Easy Guide: Know Which Toys Are Hurting Your Cat


There is nothing better than seeing your cat happily chasing after its favorite toy, tossing it in the air and then settling down to sleep with it between its paws. Unfortunately, many things that kitties like to play with are actually unsafe for them. Moreover, just because something is on sale in a pet store does not mean that it is necessarily perfectly safe for cats.

So here, without further ado, is an easy guide: know which toys are hurting your cat, three common features that indicate unsafe toys for your cat. So you know what to avoid when you are choosing a gift for your feline companion’s next birthday.


Toys with too much string

We have all seen those kitsch Christmas cards depicting cats playing with balls of yarn by the fireside. And yes, cats will chase pretty much anything involving a lot of string, including your knitting or the cord of your dressing gown.

However, if ingested, yarn can be very dangerous for cats as it can get twisted up in their gut and be very difficult to remove. Many cat toys do have string or yarn-like features to them, such as the cute little tails on little catnip stuffed teddies. But, the golden rule is not to give your cat any toy that has a *long* string attached so there is no danger of them swallowing something that they won’t be able to throw up.


Small toys

Very small toys present a choking hazard to cats, just as they do to human babies. As a rule, do not give your cat anything that they could swallow and get caught in their throat. Though cats can be curious about very small objects such as coins, pen tops and beads left over from your jewelry making class, keep a close eye on them at all times as you do not want curiosity to harm the cat!

Even if the toy itself is relatively large, make sure to give it a quick check to ensure that it does not have any small parts that your cat could chew off and choke on. One example is a pair of googly eyes glued onto a teddy bear. Removing features like these from toys before you give them to your cat is a good idea: your cat does not care what their teddy looks like after all, only about how much potential it has for throwing around in the air, biting on, and snuggling up to.


Large toys that they can get stuck in

From cat baskets with fabric loops securing the bedding to the frame to impromptu toys like plastic bags with handles, toys that have head sized holes in can be hazardous for your cat. If your cat can stick its head through a loop of fabric or a plastic handle, chances are it will do so at some point and the last thing that you want is for its head to then get stuck! So make loops and holes like this safe either by cutting them away or by sewing them firmly down.