Exercise Caution When Holiday Shopping for Cats

Ensure cat toys are free from choking hazards before purchasing.

Posted: November 22 2007 2 a.m. EDT

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The holiday shopping season is officially underway, and pet owners should use caution when picking out toy gifts for cats to avoid potential hazards — particularly if cats are left alone with their new holiday gifts.

To ensure that it’s only enjoyment cats receive from their new toys, pet owners should be aware of possible ingestion hazards. Pet owners should not give their cats toys with long strings because they can pose choking hazards, said Dr. Mark Stickney, a veterinarian at the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A & M University. Cat owners should also be aware of toys that have small pieces or parts that could break off, which could also be a choking hazard.

A cat’s toy preferences tend to be varied, but most prefer round toys that move, he said.

“Cats like toys that are free,” he said. “Any toy that a cat can place under its paws, and the toy springs out, cats will often love.”

Stickney advises that the best places to purchase cat toys are large stores that have a wide selection, because if a toy proves to be harmful, it’s likely it will be removed from store shelves immediately.

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Reader Comments

Ellen    Attleboro, MA

11/24/2007 12:47:22 AM

Good advise for all of us~

Karen    Standish, ME

11/23/2007 8:08:37 AM

Be extra careful with ribbon. I had to remove some from my cat's mouth before he swallowed it. Ribbons with gift wrapping can be swallowed and cause a serious obstruction of the cat's intestines and even death.

Laurie    Erie, PA

11/23/2007 12:44:38 AM

Good thoughts. This is something I might not have thought much about

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