I love to chew the little leather tails off all of my mousie wand toys. My human thinks I probably shouldn’t do this but I can’t help myself, and she eventually relents and lets me chew the tails off. Is there something I could be chewing on that I would love as much? She bought me some pretzel shaped chew toy but it’s no mousie tail. Are those little leather tails really bad for me? Oh, and I also like to lick the fur off of the toys too. That’s okay, isn’t it?
Dear Little Hansi,
The bad news is that string is a very dangerous thing for a kitty to consume — it could result in a trip to the emergency vet and maybe even an operation. The good news is that the leather tails on mousie toys don’t really count as string! Leather used to be on an animal, most likely a cow, and we kitties do eat beef, right? So these tails are made from a natural, edible substance and you should be able to digest them just fine. Just to be on the safe side, however, I would recommend that your human cut them fairly short to make double sure they don’t cause an obstruction in your digestive system. That’s why string is so dangerous — its length can cause havoc in your intestines and do lots of damage. Little pieces of leather mousie tail should be okay. Honestly, I don’t know if there are any satisfactory replacements to them. They are a very fun shape and size for kitty chewing! If your human is still worried, she can ask your vet about this.
If the fur on the toys is real, again, it is a natural substance and it shouldn’t be a problem if you lick it off. But just a thought — where are these toys from, anyway? Do you know that if they are made in China, or if the company gets their pelts from outside of the U.S., you could be licking cat fur? The fur trade in China has no species limitations and they think dogs and cats are a good, cheap source of fur. Horrible, isn’t it? And if the fur is dyed unnatural colors, I would also be a little wary. Make sure your human checks your toys and is sure they are made in the U.S. or Canada, or another country that keeps an eye on how pet toys are made. It’s always safer that way.