A kitten playing with some rope

7 Popular cat products that vets do not recommend

1. Laser pointers

A kitten chasing a laser light on the floor

If you tried them, you probably discovered that these will get a great response from your cat. If you own an especially active breed like an Abyssinian, laser pointers are super effective for wearing them out.

But experts think that these toys cause a lot of frustration. Their reasoning is that cats chasing a laser dot are hardly ever able to successfully catch up. Think about it: how would you feel about a game that you’re constantly losing?

If you must use a laser pointer, vets recommend letting your cat win occasionally.

2. Strings & balls of yarn

We have all seen that super cute poster of a little kitty playing with a piece of string. But did you know vets actually discourage people from letting their pets play with balls of yarn?

Loose wires can stick to the tongue and lead to major problems should they accidentally be swallowed. String-like materials can also cause strangulation.

Any string-like or small sharp material can easily be swallowed, causing life-threatening damage to the intestines. String-like materials can also accidentally cause strangulation.


3. Beef jerky treats

Jerky meat is a type of meat that is dried and trimmed into small strips. It is very popular in the USA and in certain other parts of the world. The problem with jerky is that only certain brands take measures to prevent bacterial growth, for example by adding salt to cure the meat in hot temperatures. Unprocessed jerky, however, comes with tons of bacteria on it. Including the harmful ones!

By giving unprocessed jerky to your cat, she’s at risk for developing intestinal diseases like Salmonella and others. This is probably not in your best interest; vomiting and diarrhea are not exactly fun to deal with..

-> For more information on the risks of meat, read about the pros and cons of raw meat diets.

There are lots of interesting products on Ali, like this lion wig for example. But be careful that you don’t inadvertently buy something dangerous.

4. Cat toys from AliExpress

We all love Chinese products: they are super cheap, and if you do your homework, you can find some very high-quality products at a bargain price. Sites like AliExpress and Wish have taken a flight over the last few years.

But, as is often the case with cheap things, there is a catch: there are absolutely no regulations being enforced by the Chinese government. This effectively means that your cheap food, treats, and toy products for cats could contain all kinds of hazardous materials and substances, and the producers are not legally required to tell you on the packaging!

Some people report finding heavy metals in the products, and we also frequently encounter toys with potential choking hazards.

5. Monthly vaccines

Vaccines can very much be a necessity. But pets get them far too frequently in certain areas of the world, and this is likely correlated to the fact that profit margins on vaccines are very high.

While most veterinarians prioritize animals’ well-being over monetary gains, they still have a business to run. Owners should be aware that once their pet is vaccinated, he or she is protected for a long time.

6. Standard cat collars

A while back we wrote an article on personalized collars, where we explained why the traditional collar model can pose a serious danger to your cat. These collars can accidentally get snagged on a pointy object, and your cat could seriously injure herself (or even suffocate!) if help does not arrive in time. Unfortunately, most traditional cat collars have no mechanism built in to protect against these scenarios.

Vets recommend picking up a collar with a so-called breakaway mechanism built-in. This part is designed to come undone whenever too much tension or force is asserted. So spend a few extra dollars to guarantee your cat a safe collar!

Recommended: Ingredients that should not be in your cat food

7. Vegan food

The cat food industry is eagerly catching on to recent trends of eating healthy. Marketing departments of major food brands are coming out with all kinds of products that are supposedly healthier: grain-free, gluten-free, vegan… it’s all there, and if we are to believe the packaging, these foods perform miracles.

But we encourage you to think critically when you order your kitties’ food: cats are born meat eaters! They need their protein, and vegan food is often embarrassingly low on protein. So you really aren’t doing your cat any favors by feeding her vegan kibble.

Now we want to hear your thoughts! What products do you think should be included in this list? Let us know in the comments.

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