How to Choose Safe Cat Toys

Choosing safe cat toys is an important part of being a responsible cat owner. Playing with cat toys is a regular part of a cat's daily activities, and your cat should have a variety of toys available. Cats are by nature hunters, and many owners mistake hunting techniques for playful behavior. But it is hunting instinct showing when a cat pounces on an unwary stuffed toy, rolls over on the back and shreds it with the back claws. This intense play is the reason that owners must be careful to pick cat-safe toys that can stand up to the wear and tear they will receive.


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    Choose cat toys with the same care you would use to choose baby toys.
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    Check every cat toy you are considering for your cat carefully for small parts that could loosen, fall off and be swallowed.
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    Reserve bounce toys on thin elastic strips for supervised playtime. Elastic and other strings or threads can be deadly if ingested by your cat. They can wrap around the internal organs and often require surgery to remove them.
    • A cat's tongue has small backward-facing barbs that help remove dead hair when grooming. String and similar items can get caught up on these barbs, and the cat will not be able to remove them from the mouths and may wind up swallowing them.
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    Remove the tail, eyes and whiskers of fake fur mice before giving them to your cat. All of those parts could be hazardous if swallowed. Don't be surprised if you find them ripped apart soon after the cat gets his or her claws on them.
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    Consider escape routes when buying or making concealment toys for cat. Even something as simple as a cardboard box could stress your cat if there is only 1 hole in it. If the box should tip over with the hole on the floor, the cat could become trapped inside. Always make sure there are at least 2 exits available.
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    Purchase soft, pliable plastic balls rather than hard plastic ones. The soft plastic will not break or shatter when batted sharply against a wall or when stepped on as the more brittle hard plastic will do.
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    Do a periodic check of all of your cat's toys, looking for signs of wear and tear. Discard and replace any toys that are damaged or worn.
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    Secure tall cat toys, such as houses and carpeted climbing poles, firmly to the wall. Use a rigid metal clamp that the cat cannot chew through.


  • Rotate your cat's toys, allowing only a few at a time. This will keep the cat from getting tired of any particular toy.
  • You can make cat-safe toys out of simple objects you can easily obtain. A paper bag turned on its side will keep some cats entertained for hours, as will a large appliance box with lots of entrance and exit holes cut into it.


  • Do not give your cat plastic bags to play in. They could easily get trapped inside and smother.

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Categories: Cat Toys