Why Do Cats Like Hair Ties? Is It Safe For Cats?

Why Do Cats Like Hair Ties? Is It Safe For Cats?

Cats are known for their curious and playful nature, and it’s no surprise that they often develop unusual fascinations with everyday objects. One of these objects is hair ties. Many cat owners have experienced their furry friends’ obsession with these small elastic bands. But why do cats like hair ties so much?

One possible explanation is that hair ties resemble prey to cats. The elastic texture and small size of hair ties mimic the movement and size of small animals, such as mice or birds. Cats have an innate hunting instinct, and their attraction to hair ties could be an expression of this natural instinct.

Hair ties also have a unique scent that may attract cats. Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, and they are known to be attracted to scents that are unfamiliar or intriguing. The scent of hair ties, especially if they have been in contact with human hair, may be appealing to cats and pique their curiosity.

Additionally, the texture of hair ties can be satisfying for cats to chew on. Cats have sharp teeth that are designed for tearing meat, and chewing on hair ties could provide them with a similar sensation. The elasticity of the hair tie can also make it fun for cats to bat around and play with.

Is It Safe For Cats?

While cats may find hair ties entertaining, it’s important to consider whether they are safe for them to play with. Hair ties pose several risks to cats, and it’s essential for cat owners to take precautions to prevent any harm to their pets.

One of the primary concerns with hair ties is that cats can easily swallow them. Hair ties are small and can be easily mistaken for prey by cats. If a cat ingests a hair tie, it can cause serious digestive issues, including intestinal blockages. These blockages can be life-threatening and may require surgery to remove.

Hair ties can also pose a choking hazard to cats. If a hair tie becomes tangled around a cat’s tongue or lodged in their throat, it can obstruct their airway and prevent them from breathing properly. This can be extremely dangerous and may require immediate veterinary attention.

In addition to the risks of ingestion and choking, hair ties can also get tangled in a cat’s fur. Cats are meticulous groomers, and if a hair tie gets caught in their fur, it can be painful and difficult for them to remove. This can lead to discomfort and potentially cause injuries to their skin.

Considering these risks, it is generally recommended that cat owners keep hair ties out of their pets’ reach. It’s important to store hair ties in a secure location where cats cannot access them easily. If a cat shows a particular interest in hair ties, it may be necessary to find alternative toys that are safe for them to play with.

How to Keep Cats Safe Around Hair Ties

If you have a cat that is drawn to hair ties, there are several steps you can take to ensure their safety:

1. Store hair ties in a secure location: Keep hair ties in a closed drawer or container where your cat cannot reach them. This will prevent them from accidentally ingesting or choking on the hair ties.

2. Provide alternative toys: Cats need stimulation and playtime. Offer a variety of cat-friendly toys that are designed to be safe for them to chew on and play with. This will divert their attention away from hair ties and fulfill their natural hunting instincts.

3. Supervise playtime: When playing with your cat, always supervise them closely. This allows you to intervene if they show an interest in hair ties or any other potentially dangerous objects.

4. Regularly inspect your cat’s environment: Check your cat’s surroundings regularly for any hair ties that may have been dropped or left within their reach. It’s crucial to remove any potential hazards to prevent accidents.

5. Consult with a veterinarian: If your cat has ingested a hair tie or is experiencing any symptoms of distress, it’s important to seek immediate veterinary care. A professional can provide appropriate medical treatment and advice based on your cat’s specific situation.

By following these guidelines, you can help keep your cat safe and prevent any potential harm associated with hair ties.


Cats’ fascination with hair ties can be attributed to their hunting instincts, the unique scent of hair ties, and the satisfying texture they provide. However, it’s important to recognize the potential risks that hair ties pose to cats’ health and safety. Taking precautions, such as storing hair ties securely and offering alternative toys, can help keep cats safe and ensure their well-being. Remember to always prioritize your cat’s safety and consult with a veterinarian if you have any concerns.

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