How Safe Is Your Cat From His Favorite Toys?

Lisa Selvaggio
by Lisa Selvaggio
It’s all fun and games until someone eats a toy. There are certain toys you should be wary of letting your cat get his paws on.

There are a variety of cat toys to choose from, but are there some that can be dangerous to your kitty? Check out the list below to see what toys you should avoid or only let your cat play with while you’re there to supervise.


Even though you’ve probably seen adorable pictures of kittens playing with a ball of yarn, the truth is that strings are dangerous toys that should only be around cats when you’re there to supervise their play. A cat who is left alone with a string may begin chewing on it and swallowing it.

Related: Why Playtime Is So Important For Your Cat

Strings can lead to strangulation, and they can also wrap around your cat’s intestines, causing the intestines to become pulled, torn, or blocked up. At that point, surgery may be the only option that your vet could offer to save your kitty’s life.

To prevent accidental ingestion of string, as well as choking, keep items like yarn, ribbon, sewing thread, tinsel, rubber bands, etc. away from your cats. If your cat enjoys chasing a string, make sure you play with him without leaving the string behind.

In the event that your cat swallows a string, don’t attempt to pull it out of his mouth and throat, or out of his rear end if it’s coming out that way, as doing so could cause more damage.

Related: Quit Spending Money on Expensive Cat Toys and Go DIY

If you know that your cat has swallowed string, contact your veterinarian to determine what you should do to ensure your cat’s wellbeing.

Laser Pointers

A lot of cat owners get a kick out of watching their pets chase a tiny red laser dot on the floor. Obviously, you shouldn’t shine the laser directly into your cat’s eyes, but could this toy actually do more harm than you thought?

Basically, laser pointers increase the potential that your cat will get worked up because he will never be able to catch his “prey.” Because the cat plays but never wins the game, the frustration can take its toll. Imagine being a natural born hunter but never being able to catch prey. Some cats may end up transforming this frustration into negative, aggressive behaviors towards themselves and/or others.

To avoid this problem, you can switch toys after playing with the laser pointer for a little while. Let your kitty catch the toy, which he’s imagining is prey, so that he has the satisfaction of ending the hunt/game as a winner.

Other Toys to Avoid

Below is a list of other toys that you should avoid in order to ensure that your kitty will have fun playing without being at risk of injury.

  • Don’t let your cat play with toys that are small enough to be swallowed. For example, when it comes to balls, stick with those that are larger than ping-pong balls.
  • Avoid toys that aren’t securely sewn or sturdy, especially if your cat will be chewing on the toy and scratching at it with his claws. You don’t want the toy to easily fall apart, exposing small parts or hazardous stuffing that can be swallowed. If a toy is coming apart at the seams, replace it.
  • Don’t purchase cat toys that have sharp edges, loose parts, or small items that are glued on that can be removed quite easily and ingested by your cat.

When purchasing pet toys, check labels to determine what they’re made of, and consider removing any parts that are glued on or that can easily become loose and fall off while your cat plays with them. Also remember that interacting with your cat is a great way to bond with him, as well as a great way to be certain he’s not hurting himself during playtime.

Lisa Selvaggio
Lisa Selvaggio

Lisa Selvaggio is a freelance writer and editor, and our resident cats-pert, with certifications in pet nutrition and pet first aid. She enjoys producing content that helps people understand animals better so they can give their pets a safe and happy home.

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