Why Do Cats Like To Play With String, And Is String A Good Toy?

Most cats go crazy for string toys. In fact, they don’t even need a string toy – they’ll make their own from a plain thread or a ball of yarn and spend their entire afternoon goofing around with it.

It’s pretty safe to say that regardless of how whimsical felines are, two of their all-time favorite things are string and naps. And while sleeping comes only natural to all living creatures, playing with threads doesn’t. Things get even more puzzling when you see your lazy, apathetic furball acting like a hyperactive kitten each time it sees a string, twine, ribbon or yarn.

So, Why Do Cats Like String So Much?

There’s a plethora of theories about the correct answer. There isn’t one universal reason for your pet to enjoy string more than its other cat toys. Here’s why most cats like string:

Hunting Instincts

Feline furballs are outstanding hunters by default. The movement of strings and threads, which also mimics the movement of preys like snakes, excites your fluffy friend’s inborn hunting instincts. As a result, it can’t resist the urge to engage in a play session, even though it knows the string isn’t a real prey.

Satisfaction

Unlike laser toys, birds or other types of interactive toys, your cat doesn’t need to chase the string without receiving the satisfaction of catching it. The string is stagnant and the cat can easily catch it. The satisfaction of being able to finally snatch the prey is just as exciting as any erratic or flickering movement for cats of all breeds and ages.

Texture

Cats are fond of your upholstery and carpets because they can scratch on them with their claws. Balls of yarn also pose a great appeal to your pet for the very same reasons. Unlike sticky or smooth surfaces, strings and wool offer something pleasant for the cat to hold on to.

Unending Source Of Fun

An extremely long string or an entire ball of yarn is a dream-come-true for most cats. They may enjoy playing with them even more than with a short, dangling string toy, because the source of fun is bigger, longer and offers more entertainment.

Are String Toys Good Toys For Cats?

Even though your pet will stop at nothing once the string catches its attention, this type of entertainment actually poses some health risks.

As the guys over at Animal Planet point out, feathers, mice toys, stuffed toys, cat posts, yarn and basically most types of cat toys can harm your fluffy pal. Strings aren’t an exception. Moreover, they can actually pose more health risks than other toys.

Why Are Strings Bad?

Yarn, ribbon, threads and string are dangerous when they’re too long. Your kitty can easily roll around in them and get its limbs stuck. This can result in some serious injuries on a physical level. Worst case scenario – the cat can even suffocate!

On the other hand, your pet can also ingest parts of the string.

Regardless of its texture, if it gets stuck in your pet’s organism, it will cause intestinal blockage and other similar issues. This can lead to an emergency trip to the vet’s office that won’t come cheap. In severe cases the kitty will need a surgery for the thorough removal of the string.

Last, but not least, string toys can also harm your pet on a mental basis. Getting overexcited, hyperactive or even aggressive over string is common. And it’s also dangerous for households with children, as well as for cats suffering from heart or joint problems.

Should You Stay Away From String Toys?

Not necessarily! They provide a great entertainment for felines of all breeds and ages. And cats do need entertainment, otherwise destructive behavior, obesity and even depression are bound to occur.

Engaging in a play session with string toys must be monitored at all times.

Watch out for any accidents, such as ingestion or suffocation. If you’re being careful, your kitty will be safe around string, wool, yarn, threads and ribbons.

Investing in a high quality string toy that is secure and durable is a great option. Just don’t leave your pet alone without supervision while it’s playing with the toy. And if it still manages to ingest some part of the toy, don’t attempt to pull out the string! Instead, take your pet to the vet’s office immediately, otherwise you can cause further damage.

Carefully monitor your kitty whenever it’s playing with string toys and don’t get the cheap ones from your local pet store. There’s no need to deprive your beloved furball from the pleasure of these toys, as long as you remember these tips and the fact that strings do pose dangers.

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