Safety First! Are Your Cat Toys Safe?

Mon, Mar 9, 2009

Toys

We’re dedicating an entire week to cat toys because they’re an important part of a cat’s world, especially for indoor-only cats. Toys provide a way for your cat to satisfy her prey-chasing instincts, plus, when you’re away, kitty will entertain herself by batting a ball around or throwing a mouse in the air. When you are at home, she will love it even more if you engage her with one of her favorite toys in some interactive play. Playing with your cat is a great bonding activity and it’s always lots of fun.

There are many cat toys on the market plus endless household items that seem to make great cat toys, but there are several safety concerns that you need to be aware of. First, always avoid any type of long string like yarn, thread, ribbon, or even dental floss. Kitty may be attracted to an unraveling ball of yarn, but she may also start eating away at the end and because her tongue has little backward-facing barbs, she may not be able to spit out the string. If a length of string is ingested, it can cause internal blockages and intestinal damage.

When choosing cat toys, make sure the toy does not have any small decorative items that could come loose and be ingested. Also, if it is a stuffed toy, make sure to check that is does not have any dangerous filling like nut shells or polystyrene beads. These can also cause problems if ingested.

Paper bags are great for playing inside, but avoid plastic bags which kitty could chew on and swallow. Also, avoid other small items like paper clips and rubber bands.

Here are some words of wisdom from the Humane Society of the US on how to get the most out of your cat toys:

  • Don’t keep all of your cat toys out all the time, instead rotate them, bringing out a few different toys once a week. This will keep kitty interested in what’s new. I do this all the time, we have a big bowl and certain toys get buried at the bottom. It’s a big surprise when I go digging through the bowl and pull out an old favorite!
  • Provide a variety of types of toys — some for carrying, some for pouncing on, some for kicking and wrestling and others for snuggling. We have a lot of toys for chewing, that’s Ando’s favorite thing.
  • Play hide and seek with some toys. Kitty loves making a discovery behind the chair or hidden in the curtains.
  • Make sure to have interactive toys, kitty will love these the most because she loves spending time with you.

Resource: Cat Toys: You Need Them from the Humane Society of the United States

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5 Responses to “Safety First! Are Your Cat Toys Safe?”

  1. 1
    lina

    great advice! especially the yarn/string thing. i was quite upset when i saw a pet-supplies store in a neighbouring town selling small actual balls of yarn as toys for cats! all of the old Kodak Moment photos and drawings of kittens with balls of yarn has really indoctrinated people into thinking it’s cat-safe, when it has killed quite a few unfortunate furry friends. :(

    also, check your cords for the electrical appliances for chewmarks now and then. when toys tangle into a nest of cords, it’s easy for a cat to accidentally (or “accidentally”) chomp on one of those instead. i’d love to get tips for what you can do to avoid this, or make cords less inviting to chew.

  2. 2
    Kii

    Rotating toys really works. The toy that was lost under the dryer for 3 weeks will be all new and wonderful again once you fetch it out. We have a bucket to keep toys in. When we clean up, toys go in. Then we can dole then out a few at a time. We also turn our cat tree onto its side every so often, for perhaps a day. The dimension change really peaks our cats’ interest and then when it is upright once more, they are excited all over again. Just moving the cat tree to a different area of the room is enough to make it the favorite place once more.

  3. 3
    danita

    My boy cat love anything that makes noise. They will chase a ball and as soon as it stops walk away. Im not really sure WHAT kind of cat toys they like. I can drag things around and they will give chase but thats about it. Im excited for this week!

    Speaking of boy cats I have been reading a lot of different blogs lately and all the cats are referred to as female, she, her, and let me tell you my boy cats are HIGHLY annoyed. They want to be counted in too!

  4. 4
    jmuhj

    Another fan of the excellent advice, posting admiration.


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