cat toy pattern JPG. Make sure you print the pattern at 100%, so the 1-inch gauge box measures as accurately as possible. 

    Follow the pattern templates to cut out two side pieces, two ears, one bottom piece, and one tail from the felt. Cut all the pieces from one color of felt for a monochrome mouse, or use several colors to make it look more realistic. 

    mouse toy pieces
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  2. Attach the Mouse Ears

    Fold the narrow end of an ear, and hold it near the pointed nose end of a side piece. Stitch a vertical line across the fold. Use three strands of embroidery floss, and backstitch to secure the ear.

    Repeat this on the other side piece in the same location, so both sides match.

    sewing on ears
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  3. Sew the Sides of the Toy Together

    Hold the two sides with the wrong sides facing each other. Starting at the nose end, sew across the back with three strands of embroidery floss using a running stitch. When you get close to the end, sandwich the large end of the tail between the layers, and continue stitching to the end of the back.

    Stitch across the back again with a running stitch, this time filling in all of the gaps. The result should be a strong and attractive line of hand sewing that resembles machine sewing.

    sewing the sides together
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  4. Attach the Bottom of the Mouse

    Place the bottom piece in the open underside of the mouse shape. Fold the shape in half to find the center point of the wider back, and then match the front point with the nose of the mouse. Use pins or sewing clips to hold the piece in place as you stitch.

    Sew with three strands of embroidery floss, and use a running stitch. Start at the nose, and work toward the back on one side. Stitch back toward the nose, filling in the gaps. 

    Start stitching along the bottom on the other side. Stop about 1 inch from the tail end of the mouse.

    sewing the bottom of the catnip mouse toy
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  5. Fill the Toy With Stuffing and Catnip

    Add a small amount of stuffing inside the mouse, and then add about 1 teaspoon of dried catnip. Finish filling the toy with more stuffing.

    If you want to skip the catnip, you can add a bell or some crinkly cellophane inside instead.

    filling the toy with catnip
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  6. Stitch the Opening Closed

    Finish sewing the bottom seam with a running stitch, and then go back and fill in the running stitches, working toward the nose end.

    Secure the thread with a strong knot hidden between the layers of felt.

    stitching the opening closed
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson
  7. Monitor the Wear of the Cat Toy

    Your first mouse is now ready for play! But because your cat will undoubtedly go crazy for this toy, you might want to sew a whole mischief of mice. You can even sew a few extras to donate to an animal shelter.

    As with all pet toys, it's important to watch how these catnip mice wear with use. If you see an ear or tail coming loose, remove it entirely. If your cat tears a hole in the felt, discard the toy so they don't ingest any stuffing.

    three catnip mouse toys
    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson