Why Do Cats Like Q-Tips – Should They Play With Them?

If you have a cat that likes to “help” you get ready in the morning, then you’ve probably picked up at least one Q-Tip after your cat finds one. Other cats may be able to entertain themselves for hours after finding a Q-Tip, new or used. But, why do cats like Q-Tips so much?

Cats like Q-Tips because they are light, chewable, something they can play with. Many cats like to use Q-Tips as a toy, although they can be dangerous for cats if eaten. 

Cats can make a toy out of just about anything, and Q-Tips make the list of awesome toys that aren’t cat toys. You might be wondering if Q-Tips and the cotton that is on them is safe for cats, so keep reading to learn more about this common bathroom essential. 

5 Reasons Cats Like Q-Tips

I think we all wonder why cats like certain things. There isn’t only one reason why your cat might like Q-Tips, so let’s talk about the top five reasons why cats like Q-Tips. 

Q-tips Are Fun To Play With

The top reason why your cat like Q-Tips is because they’re fun to play with. Q-Tips are light and thin, and they can be kicked across a hardwood floor exceptionally easily. What cat wouldn’t like a makeshift toy?

Cats See You Using Them

Some cats like to do what their human does. A cat who sees you using a Q-Tip may also want to “use” a Q-Tip, even if the Q-Tip ends up kicked under the bathroom vanity. 

Q-tips Carry Your Scent Which Cats Love

Even a used Q-Tip has your scent on it. If your cat likes to be close to you and you’re not home, your Q-Tip will have your scent on it. It isn’t you or your shirt, but it’s something that can help in a pinch.

Easy To Chew For Cats

Since Q-Tips are soft and flexible, your cat might enjoy chewing the stick of a Q-Tip. Paper or plastic, your cat may like to bite them.

Always Around

If you’re one to use Q-Tips, then there is no shortage of Q-Tips in your house. A cat that is looking for something to do may not have to travel far to find Q-Tips. 

Is It Normal For Cats To Like Q-Tips

It is normal for cats to like small, light objects like Q-Tips.

If you have a cat, you already know that cats like to play with just about anything, no matter how many cat toys they have. Pieces of paper, newspaper, and even Q-Tips can entertain your cat for at least a few minutes.

A Q-Tip might seem like a strange choice for your cat, but Q-Tips are easy to play with. Q-Tips are light, so your cat can kick them around and easily pick them up. The cotton on each end makes it even easier for your cat to grab with its claws. 

It might seem abnormal for your cat to start batting around your Q-Tip, but it is normal cat behavior. 

Why Do Cats Like Used Q-Tips

If your cat is particularly fond of used Q-Tips, it is because your cat sees you using it and wants to be involved.

After you use a Q-Tip, you most likely toss it in a trash can in your bathroom. Does your cat go digging for it as soon as it lands in the bag? If so, your cat is just trying to figure out why you threw such a fun looking toy away!

Some cats want to do whatever their owners do – include cleaning out their ears apparently – and so your cat wants to mimic what you were doing with the Q-Tip. I guess you’ll need to teach your cat, huh?

Are Q-Tips Bad For Cats

Q-Tips can be bad for cats because of how small they are.

While you may not have to worry about your cat swallowing a Q-Tip like a child or larger dog might, Q-Tips can still be dangerous to cats. Even though a cat may not choke on a whole Q-Tip, your cat may still chew on it and swallow smaller pieces.

Eating a Q-Tip might be less of a problem if you have a paper Q-Tip; however, cheaper Q-Tips are made out of plastic, which can lead to a painful experience for your cat. 

Do Q-Tips Have Chemicals

There are Q-Tips on the market that do not have chemicals, but some Q-Tips have cotton that is treated with chemicals. 

Consumers today know that there are dozens of kinds of everything that you want to buy, and Q-Tips are no exception. Some Q-Tips are all-natural and safe, but many kinds of Q-Tips are treated with chemicals on the cotton. The chemicals vary in use but are often added to keep the cotton stiff and shaped. 

There isn’t enough of this chemical to do any real damage to your cat, but repeated exposure and chewing on the treated cotton could lead to complications down the line. It is safer to avoid this potential hazard.

Why Does My Cat Eat Q-Tips

Your cat eats Q-Tips because they are small and chewy.

The first reason why your cat may eat a Q-Tip is that it is small enough to fit in your cat’s mouth. Your cat doesn’t need to work hard to chew on it if he doesn’t need to break it into smaller pieces first.

Your cat may also be likely to chew on and eat Q-Tips because they are chewy. In other words, few types of Q-Tips are hard, like bone or hard plastic, so your cat may be happy to chew on it. If your cat chews on the Q-Tip enough, it will break it down and begin to eat it. 

Do Cats Like Cotton

Cotton makes a good cat toy because it is light and easy for your cat to pick up while playing with it. 

While the texture may have something to do with a cat’s love of cotton, one of the top reasons why cats love cotton is because it is easy to play with!

First of all, a cotton ball is super light. Your cat can kick it around and toss it around easily. 

Second, cotton is a fine texture with tiny fibers, which means your cats can pick it up with their claws without much effort.

What Happens If A Cat Eats A Cotton Ball

Though scary to see, a cat that eats a cotton ball will be fine, especially if it is a small cotton ball.

If your cat has eaten a cotton ball, your first reaction is probably fear. After all, you don’t need to be told that cotton ball isn’t something a cat should be eating.

I’m here to tell you to take a deep breath. While cats shouldn’t make a habit of eating cotton balls, you don’t need to worry about your cat. Your cat will be able to pass a cotton ball in a few days. If your cat does not poop a cotton ball out, they may also vomit up pieces of it in the form of a hairball with their fur. 

Things to Consider

Almost every bathroom has a box of Q-Tips stashed away, even if you don’t use them every day. Q-Tips often end up all over the bathroom. One of the top reasons why your Q-Tips end up all over the bathroom (and house!) is because of a cat that feels that they’re so much fun. 

You might consider all the bad things that could happen when your cat plays with a Q-Tip, but for the most part, Q-Tips are safe for your cat as long as they are not chewing and swallowing the Q-Tip stick. The worst thing that may happen is that you’ll find Q-Tips all over your house after your cat finally gets bored of them. 

If you don’t want your cat playing with your Q-Tips for whatever reason, find comparable cat toys. Look at websites like Etsy to see if sellers made handcrafted Q-Tips, like knitted ones. Some companies also made small, light cat toys that may be a good substitute for your cat. I haven’t seen any cat toys that look completely like Q-Tips, but if you do some searching, I’m sure you can find something that your cat will like just as much (if not more) as your bathroom Q-Tips. 


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