The cat keeps chewing, chewing, chewing, chewing
April 10, 2004 11:08 AM   Subscribe

this may seem like an odd request, but can anyone suggest a good chew toy for a cat? my cat loves rubber shoe insoles (dr. scholls gel, to be exact) - his favorite toy. but he chews on them, swallows bits, then barfs. i took them away to stop him from choking, and haven't been able to find a suitable replacement. must be relatively soft, for cat jaws (which is why dog toys won't work) but must also be digestible - and something i wouldn't mind leaving on the carpet all day for him to devour. i was thinking some starch- or gummy-based something or other, but can't seem to find anything that will work. anybody have an idea? (or am i just crazy for asking this?)
posted by caution live frogs to Pets & Animals (7 answers total)
My cats like bits of leather for this sort of thing. They kept eating the leather laces out of a pair of boots, so I bought a few leather scraps for them. Now everyone is happy. They like chewing them and eating the leather doesn't seem to hurt them. They really, really like rabbit, if you can find it.
posted by bonehead at 11:42 AM on April 10, 2004

Response by poster: might give that a try - i had no idea how much cats chewed on things. one of my two seems determined to gnaw his way through the closet door, from the outside.

as for rabbit - the prepared skins, or just rabbit in general?
posted by caution live frogs at 12:59 PM on April 10, 2004

My cat likes to chew and eat cardboard boxes. I've never noticed any ill effects (puking, bowel problems) so I figure they are fine for him to eat. If not, the sheer number that he has devoured without incident would tell me otherwise.

He also loves to chew on small stuffed animals. NOT the tiny stuffed animals meant for cats, but the small (like 6-8 inches tall) ones meant for children. They are big enough for him to wrap his body around and roll around while gnawing on its ears. Just be sure to gouge any plastic eyes out if they start hanging by a thread so they don't swallow them.
posted by gatorae at 2:09 PM on April 10, 2004

One of my cats likes to spend time shredding wadded-up paper. He doesn't eat it though - just flings the shreds and goes back to tearing. I'd be a little leery of string or laces... I seem to have read somewhere that once a cat starts swallowing an item, he's unable to stop, and long strands of anything can potentially tangle their intestines. Avoid tin foil and cellophane for their health as well. One of the safest toys I've found that also holds an irresistible attraction to my cats is ping pong balls.. light, fast, and erratic enough in motion to invite a chase. My cats are also addicted to chasing a little laser pointer light... anyone know why cats are prone to chasing light?

Perhaps your vet might be able to suggest something?

(On preview - stuffed animals are a good idea - you could always rub one with catnip to get your cat started)
posted by vers at 2:17 PM on April 10, 2004

vers is right about strings and things, this can cause a fatal condition in cats called, oddly enough, "string gut". I'd also be really leery of cardboard and leather, since it's undigestible (so can cause an intestinal blockage, which can be very expensive and fatal) and is treated with all manner of chemicals. Look for edible dog chew toys (Nylabone makes some) for small dogs.
posted by biscotti at 3:11 PM on April 10, 2004

One of our cats likes ear plugs--the soft foamy kind--especially after they have been in someone's ears. Gross, particularly when they eat them and then poop them out.
posted by Mo Nickels at 5:55 PM on April 10, 2004

Ours really like scrunchies, the elastic bands folks use for their hair. They're durable, the cats can't swallow them, and when you're bored you can put them around the cat's feet and play HostageKitty.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:03 AM on April 11, 2004

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