Cat and string - potential danger - Photo by John Leach
String is not a good toy for a cat because it can cause injury in much the same way that playing fetch with a stick can cause injury to a dog.
I am not really referring to us playing with our cat with string as under those circumstances we are holding the string and have control over it.
If, however, the string is left lying around or if inadvertently we leave some thread around on the floor, this could be a serious health hazard to our cat and cause a dent in our wallet.
Cats are attracted to various sorts of string, cotton threads and ribbon etc. They like to chew on them and play with them. Unfortunately cats also tend to swallow thread.
Sometimes this can have the effect of one end of the thread twisting around the base of the tongue while the other end can be deep inside the cat, sometimes as far as the intestine.
The tongue might be damaged due to the blood supply being cut off. The cat might vomit but the cause might not be clear is it is a length of fine thread that is around the tongue.
You can see how this simply scenario could cause quite a serious and unfortunate cat health problem that might go undetected.
In the most serious of cases a veterinarian will have to operate under full anesthetic to remove the thread.
Anesthetic carries a risk of injury in itself. This is not a good situation for the cat to be in and neither is it good for us, with worry and expense.
I guess the answer is for us all to take simple but sensible precautions particularly if you are the type who likes sewing.
I don't think there is a serious risk. In fact there is probably a fairly low risk but there is a risk nonetheless that can be avoided easily.