Why do Cats Like Rubber Bands: The Answers You Need

It’s an old joke, but also often true that cats would rather play with anything other than a nice expensive cat toy. From milk rings to hair ties and empty boxes, kitties love to play with random ‘stuff.’ Some even prefer rubberbands. I got to wondering why a housecat would want to do that. Surely one snap would be enough warning to send them running back to catnip-filled mice and little balls that jingle, but it doesn’t. I needed answers, so I went hunting for them. If your cat likes rubberbands, you need to know what I found, because this could be a severe problem.

Why do cats like rubber bands? Cats enjoy the chemicals in rubber that mimic hormones. The most important thing about felines who play with rubberbands, however, is not letting them swallow them since it can pose a serious health risk. 

Rubberbands and Cats

Cats can chew and play with rubberbands for several reasons.

  1. Chemicals mimic hormones.
  2. Rubberbands are stretchy like tendons in prey.
  3. Cats like tactile toys.
  4. The springiness lets your cat self-amuse.

Chemicals & Hormones

Cats may love rubberbands, but sometimes it’s not for the right reasons. Plastics and rubber include numerous chemicals. Some of these chemicals can mimic hormones that your cat might mistake for something other than a toy.

More than just fake hormones, some rubbers contain or get coated with cornstarch and other food ingredients. Unfortunately, this can lead a cat to think they’ve found something to eat. In addition to satisfying their hunting urges, some housecats will devour rubberbands, which can cause blockages or bind up their intestines.

Not only can this lead to surgery, but it can kill your cat. Always be exceptionally careful when your cat has a rubberband. Some are sensible enough and may just want to play a bit before they leave the toy and take a nap.

Still, you should never leave your kitty alone to play ith a rubberband, even if you’re pretty sure they aren’t going to eat it. After all, it only takes one to cause some nasty problems. Don’t risk expensive vet bills or the heartache of a lost pet just because you think your cat won’t try to eat a rubberband.

Taking Rubberbands From Cats

Cats who play with rubberbands and swallow them should go to the vet. If you catch them in the act, gently take the toy away and give them something else to play with. In the future, make sure to store them away in a container with a lid that your pet can’t open.

If you see a rubberband hanging out of your cat’s mouth, you can try to remove it gently. Always check first to make sure it’s not wrapped around the tongue or any other part of the mouth. In those cases, you should head to your nearest emergency vet and have the doctor safely remove the band.

If you see a rubberband hanging from your cats’ butt, the same thing applies. It might seem like a good idea to pull it out yourself, but it’s not. If the band is stretched up through any part of your kitties intestines or wrapped around anything inside, you could do severe damage. It’s not worth hurting your pet.

Cats Passing Rubberbands

It can take anywhere from hours to days for your cat to poop out a swallowed rubberband. Even if they don’t have any problems, it’s not a good time to wait and see. Early intervention can save your cats’ life.

If you suspect your kitty swallowed a rubberband, get help right away. It’s better to be wrong and pay for it than to be right and take no action. These non-toys can saw into your cats’ intestines with their edges, block bowels, and tie up their insides literally.

Especially if your cat starts throwing up, you need a professional. Another bad sign is when your cat poops wet puddinglike poo. Sometimes this comes with a little bit of blood, but not always. Anytime you see those signs; you need emergency kitty services.

Tendon Simulation

Another strange reason some cats may enjoy rubberbands also has to do with simulating nature. A rubberband is a little bit like a tendon or a blood vessel. Your cat may find the mouthfeel of chewing them, similar to what they’d get from certain parts of live prey.

While this isn’t the only reason a cat would enjoy chewing on a band, it positively contributes. Any toy that satisfies their instincts and makes them feel like an accomplished hunter is extra fun for your pet. Fortunately, there are plenty of other ways to get them what they’re craving from the hunt. Plus, most of them are safer.

