Thursday 26 March 2009

Green Cat Toy

What is a green cat toy? They are good for the environment. But they are also good for the cat, equally importantly. Without intending to be critical or hostile to other countries and cultures I would check where there toy came from. Certain countries have a bit of a history of supplying products that are less than healthy or just plain dangerous and that applies to human toys for babies or children. I can remember a health scare with respect to childrens' toys about a year ago from an Asian country. The same country recently supplied a poisonous ingredient for cat and pet food. See Melamine in Cat Food. So, I would focus on cat toys made in the West.

Other negative factors to think about might be:
  • Toys made from plastic and painted plastic. The chemicals in plastic might present a hazard when chewed and paint can also contain chemicals (like lead). Paint from the less developed countries can contain lead. Lead used to be in paints in the UK at one time (exterior paints) to make it more durable.
  • Any painted toy should be a No No.
  • Toys that are small or have small bits attached. This might include threads and stringy bits that can be swallowed. Perhaps the best thing is to pull the toy about a bit without destroying it before buying!
  • Toys made with fillings that can be ingested. This might include polystyrene bits. Cats do like to tear things to bits and chew what's left. I would have thought it possible to feel what is more or less in the interior of a toy.
  • Plastic bags are a big no no as they are potentially dangerous (suffocation).

Cats don't know if the toy is expensive and/or manufactured and the simplest of homemade toys or just bits of rubbish can be good toys and very much a green cat toy as it is good recycling Zach in the video has the right idea and he makes a great green cat toy, the greenest imaginable:
  • Cardboard boxes are one of the favorites judging by the videos around. The box should be completely empty.
  • Catnip stuffed toys. My Timmy a stray likes these but on one occasion broke it up and started to eat the foam like interior so I took it off him. They are generally safe it seems provided there are no bits on them that can come off and be eaten. Cats can be very destructive with catnip toys as the catnip drives them to destroy it!
  • Crumpled up paper balls are simple and effective and a nice bit of recycling.
  • Balls of various types are always fun for a cat at least for a while; pushing and prodding it around the place.
  • A piece of cable or string that is held at one end by us and dragged slowly in front of my cat on the bed keeps her interested for the longest time. I get tired of the game well before she does. String "managed" like this is safe (i.e. we can react and protect). A lump of some sort on the end of the string helps (provided it is safe lump). I use cable sometimes like a power cord but stop her chewing it by always just beating her.
  • Any toy that has had any potential nasty bits removed is OK. I would be surprised if a cat toy manufacturer made a toy that had bits on it that could be eaten but some from Asia might (this, as mentioned, is not an attack on Asia, just a reality).
Green Cat Toy -- Some more reading:

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