Why does my cat love pipe cleaners? Pipe cleaners(chenille stems) are primarily used to clean hollow objects and pipes. They are usually flexible with a soft covering; they provide a springy effect when you manipulate them—the fur-like feel—mimics the feel of your cat’s fur or a mouse’s fur; pipe cleaners are wiggly and unpredictable, which makes them irresistible to cats.
My wife makes excellent crafts for my kids—the pipe cleaner bubble wand, bee, dragon, and tulips. My two adorable kids love to share, and at the same time—they don’t love to share. So, anything we make or buy for them, we ensure we get the same for both of them.
Recently, my kids were having a rift over their pipe cleaner bee; my younger daughter felt her older brother misplaced his bee, then went on to take hers. Her cry and back-and-forth talks between her and her brother had to make me scan the whole house in search of her toy bee; guess where I found it? In my cat’s pod!
That wasn’t the only incident; I have found lots of my wife’s pipe cleaner crafts—under the bed and in funny locations in the house. This is how I found out that my cat is obsessed with chenille stems. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about cats and pipe cleaners.
Table of Contents
- What Are Pipe Cleaners?
- Why does my cat love pipe cleaners?
- Should I Be Concerned if My Cat Only Likes Pipe Cleaners?
- Are pipe cleaners safe for cats?
- How Can I Make Pipe Cleaners More Fun for My Cat?
What Are Pipe Cleaners?
They are developed to clean pipes and holes. Pipe cleaners can be used for many things—their versatility has earned them a place in the lives and hearts of craft makers. However, there are different types of pipe cleaners, smoke, and chenille, and they have their individual uses.
The version made specifically for crafting is known as chenille stems or sticks and are found in craft stores. In contrast, the version used in cleaning pipes is found in tobacconists stores—they are made by twisting several metals around permeable thread material—these strands don’t come apart when bent and wriggled.
You should be very much aware when purchasing, as their uses can’t be interchanged( you can’t use a pipe cleaner cat toy to clean a tobacco pipe)
Why does my cat love pipe cleaners?
Cats have an unexplainable love for pipe cleaners which tends to replace any other toy your pet would have had before coming into contact with the chenille stem. In all our observations, we concluded that the soft feel and the elastic effect of the chenille stick—excite the cat.
#1– It Is Bendable
Combining strands of metals and absorbent thread materials ensures pipe cleaners are bendable: your cat can use its claws to bend and play with the chenille sticks, just as they love to do with strings. Strings are unsafe for your cat as they could pose many threats—if ingested by your cat, why not make a pope cleaner cat toy instead?
#2 – It stimulates their minds
Cats could develop anti-social behaviors such as clawing on furniture and carpets or even attacking you and other family members — if they are not mentally stimulated.
After discovering my cat loves pipe cleaners, my wife made a fake owl toy for him; this toy has kept him stimulated ever since. He uses his claws to grip the toy and toss it up and catches it before it hits the ground. So, whenever he brings his chenille stem toy to my feet, I know he wants me to toss the toy up, enabling him to chase and catch, honing his hunting skills in the process—a win for him and joy for me.
#3 – Help them recall fun memories
A cat’s sensitive nose is good at recalling layers of memories in toys that have been well-worn. The chenille stick toys could quickly become your feline friend’s security object. You can use it to usher in new changes or to reassure your cat in times of stress.
Should I Be Concerned if My Cat Only Likes Pipe Cleaners?
No, you should not be concerned if your cat only likes pipe cleaners. It would help if you were happy because your cat gets the mental and physical stimulation they need.
Cats love pipe cleaners so much: they’re fun to play with! Pipe cleaners are wiggly and unpredictable, which makes them irresistible to cats. Plus, they’re great for helping cats stay active and healthy.
So don’t worry if your cat only likes pipe cleaners. It’s perfectly normal, and it’s a good thing! Here is a video of a cat trying to reach pipe cleaners by all means:
Are pipe cleaners safe for cats?
This is a question that many cat owners ask, and the answer is not always straightforward.
Pipe cleaners are made from various materials, including cotton, wool, and felt. Some of these materials can be harmful to cats if ingested, so it is essential to be aware of the types of pipe cleaners that are safe for cats. If you are worried about your cat choking on a pipe cleaner, there are a few things you can do to make them safer:
- Firstly, ensure the pipe cleaners are not cut into shorter pieces so your cat has less chance of swallowing them.
- Secondly, try twisting the ends of the pipe cleaners so that they form a more secure bond with the plastic tubing.
