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Why Do Cats Like Hair Ties? 10 Vet-Approved Reasons

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on April 18, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

scrunchies hair ties ponytails

Why Do Cats Like Hair Ties? 10 Vet-Approved Reasons


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM) Photo


Dr. Lauren Demos (DVM)


The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Have you ever wondered why cats seem to be so fascinated with your hair ties? It seems like they can’t resist the urge to play with them, chew on them, and even try to catch them! There are actually many interesting reasons behind a cat’s love for hair ties. In this article, we explore why felines are so drawn to them. We also explore the dangers of letting your cat play with hair ties. Let’s get started!

The 10 Reasons Why Cats Like Hair Ties

1. Texture

Hair ties provide cats with a unique texture that they can’t find anywhere else. The fabric and plastic components of a hair tie make it an interesting and stimulating toy for cats. They love to bite down on them and feel the different materials in their mouth.

2. Movement

Hair ties are also a great toy for cats because they move around when they play with them. This movement can stimulate their natural hunting instinct, which makes playing with hair ties even more appealing to cats.

3. Noise

Believe it or not, some cats actually enjoy the sound of hair ties being played with! After all, there is something satisfying about hearing that crinkly noise as they bat it around with their paws or bite down on it.

Black and grey hair ties
Image Credit: KatrineAanensen, Shutterstock

4. Smell

Cats have an amazing sense of smell, so it is no surprise that they would be drawn to the scent of a hair tie! Whether it is the smell of the fabric or the smell of your shampoo that they’re drawn to, the scent of a hair tie is something that cats find intriguing.

5. Fun

Cats simply enjoy playing with hair ties because they’re having fun! Hair ties are interesting and stimulating toys for cats, so it makes sense that they would be drawn to them. Plus, it’s always fun to watch your kitty bat at anything around!

6. Curiosity

Cats are naturally curious creatures, and hair ties offer them a chance to explore something new! The different textures and materials used to make a hair tie can be intriguing for cats, especially if they don’t know what it is. Playing with and batting things around are ways for cats to explore new things.

7. Comfort

Hair ties provide cats with some comfort when they play with them. This is because the fabric of a hair tie provides cats with a soft surface that they can nibble on while playing. It may feel good just for them to chew on, especially kittens that may be teething.

hair ties_Piqsels
Image Credit by: Piqsels

8. Stimulation

Playing with a hair tie is also an excellent way for cats to get some mental stimulation in their lives. After all, chasing around a hair tie requires concentration and focus, which can help keep cats mentally stimulated.

9. Variety

Cats love variety and hair ties offer them just that! With different colors, shapes, and textures to choose from, cats never get bored of playing with hair ties.

10. Affection

Last but not least, some cats may be drawn to hair ties because they associate them with their owners. After all, humans are often seen wearing or using hair ties or they have your scent on them, so cats may see playing with one as a way to show affection for their owners!

sleepy cat laying on the lap of owner
Image Credit: Alena Ozerova, Shutterstock

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Are Hair Ties Safe for Cats to Play With?

Generally speaking, it is not recommended that cats play with hair ties, as there is a potential danger if they swallow them. If you do choose to provide your cat with hair ties to play with, you’ll need to monitor their behavior and keep the hair ties out of their reach when you’re not around. If you are worried about your cat playing with hair ties, there are plenty of other toys available for them to play with instead.

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Dangers of Cats Swallowing Hair Ties

Although cats find hair ties intriguing and fun to play with, there is a potential danger if they swallow them. Hair ties can become lodged in the stomach or intestines of a cat, which can cause serious medical complications that require surgery to remove. If a cat swallows a hair tie and it is not treated, it can even be fatal if the hair tie becomes lodged somewhere inside of them. Therefore, it is important to keep your hair ties out of reach from cats or to use holders to keep your hair ties in so cats can’t get to them.

When to See Your Vet

If your cat has ingested a hair tie, it is important to contact your vet immediately. Signs of a hair tie obstruction include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and abdominal pain. Your vet will be able to diagnose the problem and advise you on the best course of treatment for your kitty.

Safer Alternatives to Hair Ties for Your Cat to Play With

If you are worried about your cat playing with hair ties, there are plenty of other toys available for them to play with instead. Catnip toys, crinkle balls, and even paper bags can provide cats with similar textures and movement as hair ties without the potential risk of harm or ingestion.

Tortoiseshell Cat playing on the cat tree
Image Credit: socreative media, Shutterstock

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FAQ About Cats Playing With Hair Ties

Can Cats Become Addicted to Playing With Hair Ties?

No, cats do not become addicted to playing with hair ties. However, they may enjoy them more than other toys due to all the interesting textures and movement that a hair tie provides.

Is There a Way to Keep My Cat Away From Hair Ties?

Yes, there are special holders available that are designed to keep cats away from hair ties. These can be placed on the wall or other surfaces and will help keep your cat safe from any potential dangers. Just make sure you put the hair ties in the holder when you remove them from your hair.

What Should I Do If My Cat Seems Interested in Playing With Hair Ties?

If your cat is showing an interest in playing with hair ties, it is important to provide them with safer alternatives to distract them, and then make sure you put the hair ties out of your cat’s reach. By providing a safe and stimulating environment for your cat, hopefully, they can avoid swallowing any hair ties.

Cat playing with human
Image Credit: Florian Höllmüller, Pixabay

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Playing with hair ties can be dangerous for cats, as it can easily lead to them swallowing the tie and potentially causing serious medical complications. Therefore, it is important to keep your cat away from hair ties and provide them with safer alternatives to play with. Catnip toys, crinkle balls, and paper bags are all excellent options that cats enjoy just as much as a hair tie. By following these safety tips, you can help ensure that your cat is safe from any potential dangers associated with playing with hair ties.

Featured Image Credit: PublicDomainPictures, Pixabay

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