Be Mindful of These Toys
By Victoria Schade
Cat toys are typically delicate, sparkly things that tap into the feline hunting instinct, whether it’s a horizontal pursuit across the floor after a toy on a string or an aerialist’s graceful takedown of a feathered wand in midair. But that same prey drive can turn a seemingly harmless toy into a life-threatening hazard. Dr. Katarina Luther, DVM and owner of the Cat Care Clinic in Madison, WI, warns pet parents that even the most basic cat toys can pose a threat because of the “simple but clever anatomy of a cat’s tongue.”
“The common sand paper feel of a cat’s tongue is actually many small barbs that face backward, which benefits a cat when grooming,” Luther says. “When presented with a material like a string or other fabrics, these barbs can act like Velcro and practically force the cat to continue to ingest and swallow the item, rather than spit it out. Once swallowed, the toy can then cause serious problems if not recognized and treated quickly.”
The following are a few common cat toys and toy components that might pose a threat to your feline best friend.