Some cats are playful, some others not so much, but if there’s one thing they all go crazy with that is a string hanging in front of them.
While we people love watching them play with a string all day long, not all of us ever wonder why cats like playing with a string that much.
Well, since you clicked on this article, you are probably one of those people looking for an answer to that, so keep reading below to get it!
Why Do Cats Like String?
Cats Eyes Are Highly Sensitive To Movement
A cat's visual acuity is inferior to that of a human with static objects.
Their vision is especially sensitive to movements, which is the reason cat owners are perplexed whenever their little felines unintentionally ignore a snack that's left right in front of them.
As a result, when something like a string moves in front of them, their eyes immediately catch that movement and want to chase it, which brings us to the second reason why cats love playing with strings.
Cats Are Predators
These little felines might look innocent and cute, but they are predator animals from nature, which means that their instincts tell them to hunt.
Cats that are not domesticated are hunting mice, rats, and other small animals, even insects. However, when they are being served their cat food at home, those wild instincts can resurface when they see a string.
Pulling and moving a string in front of them can appear to their eyes similar to the movement of those small animals they would hunt, and so their playing with it might actually be more of a hunting quest for them.
Cats Are Playful
The above is not to say that cats are not playful animals. Even if you throw a ball at them or bring them other toys, you will see them playing with them.
Moreover, if you are lucky enough, your cat is also cuddly and loves playing even with you. Therefore, playing with a string is yet another thing that looks like fun to them.
Cats Love Using Their Claws
These pets love using their claws and holding on to objects, which is why a string is ideal for them to do so.
Some strings might be way thinner than others, but cats can still claw them and use their sense of touch.
Cats Can Trains Their Brains By Playing
Just like humans, sitting all day long doing nothing provides no stimulation to their brains, which is why cats play with strings as a means of staying active mentally and physically.
In addition to that, it is very easy for cats to feel bored and agitated and ruin your furniture by scratching it before you know it.
That is why cat owners can and should use a string and engage their cats in play to keep them from being bored and becoming aggressive.
Cats Think Of String As A Tail
Have you seen a rat’s tail? Well, you might be able to distinguish it from a string, and cats might do so too, but their instinct tells them to go after it.
Since it looks and moves similar to their prey’s tails, a string becomes an object they must hunt and catch, so don’t look surprised if your cat keeps trying to catch it repeatedly for hours!
The Danger Of Cats Playing With A String
Cats can easily get all tied up and wrapped with a string, which might sound like fun, but it can also turn out to be very dangerous to them.
Leaving a cat unattended while it is playing with a string might lead to it getting its legs wrapped too tight with the string that it’s unable to move.
Not only that but some felines have also had an eventful death caused by a string that got tied around their neck to the point where they could no longer breathe.
In addition to that, cats can also get tangled up in objects such as table legs, houseplants, and many other ordinary objects you have at home. They can start chewing the string until they start choking.
Therefore, if you want to let the cat play alone with a string that you’ve tied around a table chair, think twice before doing so as you can never be too certain of what can happen.
How To Act When You Notice String Coming From Your Cat's Mouth?
In the unwanted event that your cat accidentally swallows and chokes on a string, you will hear it cough or see it paw its mouth.
You might see the end of the string coming out of its mouth and your immediate reaction might be to pull it out.
While that sounds like a reasonable thing to do, it could make things way worse as the string might be wrapped around the cat’s insides.
Therefore, the best thing you can do is call your veterinarian and visit them immediately as your cat will be in need of a professional’s help.
How To Keep My Cat Safe From Harming Itself With A String
The obvious solution to preventing any string accidents is to keep the string away from the cat. However, as it is a beloved game for all cats, you can still use it for playing with it.
To keep your cat safe from harming itself with a string, you should, however, stay alert and keep an eye on her at all times.
In addition, you need to tell your kids or anyone who might be unaware of the potential risks of a cat playing alone with a string not to leave her alone when she’s playing.
Finally, you need to think of other string-like objects you have at home, such as wires, and use cord covers or organizers to keep them out of the cat’s sight.
The Bottom Line
Cats love playing with string for lots of reasons which are both habitual and instinctual. Nevertheless, playing with strings can be harmful and even lethal in certain cases, so make sure you look after your cat while she’s playing with her string.
At Love4Cats, our practice involves consistent collaboration with licensed veterinarians and reputable industry experts. However, it's important to note that the content provided on Excited Cats is not intended as veterinary advice. While we strive to enhance your understanding of feline care, the information presented on this blog should not replace professional veterinary guidance.