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These 5 Common Household Objects Fascinate My Cats

We humans might be mesmerized by, say, a mystery novel, but cats choose tea bags and chopsticks.

Angie Bailey  |  Mar 27th 2017


Cats are entertained by the darndest things. We buy them all these fancy — sometimes pricey — toys, and all they really want is the packaging or bag in which those items arrived. It’s like they’re trying to be contrary (no — not cats!) … or else we’re trying way too hard to engage them in play. Probably a bit of both, I’m thinking.

Here are five everyday objects that endlessly delight my Cosmo and Phoebe. Maybe you can relate to one or three.

1. Tea bag

"I'm sensing an Earl Grey or English Breakfast Tea bag happening here."

“I’m sensing an Earl Grey or English Breakfast tea bag happening here.”

I don’t leave hot cups of tea sitting around unattended because I know my cats find the little tag wildly captivating. I totally get it. It’s on the end of a string and it moves with the slightest shift in air. It’s kind of like a mini wand-toy, right? It’s always an interesting experiment trying to drink a cup of tea with one of my cats in my lap. It’s an America’s Funniest Home Videos clip waiting to happen, and I’m in the hot seat.

2. Chopsticks

phoebe-chopstick

When Phoebe finds something she likes, she “sticks” to it. Also, I know I need to vacuum. Shhh.

Phoebe likes to play “chopsticks,” and I’m not talking about the piano piece. She absolutely goes nuts when she sees them a table or kitchen counter. She’ll swat one of them onto the floor and then bat it around until I rescue the poor, chewed-up stick of wood. She’d be the absolute worst employee at an Asian restaurant.

“What happened to all the chopsticks? And where’s that flaky server with the white mittens?”

Fired!

3. Computer mouse

Cosmo practices the "sneak up nonchalantly" move on the computer mouse.

Cosmo practices the “sneak up nonchalantly” move on the computer mouse.

Maybe Cosmo is confused about the difference between a computer mouse and a real mouse. Whatever the case, he likes to paw at the bright red (computer) mouse that I use along with my laptop. He’s exponentially more fascinated while my hand is moving it, but he still shows reasonable interest while it’s resting in a sedentary state. He has always been a little lazy, so maybe this is his way of feeling good about himself for “catching mice.” Go for it, Cosmo. Happy to provide the self-esteem booster, buddy.

4. Tissue box

cosmo-tissues

Cosmo — or Sir Mix-a-Lot — combines our scents on the tissue box.

You know how cats love to rub their faces across objects? Science tells us it’s because they have glands located around their mouths, chins, sides of the face, neck and ears. When they rub, they leave their unique scent behind. Well, for whatever reason, Cosmo is determined to leave his scent on every single box of tissue in my home. Perhaps he sees me blow my nose on the tissues and assumes that’s how I leave my scent on them? Since I’m his favorite person ever, he might want to combine his scent with mine? That’s my conclusion, and I’m sure science agrees with me.

5. Socks

phoebe-sock

Phoebe wishes she could grow a pair.

Dogs are widely known for their love of smelly objects. I’ve known pooches who have gone out of their way on wild treasure hunts in the garbage for dirty diapers. Gross, right? I won’t even go into the “snacks” they retrieve from litter boxes. Well, cats aren’t completely innocent when it comes to luxuriating in the scent of something most humans would typically find undesirable.

Phoebe likes socks. She doesn’t always go out of her way to find them, but if they’re readily available, she’s all over the things … especially if they’ve been worn. I could be wrong, but I don’t think I’ve ever been called “stinky feet girl” — well, at least not to my face. I change my socks daily, shower regularly, and can assure you I don’t participate in any hard labor of strenuous athletic activities. I can only assume she enjoys the scent of my feet, and I’m totally OK with that.

What common household items fascinate your cats? Tell us about your experiences in the comments!