Are Edible String Toys For Cats a Good Idea? What do you think?

When it comes to spending time with our kitties, there is hardly anything more enjoyable than watching our kitties at play.

Since domestic felines are by nature very successful predators; engaging in safe interactive play with them that mimics catching prey using a feather toy on a string attached to a wand is also an excellent method in which we can build and tighten the bonds we have with our beloved cats.

Edible string toy for cats
Edible string toy for cats
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

It goes without saying that we want to keep our cats safe. We choose appealing toys that will entertain them for hours on end and we are careful not to give them toys that are potentially dangerous. It’s best to remove small objects that are attached to the toys such as bells, felt ears or glass eyes. I even remove the leather stringy tails from toy mice since if it is ingested it could possibly result in an intestinal blockage. I firmly believe that an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure.

While they are adorable and appear so realistic, I think that those tiny fur mice toys are an accident just waiting to happen. Although they often land up in the water dish, or the toilet bowl, they also can easily be swallowed by a cat on a mission. I for one avoid them like the plague.

Since the minute our white Oriental Shorthair, Sir Hubble Pinkerton, gets his paws on any small wool or cotton covered toy he immediately starts chewing and sucking on it, I can only imagine what he would do with one of those teeny meeces.

If I offer him one of these toys I have to watch him like a hawk because when these toys get wet and soggy enough to his liking; he will then try to devour it. This makes finding suitable toys for him extremely difficult. He is much too smart to be fooled by a laser toy; thus far the only safe ones I have found for him have been made from a high quality heavy duty felt.

cat with edible string toy
Photo by Andrew Butitta

Kitty guardians are told ad nauseum that it is dangerous to use toys made with string and/or ribbons. While there are many cute cartoons and pictures of cats playing with a ball of string or wool, giving them to our cats is just asking for trouble.

So I was totally baffled when I read about a new snack-toy hybrid toy called Pull ‘n Play that features edible strings which has been recently released. Another feature of the edible Pull ‘n Play strings can also be connected to another toy that dispenses treats that are available in three fishy and poultry flavors. The new toy is being touted as being the first and only one that offers edible strings for cats.

Now tell me, dear readers, does this make any sense? When spying one of these new-fangled strings, will a cat be able to differentiate whether it is safe or not? Doesn’t it seem that it might even teach kitties that strings are a potentially yummy treat? Personally, in my humble opinion, I think that the idea for this toy was dreamed up by someone who didn’t put feline safety as a priority.

After reading some of the reviews on a website I frequent, I gave huge kudos to a member who wrote the company expressing her concern and dismay! Would you give your kitty a Pull ‘n Play toy? Tell us your opinion in a comment.

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Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

15 thoughts on “Are Edible String Toys For Cats a Good Idea? What do you think?”

  1. I just got a cat. I plan to have him a long time. He’s only 1 years old. No, I don’t plan to make this mistake. I didn’t know it’s a problem but I see the great potential for danger it could cause.

  2. The first time I saw this new toy/treat advertised I was astonished. For a company that should know cat psychology and anatomy better than the average cat guardian, producing a tasty toy that encourages cats to ingest string is probably the worst idea they’ve ever had.

  3. They’re trying to come up with a product that appeals to the feline natural tendency. Kudos to them for trying to *get* cat-think. But they didn’t think it through and consider guardian-think!

    We caretakers put our kitties safety as #1 priority. Some cats are chewers and we have to keep on top of them constantly. We have 1 who chews paper, especially newspaper, and another who chews plastic bags. Gotta watch those 2! I used to have a darling Angora who loved to chew those curly telephone cords! At Christmas, it’s the annual ribbon watch! String, ribbon, rubber bands!

    It’s constant watchfulness and (here’s the message to the Pull n Play people) We’re trying to TRAIN THEM NOT TO EAT / CHEW STRINGY STUFF! Why would we get a product that encourages them to do that?

    It’s just a bad idea.

    But here’s a good idea, link this article and our related comments to the Pull n Play website.

    1. So right, Rani.
      I save my empty bath tissue and paper towel cardboard rolls for the purpose of hiding any electrical cords, etc.
      Like most people, the back side of my TV looks like it is ready to launch.

  4. As Jeff Goldblum said in Jurassic Park, this is one of the worst ideas in the history of bad ideas. My little Manx girl Maya would chew and gnaw anything that resembled a string, and that included telephone wire and extension cords.

  5. Thanks Michael. Lactose free milk is fine for cats to drink and us. My husband is also lactose intolerant.Most cats are lactose intolerant as well, And trying out regular milk might not be the best idea…

    You can purchase special cat-milk from the pet shop which is lactose-reduced and has lactose-derivatives added. Trying out lactose-free milk for humans should be a possible alternative, states one cat owner.
    Besides allergies which can (but not necessarily must) be caused by soja-based products.Eva

    1. I am one of those people that believes that cow’s milk is not necessarily suitable for people. Lactose-free cow’s milk has, I believe, helped me.

  6. A very, very useful article, Jo.

    So many people have no idea that so many things like string, yarn, feathers, twist ties, or tinsel could, minimally, put their cats in a surgical suite or kill them.

    Once, I gently pulled a rubber band hanging out of the behind of a neighbor’s cat.

    What are people thinking?

    P.S. Hoping the best for Puppy.

  7. P.S.—This is IMPORTANT:
    Do Not replace cow milk for your cat [ who shouldn’t be given it in the first place} with Almond milk because cats are highly allergic to nuts and this is poisonous for them to ingest.Eva

    Friskies makes milk for kittens and cats.Sometimes the Veterinarian can give you information and offer suggestions too,this is provided he or she has been trained and happens to be knowledgeable about this subject, although you would be very lucky to find a vet who knows about homeopathic nutrition. They deal in medicine and surgery and advertise for name brand companies and products ; who support them by advertisement and word of mouth.Eva

    1. Thanks Eva for the advice about almond milk. At the moment I give my cat lactose free milk for humans. I use myself all the time as a way of helping to manage sinusitis. Gabriel likes it and there no negative effects as far as I can tell.

  8. As soon as I saw this strange toy/food I thought it was a bad idea because it may well encourage a cat to try and eat real string to potentially devastating effect.

  9. Dear Michael__This week I watched a video on youtube where a surgeon removed a dog collar and stringy fibers from the dog’s intestinal tract. He almost died from ingesting it.Our cats are well trained and do not wear collars. Any type of collar ; since I discovered fleas hide under them and flea collars cause damage to the animal’s skin around the neck. This happens from the poison and can occur with any neck device,it has been on a long time or is too tight or is made of inappropriate materials or metal chains, etc……..
    Cats and dogs can and have hung themselves getting caught on a limb or a fencepost or even inside the house_____

    At home we use a sturdy leather string that can’t break and is three feet in length with a feather tied very securely at one end.Our cats like to play chase the snake and it is never out of our sight. When playtime is over; we put the toy away—out of reach.None of their toys have breakaway pieces on them. Eva__

    I would like to add this note: Keep the floors clean and free of tiny bits,pills,vitamins,glass fragments or any thing cats are allergic too-such as nuts and chocolate for starters. Thanks

    One more while I’m here_-Contrary to popular belief, Cats Cannot Digest “COW MILK ” without adverse effects.
    They develop diarrhea and other intestinal bowel problems down the road if fed “COW MILK “. Their are specially made and processed replacements on the market which are safe ,if you want to give them milk.

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