Exercise Caution When Holiday Shopping for Cats

Ensure cat toys are free from choking hazards before purchasing.

Ensure cat toys are free from choking hazards before purchasing.

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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