Imagine kittens playing with a ball of yarn: innocent, adorable, so cute you can’t even stand it. But yarn is actually one of the most dangerous things your kitten could play with! The traditional cat toys of yarn, ribbon, or rubber bands are potentially deadly to cats.
What's the danger?
Cats' sandpapery tongues make it almost impossible to spit out a piece of yarn, exponentially increasing the risk of swallowing the yarn.
This can cause not only choking, but also very serious intestinal distress. The string can become caught and block the intestines and requires surgery to extract. This leads to trauma (for you and the cat), vet bills, or potentially death.
Best just avoid this problem all together and place the ball of yarn, rubber bands, hair ties, or any delectable, string-like "toys" out of reach.
On a separate note, try to avoid using your hands and fingers to provoke or "play" with your cat. This encourages bad behavior, and teaches them it’s ok to bite and scratch you.
Don't worry—we aren't all buzzkill. There are plenty of safe, adorable toys your cat will love!
Better choices for your cat
Kittens love small plush toys they can carry around like prey, or larger toys they can pretend to fight. BUT if you buy toy with eyes, make sure they are secure or you remove the little pieces before your cat has the chance to swallow them.
Fishing pole type toys are great! But make sure they’re kept out of reach when you aren’t around For a DIY situation, grab some ping pong balls and either let your cat loose in the bathtub (without water!) or put the ball inside an empty tissue box and watch as they try to fish it out.
Also, cats love bags. Just make sure you always use paper bags, and that no one will accidentally step on you hidden crouching kitty.
As cute as some of these toys may be, they aren’t worth risking your cat’s life! With so many great alternatives, you may as well just play it safe.
Want to check if your cat toys are ok? Download Treat and ask a vet now!