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Why Do Cats Like Q Tips? 3 Reasons & Safety Tips

Wooden cotton swabs and the paw of a gray cat on bright yellow background
Image Credit: Iryna Rudaieva, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Jana Blagojevic

If you have ever noticed your cat chasing after strange objects and trying to chew on them, you must understand how fun it is for cats to play around with Q tips. In your cat’s mind, Q tips are strangely shaped flexible sticks with furry endings that feel great to throw around and chase after. If your cat adores playing with them, allowing it as long as you closely monitor your cat is alright.

Below you’ll find several interesting reasons cats adore playing with Q tips.

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The 3 Reasons Why Cats Love Q Tips

1. They Are Fun to Play With

Q tips may be just regular items we use and never pay attention to, but they are incredibly fun to our cats. The main reason your cat will go crazy for Q tips is their playful nature that seeks potential entertainment in any object. Cats are incredibly curious beings who adore exploring strange and unknown things. You probably notice your cats don’t particularly enjoy eating Q-tips as much as they enjoy chewing them and throwing them around.

2. Cats Love to Chew Soft and Flexible Things

Since Q tips have such a strange texture—they are firm yet easy to bend—chewing them can be extremely fun and pleasant for cats. Cats generally adore chewing on soft and fuzzy items because they most likely remind them of their prey. This is especially true with domesticated cats that eat unnatural food such as kibble. Chewing is a form of cats’ natural instinct that allows them to express their carnivorous origins.

Kitten sniffs cotton buds on a wooden table close up
Image Credit: Vera Aksionava, Shutterstock

3. It’s Fun to Roll Them Around Due to Their Light Weight

Another fun property of Q tips is their light weight, which makes it easy for cats to throw them around. They also have an irregular shape, which makes it fun to chase around when they tumble across the ground. This plain and boring item can bring more joy than the cat’s intended toys. It will fly when thrown into the air, and your cat can effortlessly grab the cotton with its teeth or claws.

3 cat face dividerHow To Keep Your Cat Safe While Playing with Q Tips

While it is adorable to watch your kitten play with foreign objects and observe them with curiosity, knowing which behavior is safe for your cat and which is not is crucial. While playing with Q tips is entertaining, it does have its downsides, especially if your cat tries to eat a Q tip. Read on below to learn how to keep your cat safe while playing with Q tips or other strange items.

1. Keep Q Tips in a Sealed Container

The first and most important rule is always to keep your Q tips in a sealed container where your cat can never reach them. This way, your cat will be safe from acquiring the Q tips while you’re away and having an accident. Your cat can accidentally swallow a piece of the Q tip or inhale the cotton, which can be dangerous, and since cats always search for new mental stimulation when left alone, it would be best to secure the Q tips in an area they can’t reach.

cat reaching out
Image Credit: Pixabay

2. Always Dispose of Q Tips Right After Using Them

Once you are done using the Q tip, it is crucial to dispose of it immediately. This way, you’ll ensure not to forget the Q tip on a table, where your cat can easily reach it. While you will quickly notice the Q tip missing, sometimes you won’t be there when the cat grabs it from the table, and you won’t be able to prevent your cat from eating the Q tip.

3. Keep the Trash Can Behind a Closed Door or Cabinet

Since we all know cats and dogs absolutely adore exploring the house for new places and things to play with, the trash can be the main target when left alone. They know that trash is forbidden, but they can’t help sensing the exciting smells of that place. This is why keeping the trash can behind closed doors is always recommended. You can place it in a pantry or a cabinet, where it will be accessible only to you. You don’t want your cat finding a dozen used Q tips thrown in the trash bag and deciding to play with them.

4. Monitor Your Cat’s Playtime

Since Q tips are such fun entertainment for cats, you can let them play while you are nearby to monitor your cat closely. They will usually only throw them in the air, chew on them, and roll them on the ground, but when they begin eating them, you will want to be around to react in time.

nebelung cat playing on the floor
Image Credit: Milada Vigerova, Pixabay

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Once you learn these few exciting reasons why cats love playing with Q tips, you’ll better be able to understand your cat’s strange behavior. Cats love playing with weird objects, so if you catch it playing with Q tips, don’t be alarmed; it most likely only enjoys its unique shape and texture. Take all safety measures to ensure your cat has a safe playtime.

Featured Image Credit: Iryna Rudaieva, Shutterstock

About the Author

Jana Blagojevic
Jana Blagojevic
Upon completing my degree from the College of Fine Arts, I embarked on a quest to find a platform to manifest my wild imagination. It was then that I discovered my passion for content writing, which swept me off my feet. As a freelance writer, I am always on the move, with an adventurous and restless spirit that propels me forward. When I am not typing away in my cozy writing nook, I spend my time honing my skills as a sculptor, painter, and woodworker in my workshop. Writing has become my primary medium of expression, and I plan to nurture this passion further, using it as a conduit for my never-ending creativity.

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