We all know cats love a bit of playtime! Whether it's chasing, jumping, climbing, chewing or pawing, there are plenty of toys to keep your pet entertained. They're also a great way for you to spend time together. However, there are some toys you'll need to be careful with!

Cats have a natural desire to play, jump and run in all directions. It often stems back to their natural hunting roots.

There is a wide variety of toys available to buy, make or recycle based on your cat's preferences. Whatever type of toy your pet loves, it's also important to know what toys can be harmful to them, especially if they are left unattended during play.

Let's take a quick look at some common toys!

String toys

Cats love to play with long, stringy toys e.g. ribbons, string, elastic cords, rubber bands, etc. However, these items can cause injuries, even bowel obstruction if your cat ingests it. This includes feathers!

It's important to remember that cats of any age can choke, either through ingestion or becoming entangled. Kittens are especially vulnerable to such play items as their coordination is still in development. That said, adult cats can also end up in trouble quickly!

If your cat loves string-like toys, make sure you're around to play with them instead of leaving them alone with the item. It would be incredibly traumatic to return to a scene where your cat is suffering, or worse still. And don't forget, safely store the item away from your cat when not in use.

Good alternatives to thin, string-like items include thick rope, leather belts, bathrobe waist ties, or better still, laser pointers.

Paper and plastic bags

A lot of cats enjoy mucking around with paper or plastic bags. While paper bags are the safer of the two options as suffocation is much less likely, handles on either of the two can be dangerous.

A curious cat may well climb into or through the handle, get stuck, panic and tangle itself further. This can cause your pet to choke.

An easy trick is to simply cut the handles of any bags used for playing. For those fur friends who love a plastic variety, make sure you stay with the animal and keep a close eye on them to avoid any potential hazards.

Small objects

Much like babies and small children, choking hazards are also very real to cats. Again, kittens are the most vulnerable, however that doesn't mean an adult cat won't avoid all trouble.

Common household items that include small pieces, for example children's toys with detachable parts or beady eyes, can easily become a chew toy for your cat. Coins, marbles, pen heads and staples are other common items found on the floor of many homes. Try ensure floors are kept clear and loose items aren't left lying around for curious pets.

Peek-and-play games

Peek-and-play games can be great toys to entertain cats. Watching a cat play with one can also be just as amusing for the owner. However, always make sure that any holes or slots are small enough so that your cat can't get their paw or head stuck. This is especially the case for kittens whose small limbs can often get caught as they reach in or stick their whole head inside.

For very small kittens, try placing them inside an open box with a ball that they can play about freely with. ONce they are big enough for your peek-and-play game, then you can rest easy that they won't come into any harm.

Has your cat ever come into harm with a common play toy?

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