Two Red Ginger Maine Coon Kittens Sitting on a sofa

Are Cat Toys Safe? Potential Hazards to Look Out For

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Speaking of the safest cat toys — it ain’t all good news! So, when it comes to purchasing new cat toys, it’s “buyer beware”.  Most importantly, be aware of potential hazards that can harm your cat and if you are asking are cat toys safe? Read on to find out more and to know what to keep in mind when shopping.

Potential Hazards to Look Out For

Toxic Materials

Read the labels! Some cat toys may contain toxic materials that can be harmful if ingested. Be sure to check the label and avoid toys that contain lead, chemicals, or other harmful heavy metals or other substances. Rule of Thumb: If you can’t pronounce it, your cat doesn’t need it. But, if you’re really unsure about a particular toy’s safety, ask your veterinarian.

Durability

We’ve said that durable toys are good for rough cat play, but they can be a health hazard if they do come apart. Always avoid toys that are easily torn, broken, shredded, or come apart in any manner. A Cautionary Tail — Your cat might just ingest small bits of toy that can cause choking, digestive tissue tearing, or intestinal blockages.  Meeeooowwwch!

Scratching Posts

Scratching posts are a necessary way for your cat to keep its claws healthy and strong. After all, new cat claws do sprout and the old ones have to be shed….and a scratching post is better than your expensive couch. But, scratching posts can be a hazard if they’re poorly made and not sturdy. Make sure the post is stable and won’t tip over with your cat. 

Swallowed Objects

Toys that contain nuts, beans, marbles, beads, or other rattling noisemakers can be dangerous if broken and the little teasers are accidentally inhaled or swallowed. Small objects can cause choking or intestinal blockages. So be sure to supervise your cat during playtime, especially if any toys contain these things.

Decorations

Toys with decorative kitty teasers like ribbons or bells are cute but these can be hazardous if the teasers come loose. Your cat may ingest these items or become tangled up in the ribbons. It’s a good idea to supervise your cat’s play if you’ve bought such toys but it’s best to never buy toys with small  parts that can detach.

Pills

We’ve probably all seen cat toys that dispense treats or medication.  A wonderful thing at first glance. But, these pill-popping toys can be dangerous if your cat eats too many pills or treats at one time. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and monitor your cat’s trips to the tempting toy.

Selecting Cat Toys

When it comes to selecting cat toys, there are a few things you should keep in mind to protect your cat’s safety and fun. Here are some tips to help you buy the right toys for your lovely cat:

  1. Bear in mind your cat’s likes and dislikes: Every cat has a unique personality and it has preferences for certain kinds of toys. Some cats love chasing laser pointers, while others like batting around a cardboard scratcher. Pay attention to what your cat enjoys and choose toys that fit their likes.
  2. Read the labels: Look for bite-resistant, non-toxic materials: Cats love to chew and bite on their toys, so it’s important to choose toys that are made from durable, safe materials. Don’t buy toys that are made from flimsy stuff that can easily break apart and be swallowed.
  3. Keep it clean: Toys will become dirty and covered in bacteria, so it’s important to choose toys that are easy to clean. Look for toys that can be washed or wiped down easily to help keep your cat healthy.
  4. Consider portability: If you travel to different places with your cat, then pick toys that are easy to pack and take on the go. Toys like the rainbow cat charmer are lightweight and easy to pack, so they are a great toy for cats on the go.
  5. Supervision is key: We all know that toys can be a great way to prevent boredom and entertain your cat. But, it’s your responsibility to supervise your cat at all times, especially during meals and playtime. This will help prevent accidents so your cat is safe and happy.

Keep these tips in mind and you can buy cat toys that are both safe and enjoyable for your pet companion. Regardless if you are looking for toys that have been honestly reviewed by other cat owners, or ignoring the reviews totally, always use your own experience and judgment when buying cat toys. After all, there are plenty of toys to choose from that will keep your cat entertained, stimulated, and safe.

Close up portrait of gorgeous black and white cat with heterochromia, lying on its back

Special Cat Toys

When it comes to special cat toys, there are a variety of options to choose from that can keep your feline pal entertained and safe. Here are some things to keep in mind when selecting cat toys for your furry companion.

Kittens

Everyone loves kittens!  They are special and it’s so important to choose kitten toys that are appropriate for their age and size. Look for toys that are small enough for kittens to play with and that won’t be a health hazard. Toys with feathers or balls that roll are great choices for kittens.

Chewy Toys

Some cats like chewing on their toys, so it’s important to buy toys that are safe and non-toxic. Look for toys that are made of pet safe materials and that won’t break apart easily. Rubber toys and toys made of non-toxic fabric are usually good choices.

Batteries

Electric toys that need batteries can be a lot of fun for your cat. But, it’s important to practice safety at all times.  Don’t needlessly put your cat at risk! Make sure the batteries are secure and that your cat can’t get to them. 

Bell Toys

Toys with bells are a fun way to stimulate your cat, but it’s important to get toys that have securely attached bells. Loose bells can be a choking or digestive hazard if your cat manages to swallow them.

Silvervine Toys

Silvervine is a natural herb that can be a good alternative to catnip for cats that don’t respond to catnip. If you’re looking for an alternative play toy for your cat, consider one that has the catnip alternative,  silvervine.

Wand Toys

Wand toys are a fun way to interact with and exercise your cat.  Look for wand toys that have a long handle and that are made of sturdy materials. Avoid cat wand toys with small or detachable parts that could injure your cat.

Anxiety-Reducing Toys

If your cat suffers from anxiety, there are special toys that can help to calm them down. Look for toys that are infused with calming scents or that provide a soothing texture for your cat to play with.

Catnip-Infused Toys

Catnip is a safe, natural herb that can provide your cat with hours of relaxation and entertainment. If your cat loves catnip, buy toys that are made with it. Just be sure to monitor your cat’s behavior to make sure they don’t become too overstimulated.

Paper and Plastic Bags

Paper and plastic bags may seem like a fun toy for your cat to play with but they can be very dangerous. Cats can quickly get tangled up in the handles and suffocate or accidentally ingest parts of the bag. Don’t do it!  It’s not a good idea to let your cat play with paper or plastic bags.

Pet Cameras

Pet cameras can be a fun, modern way to keep an eye on your cat while you’re away from home. Shop for cameras that have a wide-angle lens and that can be easily mounted in your home. Some pet cams even come with built-in laser pointers or treat dispensers to keep your pet entertained. Very techie, very cool!

Are Cat Toys Safe? Buyer Beware

We’ve said it before but redundancy is not always a bad thing. After all, you are a responsible and loving cat owner who wants only the best for your feline friend.  

So dare we say again that by being aware of potential hazards, you can help keep your cat safe during playtime. Always supervise your cat wisely and choose the safest cat toys that are durable and appropriate for their age and activity level.

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