Playing Safely with Cat Toys
At The KONG Company, we strive to construct our cat toys as safely as possible. We’re pet owners and animal lovers, just like you. We don’t manufacture any items that we feel uncomfortable giving to our own pets. However, a toy that isn’t used correctly or with proper supervision could present a potential hazard, so we’ve developed the following tips to help make using our toys a fun, enriching, worry-free experience.
Tip: Never introduce a new toy without proper supervision.
It’s tempting to take a toy out of the package, toss it to your cat, and move on to other things while your cat plays with the new toy. However, it’s especially important to introduce new toys under supervision, to see how your cat plays with it. Ideally, all playtimes should be supervised, but at a minimum you should observe your cat playing with a new toy a few times before considering letting him or her play with a toy alone, just to make sure the toy is handled safely.
Tip: Teaser toys should never be left alone with a cat.
Teaser toys are items attached to a pole with a string and are designed for interactive play. Strings can present a serious digestive hazard, perhaps even requiring veterinarian attention, if a cat should happen to ingest a long piece all at once. These types of toys can also get tangled around a cat’s neck during vigorous play. Therefore, teaser toys should never be left in an area where your cat could access them. Keep them in a drawer, cabinet, or other secure place and bring them out only for interactive play sessions, controlled by you.
Tip: Inspect toys frequently, and discontinue use if you notice worn, loose, or torn pieces.
KONG cat toys are designed to hold up under typical levels of play. Yet, each cat is unique and will play with a toy differently, causing it to wear at a different pace. If you notice a toy that becomes ripped, torn, or has loose parts, it’s time to remove and discard that toy. For toys with feathers, it’s important to remove and discard any feathers that become separated from the toy. While cats are instinctively able to capture and consume feathered prey, feathers may occasionally cause irritation to a cat’s throat when swallowed; in extremely rare instances, a more serious digestive problem may develop.
By following these tips, you will greatly increase your comfort level and know you’re doing your best to provide for your cat’s safety. Properly using cat toys will enrich a cat’s life, discourage negative displacement behaviours, and increase your bond with your cat.