Catster logo

Why Do Cats Like Straws? 6 Likely Reasons

cat playing with straws in glass
Image Credit: LittlePigPower, Shutterstock
Last Updated on November 16, 2023 by Jordyn Alger

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 him around.

Another common cat quirk is the ability to become obsessed with certain objects. Many cat owners have noticed that their feline friends are intrigued by plastic straws. If you are curious to know why your cat may have developed such a strange interest, this article will go over six interesting reasons that straws may entice your cat. Likewise, we will look at how you can protect your cat from plastic in the future.

3 cat face divider

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, and this curiosity can lead to the discovery of just how entertaining straws can be.

If your cat is searching for ways to entertain himself, there is a chance that he is feeling under-stimulated in his environment. 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 ways to entertain himself, you can help alleviate his boredom.

Cat Straws
Image Credit: Svetlana Rey, Shutterstock

2. The Texture Is Interesting

Another reason your cat may be eager to play with straws is that he finds the texture 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 them or drags them around. Since straws can offer your cat many unique sensory experiences, your cat may be obsessed with them.

3. Straws Remind Your Cat of Prey

If your cat has spotted a straw blowing in the breeze of a fan or a window, the unusual movement of the straw may appear like prey to him. In this case, your cat will be eager to pounce on any straw he sees, especially if they keep engaging his prey drive. To prevent straws from triggering your cat’s instinct, you can keep any straws in a secure location.

cat hunting mouse outdoor
Image Credit: 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 the straw has absorbed the scent or taste of any drink it has 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. If you drink something through the straw that your cat finds enticing or curious, he may be eager to check out the straw because of that.

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 any 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 of the maine coon cat
Image Credit: Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

6. Your Cat Has Strange Cravings

Have you noticed your cat chewing on other strange things? Does he try to munch on plastic bags, hair ties, or other things that he 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 is relatively common in cats, especially those weaned too early. Most cats will start by nursing on wool; then, they may progress to eating stranger items. If you notice this behavior in your cat, talk to your vet to try and rectify it. Eating non-food items is dangerous for your cat.

cat + line divider

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 his breathing. It can also block the intestines, which can quickly become a surgical emergency.

abyssinian cat teeth check by vet
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 to do this 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.

3 cat face divider


The love that cats have 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 in his system and lead to severe health consequences. For your cat’s safety and well-being, it is best to keep the straws away from him and stick to feline-approved toys instead.

Featured Image Credit: LittlePigPower, Shutterstock

About the Author

Jordyn Alger
Jordyn Alger
Cats are Jordyn’s passion. Whenever she has the opportunity she loves to learn about animals and share her knowledge with everyone. She is devoted to her sassy tabby cat named Jack and works hard to buy him his favorite treats and toys. Discovering new ways to better care for her cat is always on her to-do list, and she is eager to help pet parents everywhere. In Jordyn's spare time, she loves to write, read, and take long walks. She has a creative spirit, which often helps her to come up with funny cat names.

Get Catster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.


Follow Us

Shopping Cart