Cats are playful and energetic; when they are young, they will pounce at any opportunity to play with their siblings. The active act helps cats to learn survival skills like stalking, chasing, and prey trapping. This explains why they like to play with fast-moving objects since they mimic the target’s movement. One such object is a feather toy. But are these toys secure and safe?
Are feather toys safe for cats?
Feather toys could be safe for cats, but only if your cat is overlooked while playing with toys. If your cat plays with them, you should watch her to ensure she is safe and does not accidentally consume any feathers that fall off the toy. In addition, feathers tend to fall out from low-quality feather toys faster than durable and strong ones. Synthetic feathers are used in commercially available feather toys, made from harmful dyes and materials which might harm your cat if she is not supervised while playing with the toys.
Why are cats drawn to feather toys?
Cats are fascinated by feather toys because of their predatory instinct. The feathers’ soft, fluttery movement and rustling sound resemble that of birds, which is a favorite hunt for the feline.
Health and risk issues associated with feather toys
When buying feather toys, research the manufacturer to know if you are buying from a dependable dealer. There is a high possibility of ingestion with feather toys, so it is best to avoid giving a cat feather toys until she is over her inceptive teething phase and is at least four months old. Otherwise, she may have to be rushed to the vet for cat treatment.
Feather toys may have sharp edges that could hurt your cat, and broken feathers can act as a cutting hazard, so always check the toy before giving it to your pet. In addition, always supervise your cat while she plays with them as these toys have plastic usage that can be chewed into sharp pieces causing injury. Make sure you have pet insurance in case of any health emergency.
If a chunk of feather toy is munched and ingested, it could make the cat sick and harm your cat’s intestines. As a result, she may suffer from constipation or even require emergency surgery or cat treatment . In addition, the dye used in these products may cause allergic reactions that may be life-threatening.
Signs that your cat has ingested feathers
If your cat has been playing around with a feather toy and you notice changes like sleeping or lying lazily around more than usual, she may have swallowed some feathers.
Your cat may have lost her appetite for meals or has stopped drinking water. Take her to the vet if she behaves like this for more than a day.
3. Black stools or bleeding
Be worried if you notice blood in your cat’s litter box. Take her to the vet at once, which could indicate internal bleeding.
Vomiting out the ingested feathers is a good sign, but if your cat vomits excessively and you see any blood, seek veterinary care.
Increased aggression could be due to stomach aches caused by swallowed feathers. If you see that your cat has consumed feathers, keep her under observation for at least a day and encourage her to drink a lot of water. Then, if you have any concerns, it is safe to take her to the veterinarian for a thorough checkup and assessment.
Safe substitutes for feathering toys
- Plastic balls with built-in bells
- Plush toys with catnip
- Pillow-like toys or kickers covered with catnip
- Laser toys
- Peacock feathers have no artificial dyes and are naturally molted.
- Natural batting toys are made of biodegradable fiber, which causes no harm.
Cats are very cheerful and playful animals and are drawn to toys that incorporate feathers because they impersonate the features and texture of their favorite prey. These toys are safe but only under the owner’s supervision. Therefore, limit your cat’s playtime with feather toys and check the toys occasionally. Also, keep the toys safely tucked away when you are not home. Having pet insurance will always help you fight any health hazard.