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Why Do Cats Like Straws? 6 Likely Reasons

Written by: Jordyn Alger

Last Updated on June 24, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

cat playing with straws in glass

Why Do Cats Like Straws? 6 Likely Reasons

Most cat owners can attest that cats do strange things. Whether your cat sleeps in the sink or finds a way to get stuck in the window blinds, there’s rarely a dull moment with them around. Another common cat quirk is the ability to become obsessed with particular objects.

Many cat owners have noticed that their feline friends are intrigued by plastic straws. If you are curious why your cat may have developed such a strange interest, this article will review six reasons straws may entice your cat. Likewise, we will look at how you can protect your cat from plastic in the future.

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Top 6 Reasons Why Cats Like Straws

1.  Straws Are Entertaining

Your cat may be so obsessed with straws simply because they are entertaining. Cats are notoriously curious, which can lead to discovering how entertaining straws can be. If your cat is searching for entertainment, there is a chance that they’re feeling under-stimulated.

Some signs that your cat may be suffering from boredom include excessive grooming, over-eating, or fighting with other animals. You may also notice your cat moping around the house or appearing depressed. If you can provide your cat with more entertainment, you can help alleviate their boredom.

Cat Straws
Image Credit by: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

2. The Texture Is Interesting

Another reason your cat may be eager to play with straws is because they think the texture is intriguing. Straws are smooth yet crinkly, making them appealing for cats to chew. The cylindrical shape is fun for cats to bat around, and the hollowness of the straw makes it easy for your cat to carry around.

Straws can also make fun sounds if your cat carries or drags them on the floor. Since straws can provide unique sensory experiences, your cat may be obsessed with them.

3. Straws Remind Your Cat of Prey

If your cat spots a straw blowing in the breeze from a fan or a window, the unusual movement of the straw may appear like prey. In that case, your cat will be eager to pounce on any straw they see, especially if it keeps engaging their prey drive. To prevent the straws from triggering your cat’s prey drive, you can keep them in a secure location.

cat hunting mouse outdoor
Image Credit by: Stefan_Sutka, Shutterstock

4. Plastic Can Carry Lingering Scents and Tastes

If the straws in your home are plastic, there is a good chance that they have absorbed the scent of a drink they have been in. This may be difficult or impossible for humans to sense, but picking up the traces of your drink on the straw is easy for your cat.

5. Your Cat May Have Dental Issues

Cats suffering from dental issues may chew on objects as a result. If your cat is suffering from dental problems, here are the signs to look for:

  • Excessive salivation
  • Bloody drool
  • Foul breath
  • Discolored tartar on teeth
  • Constant pawing around the mouth or face
  • Frequently shaking head
  • Dropping food from the mouth (excessively messy eating)
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of teeth

If you notice these signs, take your cat to the vet immediately. Dental issues can progress rapidly into worse complications, so the sooner you treat them, the better.

Veterinarian checks teeth to a big maine coon cat at vet clinic
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

6. Your Cat Has Strange Cravings

Have you noticed your cat chewing on other strange things? Do they munch on plastic bags, hair ties, or other objects they shouldn’t? If you’re constantly taking objects out of your cat’s mouth, there is a chance that your cat is dealing with pica.

Pica is the urge to eat non-food items. It’s more common in cats who were weaned too early. Most cats will start by nursing on wool or other fabrics and progress to eating stranger items. If you notice this behavior in your cat, talk to your vet. Eating non-food items is dangerous for your cat.

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Why Straws and Other Plastic Items Are Not Safe for Your Cat

Although it may be funny and endearing when cats play with things that they shouldn’t (like straws), it can be dangerous if they chew on them. If your cat swallows a foreign object, it can obstruct the airway, cutting off their breathing. It can also block the intestines, which can quickly become a surgical emergency.

Abyssinian cat at the reception at the vet, veterinarian in background selective focus
Image Credit: Nataly Mayak, Shutterstock

How to Protect Your Cat from Plastic

Since plastic can be so dangerous for your cat, keeping straws and other plastic items away from your cat’s curious paws is essential. The easiest way is to remove the straws from your cat’s reach.

If the object of your cat’s obsession cannot be easily removed, try distracting your cat with more desirable and entertaining options. Toys, treats, and interactive mazes are great ways to keep your cat mentally stimulated and away from plastic items.

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Cats’ love for straws may be hard to understand, but it isn’t difficult to see that chewing or eating them is dangerous. If your cat swallows a straw or other plastic item, it could become stuck, leading to severe health consequences. For your cat’s safety and well-being, it is best to keep the straws away and stick to feline-approved toys instead.

Featured Image Credit By: LittlePigPower, Shutterstock

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