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Rope from hardware store safe for kitty?

October 17th, 2010, 09:35 PM
Hi all.

This may just be me being overly anxious, but you're all such a kind and helpful bunch, I wonder if you might let me know if I have reason for concern.

My guy, General, tends to saw at string with his teeth, and I often worry he'll end up eating the string. I had wondered for some time if a length soft rope might be a better alternative.

Anyway, I happened to be given a length of this exact soft rope I'd been considering during a little knot-tying lesson today, and brought it home to see if General might like to play. He was all over it, jumping and chasing and pouncing and chomping.

Then he got a look like something was a little off. I thought that he might be getting ready to toss his cookies and figured it was maybe a little too much action right after dinner.

But then I had an awful thought -- do these ropes have chemicals on them? Could these ropes be poisonous for kitties? I mean, it's not a food-grade product. No one expects you (or any critter) to put them in their mouths, right?

Does anyone know? Does anyone have experience using rope like this to play with their kitties?

Sigh... I'm hoping it's just my over-active anxiety again. Any thoughts? :confused:



October 18th, 2010, 12:45 PM
Don't know if rope is treated with chemicals or not. Just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't let him play with it, nor would I encourage him to be playing or eating of any threads, string, etc. All these can be swallowed and may cause an intestinal blockage which could result in expensive $$$ vet bill. Have heard of a cat that ingested dental floss with dire consequences. Not worth the chance, imo.

October 18th, 2010, 01:33 PM
Product that are not meant to be eaten or handled by children may be (and likely are) treated with chemicals. I wouldn't let him play with it.

October 18th, 2010, 07:57 PM
I would not let him play with it. I do not ever leave string or rope of any kind out for my cat due to

-It's a choking hazard in the way that they can either get it stuck in their mouth and choke, or get it tangled around their neck.

-If the rope is swallowed or strands of the rope fibers are swallowed, you are looking at a costly surgery.

I've pulled my fair share of rope and ribbons out of animals butts. It is not pleasant.

The only type of "string" I let my kitties play with are pet-safe ones that come on cat toys.. they are soft and don't fray so they don't pose a choking hazard. I have never had any issues with those types of rope.

October 19th, 2010, 09:05 AM
Have you tried looking for some sisal rope made for pet toy making? It is chemical free and pretty tough. That is what a lot of cat condos' scratching posts are covered with. Try looking for untreated sisal at pet stores or on line. Sometimes you can get untreated at Home Depot as well. Just read the label very closely. You can then make General his own unique toys and keep an eye on them. Once they start fraying throw them away and make new ones.