- Finally, always keep an eye on your cat when playing with pipe cleaners, and take them away if you see that they are starting to get into trouble.
Ensure to supervise your cat’s interaction with a pipe cleaner toy; kittens usually undertake unusual chewing habits and tastes—if your cat falls under this category, make sure not to leave them unsupervised. Check the toy regularly to see if it is wearing out, and Discard it if brittle or chewed.
How Can I Make Pipe Cleaners More Fun for My Cat?
Just like people, cats love to have a little bit of fun. And what’s more fun than a pipe cleaner?
You can make pipe cleaners more fun for your cat by wrapping them around a ball or dangling them from a string. Your cat will love batting them around and playing with them. So the next time you see your cat eyeing those pipe cleaners, don’t be surprised—grab a few and let the games begin! Here are a few DIY pipe cleaner cat toys for your cats:
Your cat could easily benefit from the versatility of pipe cleaners; your creativity will be your only limit. Toys go beyond creating new ways for your cat to have fun; they practically help the cat negate the development of negative behaviors; by keeping the cat busy and engaged and providing mental stimulation.
#1 – Spider cat pipe cleaner toy
Cats love chasing roaches, bugs, and mice. Unlike these bugs that may infest your feline friend with parasites, you could make a spider from pipe cleaners for fluffy to bat around. You will need three chenille sticks for this project.
- Cut two of the chenille stem into two.
- Place the four pieces in a bundle, and twist them in the middle.
- Wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle of the bundle to form the spider’s body.
- From the center, bend the pipe cleaner outwards; this will form the eight legs of the spider.
- In this stage, you will be creating knees for the spider by bending each of the legs up and down at a 90° angle.
- Bend the tip of each leg outwardly, creating feet on which the spider can stand.
- Then it is time to set it down for your cat to have some fun with. Feel free to toss the toy around; your cat will joyfully chase after it.
This is another easy toy that could be crafted in a few minutes. You will need two wine corks and a pipe cleaner.
- To form a springlike corkscrew shape, you must wrap a pipe cleaner around a pencil.
- Slide out the pencil and then stretch out the two ends of the pipe cleaners a little bit.
- Use a paperclip to poke a hole in each corkscrew— the holes should be 1/2 inch deep.
- Finally, you have to insert the pipe cleaner into the wine cork.
How to make a bat out of pipe cleaners
How to Make the Body of the Bat using pipe cleaners
Take one pipe cleaner and twist it around the middle of another pipe cleaner to create the bat’s body.
Do this until you have desired several body segments. Make sure that the details are all twisted in their opposite direction. Otherwise, your bat won’t be very sturdy.
How to Make the Wings of the Bat
To make the bat’s wings take two pipe cleaners and twist them together. Then, make a loop with the twisted pipe cleaners and turn it a few times to secure it. Now, do the same thing with the other pipe cleaner. You should now have two sets of wings.
Bend each set of wings so that they curve inward and upward. Then, use some hot glue to attach them to the top of the bat’s body. Make sure that they’re securely attached.
Finishing Touches for Your pipe cleaner Bat
Now it’s time to make the head of the bat. Take two pipe cleaners and twist them together to make one long one. Then, bend it in the middle so it looks like a U.
You’ve come this far, so the last step is easy. Just take the pipe cleaners you have left and twist them around the top of the bat to create the “ears.” Please ensure they’re nice and sturdy, so your bat can withstand a good swing.
If you want, you can also add a little bit of glue to the tips of the ears to make sure they stay in place. And that’s it! You now have a beautifully crafted bat to show off at your next Halloween party.
Is it OK for my cat to play with pipe cleaners?
Pipe cleaners are generally safe for your cats to play with, except your cat has PICA. It would help if you supervised your cat’s interaction with the pipe cleaner at the first stage; if your cat takes to chewing or trying to eat the cleaners, you could discontinue as a cat toy.
What you should watch out for are those things in our households that double as a cat toy but pose severe threats to your cat. Things like: rubber bands, pins, plastic tops from milk containers, and hair bands.
Final thoughts – why do cats like pipe cleaners?
What other way can your feline friend express its intelligence other than enjoying a fun time with his favorite chenille stem? Cats and pipe cleaners are a match made in heaven; the flexibility and soft feel of the chenille stick engage the cat mentally and provide an opportunity for your cat to relieve itself of stress. Ensure you supervise your cat’s activities and replace the toy once it becomes worn out. Get more creative and make a cat-shaped pipe.