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Cat Ate Feather Toy (Worried? Dangerous? What Now?)

If your cat has consumed a feather cat toy you may be concerned and wondering if this a big issue or not.

Why did your cat eat a feather toy?

Your cat may have eaten a feather toy because it was either paying and mistakenly ate it, has a condition called Pica, where random objects are consumed, or it is a younger cat that may have mistaken it as prey.

Alternatives For Feather Cat Toys

Description Image My Rating
01. Interactive cat toy (My Best)
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
BENTOPAL Pop and Play Interactive Cat Toys for Indoor Cats, Automatic Cat Toy Moving Mouse Catch Toy (Pop N Play) 5 stars
02. Laser cat toy
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
Cat Toy Pointer for Indoor, Cat Mouse Toys Wand Light Pet Interactive Toys to Keep Cat Busy, for Kitten Cat Dog Chase Play
03. Cat Toy Ball
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
4 stars

So, now you know why your cat may have consumed a feather cat toy. But, are these toys dangerous for them? How can you tell if your cat has a blockage? Is this behavior regarded as Pica? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more.

Are feather toys safe for cats?

Feather cat toys can be safe if your cat is supervised. But, it is better to use other toys (more on this later). Real feathers are consumed by some cats when they hunt birds, but feather cat toys may have dangerous dyes or attached objects that can cause blockages.

If you have wondered if a cat toy is a safer choice for your cat you may have hesitated, or purchased it while fretting the worst. You have now learned the problems with feathered cat toys, and keep reading to learn some other alternatives you can consider.

What can happen if your cat eats a feather toy?

If your cat ingests a feather toy it may be OK, but it could also cause a blockage. Especially if it is a toy that has other awkward objects attached to it. Therefore, it is better to avoid it if possible.

If you have been worried about your cat consuming a feather cat toy you may have wondered what could possibly happen, right? Now you know what can happen and what to look out for.

Rough edges can cut

If your cat eats a feather toy there could be rough edges that could easily cut your cat. These cuts can be inside, or externally. Either way, it’s a problem.

Also, the artificial feathers that are made from plastic can be chewed up and easily swallowed. This can cause serious digestion issues or even cause blockages depending on the size.

What are safer alternatives to feather cat toys?

If you are concerned about these feather cat toys you. maybe wondering what other alternatives there are. In this section, I will share with you some alternatives that you can consider:

01. Interactive cat toy

BENTOPAL Pop and Play Interactive Cat Toys for Indoor Cats, Automatic Cat Toy Moving Mouse Catch Toy (Pop N Play)

Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad

These interactive toys offer a unique alternative to a feather cat toy. The best thing is they keep your cat amused and entertained which can give you a needed moment’s break.

02. Laser Cat Toys

Cat Toy Pointer for Indoor, Cat Mouse Toys Wand Light Pet Interactive Toys to Keep Cat Busy, for Kitten Cat Dog Chase Play

Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad

These laser cat toys are great fun they keep your cat entertained and have the benefit of being small and compact. No large equipment to supply, just a handy laser that can be packed away quite easily.

03. Cat Toy Ball

Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad

Another great alternative is a cat ball. These toys are great fun for your cat, avoids cat feathers, and will keep them active as they chase around these interactive balls.

How can I tell if my cat has a blockage?

To tell if your cat has a blockage you need to look out for some known symptoms. Such as lost appetite, low energy, swollen belly, low body temperature, etc. If in doubt it’s best to consult your vet rather than guessing.

If your cat has been acting noticeably different, such as vomiting, meowing more than normal, etc. And you have seen it consume an object, such as a cat toy, you may be scared or wondering if it has a blockage. Hopefully, this section has given you some insight into symptoms to look out for.

Is this feather toy eating regarded as Pica?

If your cat is eating its toys it could be regarded as Pica. However, if it destroying objects like feather cat toys without actually eating it, it may just be your cat play hunting.

You may have heard people talk about Pica before and wondered if it is related to the behavior you have experienced with your cat eating the feather toy. So, now you should have a better idea of how this may, or may not, relate to Pica.

What is Pica?

Pica is when your cat regularly eats non-food items (what about balloon strings? Click here). This could be, for example, pieces of paper, fabric, sneaker laces, etc. If you have not seen or heard of this before it may sound unbelievable. But, it is a very real and worrying problem for cat owners.

This condition is dangerous because it can lead to blockages, choking, stomach upsets, etc. So, now you know why some cat owners talk about this and maybe are genuinely concerned about it.

How can you stop Pica?

To stop Pica you need to provide some alternatives for your cat. It may be acting this way due to the lack of toys or entertainment in your home. So providing alternative cat toys (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), allowing it some time outside, some catnip, etc.

