We never really think about our little feline friends needing the Heimlich Maneuver, but the truth is that they can very well choke on something if we aren’t careful. Just as we would with human babies, we need to make sure that anything our cat can fit in his mouth is out of his reach and that his toys don’t break into small parts. Try to prevent your cat from eating too fast and make sure no toys are smaller than a ping pong ball. You might be surprised to find out what the most common choking hazards are for cats.
#1 – Aluminum Foil
While sheets of aluminum foil can be pretty scary to cats, they often love when it’s rolled into a ball. But aluminum foil balls can get swallowed whole or ripped apart into tiny pieces – both posing a choking hazard that will get your cat into trouble sooner or later.
#2 – Corks
Some cats like to play with corks and chew on them, breaking them into little pieces that get lodged in the throat. Make sure to throw all of your corks away and make sure they stay out of reach.
#3 – Balled Cellophane
Another popular homemade toy for cats is cellophane rolled into a ball, but this presents a very dangerous choking hazard. If your cat tries to swallow the ball, it’s nearly impossible for it to get past the throat, but it’s small enough to get stuck there.
#4 – String & Yarn
Cats love to play with string and yarn and there’s minimal danger if they play is supervised. But unsupervised play is very risky. Not only can your cat get wrapped up and strangled, she might try to eat it. It’s very common for yarn and string to get stuck in cats’ throats and cause them to choke.
#5 – Rubber Bands
Rubber bands are another household item that cats just love to play with, but it’s heavily advised against. Just like string and yarn, rubber bands can get caught in the throat and pose a choking hazard.
#6 – Toys with Ribbons, Feathers & Plastic Eyes
While many assume that any toy bought at a pet store is safe, it’s important to remember that some of these toys could pose a threat. Often times these toys come with ribbon or feathers attach that can easily get chewed off and lodged in the throat. Many mice toys have plastic eyes that can fall off and pose a choking hazard as well.
#7 – Dental Floss
While you might be brushing you cat’s teeth, you’re probably not flossing them. But mint-flavored floss can be enticing to cats. Just like string, it can get lodged in the throat and choke your kitty.
#8 – Toy Stuffing
Not many cats are able to tear toys apart and get the stuffing out, but it’s not unheard of. These cats probably should not have access to stuffed toys because the stuffing will almost certainly choke your cat if he tries to eat it.
#9 – Hair Ties/Elastic
Hair ties share the same properties as rubber bands – cats love them but they’re very dangerous. It might be funny to watch a cat flip a hair tie around, but the risk for choking simply isn’t worth it.