I am constantly amazed at what some of the companies that produce cat toys put out there. I have seen so many toys that would present a clear danger for your kitty it makes my head spin! They have small parts that would come off easily and could be swallowed, sections made of wire that would not be good for their mouths, things that could poke them in the eye…the list goes on and on.

cat w toy 300x225 CatToys: the Good and the Bad

Photo by Mr. Thomas at Flickr

One thing I am very cautious of is strings of any kind. My cats have a lot of those “pole toys” (the ones that have a long string or cord with the toy dangling from the end) and they love them. I just make sure I put them away after playing with them. If the cat chews the string off, which they frequently try to do, and eats it (yes, they will do this!) it can get tangled around the intestines and now you have a serious problem. It can potentially kill them if it’s not corrected right away. So, please, watch any kind of strings.

Watch out also for anything sharp. My brother had a toy for his cats that had a twisted wire thing sticking out of it. The minute I saw it, I could picture the cat getting his head caught in that spiral of wire. I may be overly cautious, but as my mom always told me, “better safe than sorry.” I also was concerned that if part of the wire broke off, then you have a very sharp end that would be dangerous.

To be honest, most of my cats enjoy the same kind of toys. The little mice, either with fur or made from material, are one of their favorites. They also like balls they can swat around. I have wasted so much money on toys that I’ve brought home, all excited for them to see, and they give me that look. I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about. It’s quite clear what they are telling you. “What one earth is that silly thing and why would I want play with it?” They then saunter off practically shaking their head as if to add, “mom is losing it!”

I also wanted to warn you about those scratching boards that have the emery element in them. They are much like human emery boards and file away the nails as they scratch. I bought one and it turned out that one of my cats was rubbing his face against it and ended up with cuts on his mouth. So use these with caution and watch how your cat is reacting to it.

Should you get catnip filled or scented toys or not? Again, it depends on how your cat reacts to catnip. Most of mine do fine, but I have had cats that got very aggressive after playing with catnip. If they respond like this, I would not advise catnip toys, so again, just watch how they behave. Another danger is feathers. While cats love them, they also love to eat them and that’s not good! You can use them if you supervise while their playing with them and put them away when playtime is over.

Buy safe toys and have a good time playing! Look for toys that are soft and don’t have a lot of things attached, like plastic eyes or pieces that would easily fall off or be chewed off. I know some of them are so cute you’re tempted to get them anyway, but believe me, they are only cute to us…your cat doesn’t see them the same way we do! They don’t care about  how cute or glittery they are, they only care that their easy and fun to play with.

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