If you have been concerned about Pica you may have been looking for ways to counter it. And, you should now feel more confident about what you can do to help to solve this issue.

Could a cat pass a feather naturally?

A cat can pass a feather naturally due to its flexibility. But, with cat toys, they may not be exactly the same as a real one. Meaning they could be coated with a material that could make it stiff, or awkward to pass.

If in doubt it’s best to check with your vet to see what they feel is the best way forward and take their advice. But, at least you now know it can be possible, and you may get lucky.

What signs should you look out for if you are worried?

If you are hoping that your cat passes the feather toy naturally, this is not always the best cause of action and there are some signs to look out for. Such as your cat is straining, loss of energy, no stool at the usual interval, coughing, etc.

These signs are not good and could indicate that your cat is having problems passing the toy and will need some assistance from your vet. If there is any doubt it’s worth contacting them as soon as possible.

How can you help to make your cat pass the feather toy?

If you are hoping your cat will pass the feather toy, but you haven’t seen a stool. If your cat is still eating you could try some foods to move it along faster. Such as you can try some canned pumpkin to see if this helps.

This is not always guaranteed to work. But, it is a natural, plant-based food you can try. Often cat owners get anxious when they do not see their cat pass the object fast. At least you have another method you can try to speed this up.

Can cats eat feathers?

No. Cats should not eat feathers. The problem is, if too much is eaten it can cause similar issues to hairballs. This is where the undigested hair, or feathers, in this case, build up into a ball.

Also, especially cat feather toys can have artificial colors that may contain chemicals that can be hazardous when consumed.

There is an argument that cats will eat the feathers of a bird indirectly when they hunt. And, yes, this is true. However, their aim is the meat under the feathers, not the feathers themselves.

And, in this scenario, they may accidentally consume a few, but many feathers is a problem.

Why do cats like licking on feathers?

Cats that lick feathers are believed to enjoy this because of their hunting instinct. Their wild ancestors would often hunt birds for their meat, but bite and lick the feathers as part of the hunt.

Licking the feathers is not believed to be a big issue. It’s not ideal for cat feather toys though. This is because these toys may have chemicals on their surface to preserve or color them.

Is it OK for my cat to chew on feathers?

No. It is not OK for cats to chew on feathers. This is because they are not able to digest them. The big issue is the center or spine of the feather. It consists of a protein called beta-keratin.

You may have heard of these proteins before. It is used in the bird’s beak, or even claws of reptiles, etc. This is not digestible.

It’s similar to us humans. We may like to eat chicken, but chicken feathers should not be eaten. Instead, these feathers should be removed before they are consumed.

Can cats get sick when playing with feathers?

If the cat swallows the feather awkwardly it’s possible it could get sick from the feather. But, there are other indirect causes of sickness such as salmonella from birds that are carrying diseases.

For example, there is a term known as songbird fever, that can be passed on to cats from hunting the wrong bird. It may be unlikely for a domestic cat, but it’s a factor to consider, nevertheless. 

Can cats play with peacock feathers?

Many cats have been known to play with peacock feathers and, if they are not consumed, they are believed to be fine for cats.

If you have ever seen a cat with these feathers then you will know that they are usually big fans of them and will throw them around and have great fun.

How can I prevent my cat from eating feather toys?

To prevent your cat from eating feather toys you will either have to offer an alternative or supervise your cat as it uses the toy.

Alternatives can include only buying toys that are designed specifically for cats. These ones are great because they have usually been tested and safe for cats.

If you go down the supervisory route then you need to have sessions with your cat and let it play as you watch it rather than letting it run around with it unsupervised.

Should I throw my feather toys away?

It is not necessary to throw these feather toys away. You can keep them. But, you will need to be prepared to supervise your cat when they play with them. 

Also, if you buy one in the future, you need to look into ones that don’t have chemical-based dyes.

Can some cat toys cause allergic reactions?

Yes. There are some cat toys that can cause allergic reactions. These are worse if the toy is swallowed. In some cases, it can cause quite a severe reaction.

This is why it is best if you can spend the time and supervise your cat when they are playing, especially if they are known to have allergies.

What should I do if my cat has a feather stuck in its throat?

If you notice that your cat has a feather stuck in its throat then you need to get it to a vet as soon as possible. This is a situation that needs fast action.

The problem is, depending on the blockage, it could be fatal. So, it needs to be treated with urgency. 

Should I be concerned if my cat threw up a feather?

If your cat has thrown up a feather then it is better that it is out than stuck inside. If it’s stuck you have no idea if it’s blocked. When it’s out you have a good chance that the emergency is over.

However, that is assuming it is all out. You will need to check where this came from and work out if there is anymore stuck inside of it before you completely relax.

Lindsey Browlingdon