Three Objects Your Cat Should Never Play With

Most cats have a playful side, especially when it comes to pawing around and batting at small objects. This is usually of no concern, and the play is good exercise and mental stimulation for your cat. The trouble occurs when the toy they choose poses a hazard. The following are some common items you should keep away from your cat, along with what to do if your cat does get hold of one of these objects.

Object #1: Strings

Anything string-like falls under this category, including items like tinsel and rubber bands. Cats like to tug and paw around stringy items, but they usually then resort to chewing on them after a few minutes. This is when the trouble can start. If your cat swallows a string or rubber band the wrong way, it can become looped beneath their tongue and cause them to choke. Another concern is that the string can become tangled around their intestines, causing a blockage. Watch for the following if your cat has swallowed a string-like object:

  • Check beneath their tongue to make sure there is no loop. If there is, get them straight to a vet.

  • Monitor their health over the next couple of days for signs of stomach distress, including vomiting, swollen stomach, loss of appetite, and difficulty or failure to eliminate. A vet visit is needed if you notice these symptoms.

  • Inspect the contents of the litter until the string shows up, which should be within a day or two.

  • Do not pull on a string if you see one hanging from your cat's mouth or anus, as this could cause internal injury. Instead, bring your cat into the vet.

Object #2: Plastic Bags

Plastic bags are another item that tempts some cats, whether it is cellophane off a package, candy wrappers, or a grocery bag. These bags and wrappers are dangerous, though. Cats tend to shred and chew, which means small pieces of a plastic bag can get lodged in the throat and obstruct breathing or swallowing. Smaller pieces of plastic can collect in the stomach and lead to a blockage. Call a vet immediately if you suspect that your cat has swallowed any plastic, even if they aren't showing immediate signs of distress.

Object #3: Sharp Items

These are typically items that aren't meant to be within your cat's reach – thumb tacks, nails, paper clips, and sewing pins and needles. If one makes its way onto the floor, chances are your cat is going to find it and begin batting it around. The hazards are relatively obvious – they can pierce paws or the inside of the mouth. If swallowed, perforations of the intestinal tract can occur, which will cause harmful bacteria to leak out and can lead to sepsis or death. If you suspect your cat has swallowed any type of sharp object, take them to a 24 hour vet emergency clinic immediately.