Do you see your cat playing with rubber bands and anything springy and elastic at your house? It’s not just you who’s interested in why do cats like rubber bands. Cats are known for being carefree and playful. They like being nosey as well and satisfying their curiosity for a lot of purposes but mainly for entertainment.
Reasons will be discussed below as to why do cats exhibit this kind of behavior but one of the most obvious ones is animal instinct. They are animals after all and they have this habit of playing with their prey which they do on a lot of inanimate objects at home like rubber bands.
Why Does My Cat Like to Play With the Rubber Bands?
Here are the possible reasons to understand why cats like to play with rubber bands:
They Are Attracted to the Smell
First on the list is that cats are attracted to the smell of rubber bands. The latter has a distinct kind of smell that even humans will either be disgusted or addicted to. Felines have a very sensitive sense of smell which makes rubber bands more attractive for them.
As mentioned above, cats love playing with the prey because even if they are domesticated animals, they are still predators by nature. These small and elastic rubber bands are stretchy and mimic the tendons of the prey they chase and eat. You will often see them thump and stretch the rubber bands like no other.
Speaking of elasticity, cats love elastic things because the possibility of them getting more entertained is higher. Aside from the smell of the rubber bands that are scattered inside your house, the fact that it can be stretched excites your cat and make the same more likable.
This situation of cats liking rubber bands happen when you don’t have chewing toys or other entertaining toys and objects inside your home. This is why when they see stretchy materials like these bands all over the area, they will be nosey about them and play with them.
Cats are well-known for being hoarders. Do you remember the last time your cat brought home a dead mouse from your backyard? Yes, they are that kind of hoarder. They will consider rubber bands as a part of their collection even though they do not have the proper area to store them.
Stressed cats oftentimes find ways to relieve their stress and redirect the energy from being frustrated to other more productive and entertaining things. When this happens, it is best recommended that you bring them to the nearest vet to get their physical and mental health checked up.
Is Rubber Band Safe for My Cat?
No, rubber bands are not safe for your cat at home. One of the most dangerous reasons is when they eat the object and swallow it. An obvious effect of this is they will either choke on it or get an upset stomach. When they choke on any non-food material, it will be very hard for you to remove the same because things like rubber bands are not that slippery to flush down. And when the latter happens, it will fully affect the digestive system of your furry friend and might cause vomiting or diarrhea.
What To Do if Cat Eats Rubber Band?
So what can you do when, for example, your cat ate a rubber band after playing with it for a long time? These are the following:
When you noticed that the rubber band that your cat has been playing with is missing, do not panic. Be calm and look for the rubber band around the area. You need to check first if it’s just scattered somewhere before suspecting they swallowed it.
If the rubber band is not around, check your cat’s mouth right away. There is a huge possibility that your mischievous furry friend ate the same. Get a flashlight and scour your pet’s mouth and make sure that the rubber band is not swallowed yet.
After confirming that the rubber band is just stuck in the teeth or it’s just under the tongue of your feline, remove the same by hand. Make sure that you do this step gently to ensure that you will not agitate them. After removing the same, let them rest for a bit then give them water.
However, when you did not see the rubber band hanging inside your cat’s mouth, you need to calm your cat while preparing its carrier among other things. If you have someone with you, let them start the car and you can now go to the nearest veterinary clinic.
Last but not least, to prevent any blockage in your cat’s esophagus, medical attention is necessary. Take your cat to the nearest vet for the latter to use the tools necessary in removing the rubber band inside the stomach. And if things are at their worst, surgery might arise.
What Can I Do to Prevent Your Cat From Eating Rubber Bands?
Below are the ways you can do to prevent your cat from eating rubber bands:
The most obvious preventive measure is to not give them rubber bands to play with. But sometimes, this is inevitable when you have children who wear hair ties and leave the same on the floor and forget about them. This being said, you need to be extra cautious to not allow them to have access to rubber bands.
Cats are oftentimes bored and would like to do a lot of things. In this case, you need to entertain them by buying chewing toys that they can bite and entertain themselves with all the time. This will prevent cats from finding small objects like rubber bands to play with.
Another way to distract your cat is to avail a scratching post. This is a fun way for them to drain their energy by scratching and thumping the said object. You can be assured that they will not find ways to have time for rubber bands.
One of the reasons why cats like playing with rubber bands is because they are stressed. To make them feel more comfortable, try playing calming music like jazz or ballad at home.
To fully prevent your furry friend at home from eating smaller kinds of objects that are not edible, give them food that will satisfy their tongue and stomach. This will assure you that they will not eat rubber bands because they are already full from eating good food.
Another activity that will destress you and your cat is walking around your backyard. Cats tend to tinker with things because they are bored. To prevent the same from happening, make sure that they are breathing fresh air at all times to feel relaxed.
Read also: How Much Attention Do Cats Need?
Last but not least, you can light fruity candles or even non-fruity candles inside your apartment or house. Cats love things that have a strong smell and the light and refreshing candles might help them redirect their energy – from playing with rubber bands to just finding the time to take a nap.
Cats are very nosey creatures and even if they are domesticated, their animal instincts always kick in. They love playing with small things even if the same is an inanimate object. The above-mentioned reasons as to why do cats like rubber bands are not exclusive. Future studies might come up with new ones. But, whatever the reason is, you need to ensure the safety of your cat by only giving them the toys they can safely play with.