Cats are such hilarious creatures and do some of the (what we might consider) to be the silliest things.
They’re great at wanting to play with just about everything else outside of the toys you buy them specifically just to play with. However, cats always seem to have a method to their madness.
Cats enjoy random, household objects like hair ties as toys because it is pure instinct. The fact that certain objects may fly, bounce, make noise, or move quickly requires cats to do the same. When cats get a chance to have that type of fun (as opposed to chewing on a bone like a dog) then they will have the time of their lives and keep themselves entertained for hours. Cats like these items because it allows them to behave in predatorial ways.
When in the mood, our cats love to play with hair ties; whether that’s playing with them on the floor or pushing them off a surface onto the floor.
As much fun as you want your cat to have, you still need to be cautious so those seemingly harmless items do not become problematic.
Some pet stores have created toys that have all the above features just for cats so that they can play with something made solely for them so that they can enjoy safely for as long as they would like.
Playing On Instincts
There’s such a vast difference between how cats and dogs play, but can be explained via the instincts of each respectful animal.
Cats might enjoy a store bought toy, especially if it has all the characteristics that he or she may want, but sometimes household items serve as the greatest joy.
This is because the way cats play is the way they were programmed as a predator.
Although they can be very domestic animals and great pets, cats are still born and bred in the wild. They are still considered a wild animal and will always retain their natural given instincts.
Cats love the things that bounce around and scatter randomly because it gives them something to chase.
That is part of the reason they love hair ties so much.
The ties can be sprung and launched across the room or slid across particular flooring. They (cats) are used to chasing smaller animals such as rodents and small birds. Any toys that might resemble a mouse or bird with feathers that can be a little more interactive (or in this case hair ties) will capture the attention of your little furry friend and fill their heart with the thrill of the chase again.
Alluring To The Senses
The texture of the toy can also trigger the instinctual nature of your cat.
Whether that is a hair tie, little bird on a string, a tennis ball, or something with a felt or furry feel, your cat will want to at least peak its interest because the feel of it may resemble another animal that would be normal prey.
Another interesting thing that cats love to play with is newspaper or packing paper. The noise mimics a rodent running and hiding in bushes. From plastics to rubber bands, if it reminds your cat of the wild and is accessible, guaranteed your cat will at least attempt to play with it.
Much like the joke, cats are curious to a point that it might actually be a bit dangerous for them. Ever have a cat that just loves those daring jumps and forces you to double check the integrity of your window and screen?
Cats are some of the most curious creatures, and are kind of like the character in horror movies when you know they should not go into the house alone. They have to check things out for themselves and scratch the itch to find out what that thing is.
As simple as a hair tie or piece of yarn, don’t be surprised if you find your cat digging through random areas throughout your home to find the next household item toy.
Ah yes, everyone’s favorite side effect of life. If you have taken a dog to the vet or sprayed water close to your cat, you might notice them start to react. They have fears and stressors just like humans do. Some people actually try to cope and deal with stressors with humor, exercise, or being alone. Animals have to channel their stress as well.
Believe it or not, cats will release stress by playing.
To them, it is a distraction and can help them get back in a playful mood and away from whatever the stressor may have been, reverting back to its old self.
Are Hair Ties Dangerous For Your Cat?
Hair ties are something that your cat has probably never experienced before, and playing is a part of your cat’s nature. The last thing that your cat should feel is cooped up and unable to express itself as it needs to for its own sanity and wellbeing.
With that said, it would be unwise to just let them play with anything and everything without at least keeping a somewhat watchful eye on them.
With something small like a hair tie, there is a higher chance of it becoming a choking hazard for your loyal sidekick.
As much fun as we want our pets to have, their safety has to always be the number one priority, even if they do not agree. Even if your cat doesn’t choke on it, yet swallows it whole, this could also pose a serious problem for your cat’s stomach and overall health.
Sometimes we have to step in and play mom and dad for our pets. They only know the dangers that they might experience in their own world, not necessarily those of a human’s.
We want our pets to be able to be themselves and play when they want, but it is also good to have safe alternatives when cats want to play with random items that seem harmless, but might be the opposite on the right day.
If your cat just happens to be in love with hair ties, but you are concerned about the hair tie becoming a safety hazard, then a good alternative might be the Kong Active Scrunchy Cat Toy. Meant to appeal to all of your cat’s senses and predator-like instincts, this scrunchy is bigger than normal hair ties, less of a hazard, and probably a little more of the fun.
Although dogs and cats are not exactly the same in the ways that each will play, there are still some similarities.
Some dogs will try to eat and chew on absolutely anything and everything, and cats will try to play with just about anything and everything. For both, they can lead them to pure enjoyment or unforeseen dangers.
Cats love hair ties because they remind the cat of its instincts.
The cat gets a chance to run around, chase something, feel a similar material that might mimic another animal, and allows the cat to simply play. With all the love that a pet owner might show, the animal still has to have times where it can still be just that.
Those wild animal instincts for a cat have to come out now and then for the sake of its own well being. Once it loses that desire to chase and hunt, your cat just won’t be the same cat. Make sure it plays safely, but let it play with odd items nonetheless.