Why Do Cats Like String?

Why do cats like string

They get excited when they see it and get in position ready to pounce.

Some cats even click their mouths in frustration if they cannot reach this enticing dangling strand.

Welcome to the world of weird feline behavior as we explore the puzzle, “Why do cats love string?”


Cats love to play and a string is the closest they can get to a toy. String resembles the tail of prey like mice, snakes, or gerbils. The movement of string activates a cat’s predatory instinct to pounce and subdue the dangling object.


If you are wondering why your cat is ever chasing the elusive string, you are not alone.

Cats have an array of bizarre habits and rolling in strands of string is one of them.

Read on to discover why cats love to chase and chew on a string.


Why do cats love string?

kitten with string in mouth

Though cats are domesticated, they still have that hunting instinct in them.

When they lived in the wild, they hunted long-tailed prey like rats and snakes.

This instinct to hunt is deeply engraved in them even when they cuddle next to you at home.


So, when a cat sees that dangling string, they just cannot help themselves.

Their hunting instincts activate and they will pounce at that strand in seconds.

But is it good for cats to chase after and eat string?


Is it good for cats to love string?

cat playing with string

Chasing after a string activates your cat’s hunting skills.

This gets them some good exercise which is good for their health.

And let’s be honest, watching a cat get tangled up in string is the funniest thing ever.



Just watching my cats can make me happy

-Paula Cole



Dangle a string at your catch and watch how goofy they get.

Your feline will give you endless hours of fun chasing after a string and rolling on the ground with it.

And it is a good exercise for them.


Staying indoors can make a cat’s life sedentary.

Not getting enough exercise will cause a cat to gain so much unnecessary weight.

And excess weight always tags along a string of diseases.


Playing with a string is a great alternative to chasing after the tail.

Kittens have a habit of hunting their tails and biting it.

Rather than gore at their tails, chewing a string while playing is safer.

VIDEO: Kitten Tangled Up In String

If you are still wondering “Why do cats love string?”, it’s because strings are an easy target for them.

Cats are attracted to tiny moving or flashy things that become their target.

A beam of light hitting the ceiling or a bird perched on the other side of the window is a hard target.

But a dangling string that stays in place ready to be pounced on is comforting to a cat.


Did you know that playing with a string helps your cat relieve stress?

Yes, playing with a string stimulates a cat’s brain too which can help them cope with anxiety and boredom.



Cats are connoisseurs of comfort

-James Herriot



Should you let your cat play with string?

cat tangled up with string

It is okay for your cat to love playing with a string.

But you have to watch the furry fellow as they play for safety reasons.


Cats will always be drawn to dangling strands.

While it is fun to watch them bind themselves in a string-induced Peruvian neck-tie, strings can be dangerous to a cat in so many ways.

Strings can wrap around a cat’s neck and choke him.

The more he struggles to free himself the tighter the string gets which endangers his life.


Choking may also happen if your cat accidentally swallows the string he is playing with.



Learn More:

Why Do Cats Knead and Bite Blankets?



Your cat can also tie them self-up to a pillar or piece of furniture.

The struggle to break free may cause nasty string burns all over his fur.

Kittens are in more danger of hurting themselves with strings than big cats.


Besides strings, other strand-like objects around the home that are a hazard to your cat include;

  • Fraying ropes
  • Fishing lines
  • Hanging strands off drapes or curtains
  • Electric cords
  • Cords attached to toys
  • Loosened strings from yarn
  • Rubber bands
  • Lose strings from carpets or rugs
  • Strings used to tie trash bags

Cats can easily get tangled in all these items and not be able to free themselves.

As a loving pet parent, you have to make sure your cat is safe whenever they are playing.


Cat swallowed a string, what can you do?

The last thing you want is finding your cat choking on a swallowed string.

But sadly, this can happen and you must know what to do when it does.



❗ Warning

Never pull a string stuck in your cat’s mouth. It can cause more harm to your cat.



If your cat is choking on a piece of string, you should never attempt to pull it out.

The string may be wrapped around an internal organ and pulling it will only cause more problems.

Rush your cat to a vet immediately to have them checked.


An X-ray will reveal whether the string is wrapped around any sensitive organ.

In such cases, surgery is necessary to remove the string.

If the string is wrapped around the tongue or teeth, then surgery will not be necessary.



Learn More:

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A tiny pair of scissors can cut the string and free it from your cat’s mouth.

But your cat may need sedatives to keep him calm during the process.

This should be done in a vet’s clinic.



Cats love string because they cannot help it.

It reminds them of prey and activates their hunting instincts.

But never let your cat play with a piece of string unsupervised because it can choke him.


See Also

Frequently Asked Questions

Your cat will be pawing at her mouth trying to get the string off. She may also cough and choke while they try to get the string out. An X-ray scan can reveal if your cat swallowed string and if it damaged her internal organs.

Though cats cannot pass up the urge to play with a string, there are safer options for them out there. Toys like wool felt ball, pet laser pointer, or a string cat toy are safer alternatives.

Cats may play with hair ties because it resembles the tail of prey. But if your cat chews on hair ties and other inanimate objects, it could be a symptom of a disease. Pica can cause your cat to chew on inanimate objects a lot.

Nothing gives pleasure to a cat than playing with a ball of yarn. But loose strands of yarn can tangle around your cat and choke him. Watch over your cat as they play with the yarn.


A pet owner who loves to share useful facts and information about a variety of animals.