Try the Huicocy Interactive Cat Scratching Post. It doesn’t act like a rubberband, but it does roll around, light up and otherwise distract and entertain the hunter in your cat. The laser light and feather attachments are a ton of fun for your kitty and it can play with them even when you’re not home. Get a safer toy for your cat by clicking here

When to Worry About Cats Who Like Rubber Bands

You should always be careful when your cat likes rubberbands. However, some other things might be causing the behavior. If your beloved pet feline is crazy for rubber, then ask your vet about these kitty issues at your next visit.

Could a Dietary Deficiency Cause Your Cat to Chew Rubberbands

Sometimes eating and playing with rubberbands isn’t just for fun. Cats can develop PICA, which is a problem where animals (or people for that matter) compulsively seek out a specific non-food item. This is more common in some Asian breeds, but any cat can develop it.

More than just PICA, some cats show their owners a dietary deficiency by chasing and eating strange things. While this can be linked to PICA, it could also be a different problem altogether. Keep an eye on your pets’ eating and chewing habits.

Luckily most deficiencies respond well to treatment. Unfortunately, the other side of that coin is that PICA is much harder to break a pet away from. Start by removing all the temptations and discussing it with your vet as soon as possible.

Cats May Take Out Aggression Issues on Rubber Bands

Most cats are sweet, playful creatures, and there’s nothing sinister about their love of rubberbands. However, some cats also take out their problems on things in their environment. Make sure you’re keeping an eye on kitty when he or she is at play.

Cats who have severe aggression issues may choose rubberbands as one of their favorite snacks or playthings. The same satisfaction other cats get from hunting them comes into play here. Yet the difference can be hard to spot if you aren’t a cat expert.

All cats play destructive games. They will scratch furniture and stage hidden assaults from behind doors. That’s normal, but over the top aggression, displays are not. If your adult cat seems like they’re trying to kill everything they go after, you might need a vet or even a pet psychiatrist.

The good news is that there’s a lot you can do to help an angry kitty work through their issues. Sometimes jealousy over new pets or other adverse experiences end up in bad behavior and lashing out just as they would with a human. Of course, humans don’t have all those claws, and we know better than to swallow rubber bands.

OCD Can Make Your Kitty Compulsively Hunt Rubberbands

Does your cat seem to love rubberbands way too much? Will they hunt for them without stopping for hours, even when you put them away or get rid of them? If your cat is acting compulsive, that might be precisely what’s going on with them.

Cats can have obsessive-compulsive disorder. So when your pet doesn’t give up, and they are willing to hurt themselves to get a rubberband, you should be worried. This is another case where you should talk to your vet right away. Kitty OCD will take a lot of work to manage, but you can help your sweet fuzzy pet learn to live with it and find better ways than dangerous rubberband addictions to play.

Cats Who Hoard Rubber Bands

Some cats love to play with rubberbands because they like to play, but others seem to collect them. Cats who hoard are hilarious. Most of the time, it’s not a problem to have a hoarder cat, other than the part where all of a particular type of object will end up in their stash.

Hoarding cats sometimes leave their treasures in a food or water bowl, but any ‘safe’ location will do. This kind of play isn’t as typical, but it’s mostly not something you need to worry about. So long as their hoarding habit isn’t damaging other aspects of their life, or yours, enjoy your new pet dragon. However, that doesn’t mean you should leat your kitty have a box of rubberbands. Whether it’s intentional or accidental, swallowing rubberbands is still a danger to your pet.

Find your cat a better, safer toy to play with. I suggest the SmartyKat Electronic Motion Cat Toy from Amazon. It has so many different types of kitty toys; there’s bound to be something in there for every pet. You can check prices and availability by clicking here

Final Thoughts

From silly toy of the moment to PICA and OCD, cats have a lot of reasons to love rubberbands. If you notice your furry friend going for the office supplies, pay attention. Some behavior is normal, but it can also tip you off to a more significant concern.

Whatever the reason for your cat to go after rubberbands, you should stop them. It may seem cute and funny, but it’s a dangerous hobby. Moreover, it can cause you to lose a pet, or a whole lot of money saving your beloved kitty.

Rubberbands and cats should not mix. If you insist on letting kitty play with them, and you shouldn’t, always make sure you’re right there with them in case of emergencies.

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