Why Do Cats Like Hair Ties?

Cats have a fascination with the most ordinary items, and one such peculiar obsession is their love for hair ties. If you’ve ever wondered why your feline friend can’t resist these elastic loops, you’re not alone. In this in-depth exploration, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this seemingly odd behavior, shedding light on the curious world of cats and hair ties.

The Intriguing Connection

Before we dive into the “why,” let’s establish the undeniable fact: many cats are inexplicably drawn to hair ties. You might have observed your cat batting, pouncing, and even carrying these small, stretchy accessories around the house. But what drives this irresistible attraction? Let’s find out.

The Allure of Hair Ties

1. Texture and Shape

One primary reason cats are drawn to hair ties is their texture and shape. Hair ties are often made of soft, pliable materials that mimic the feel of prey. Their round shape allows them to roll, bounce, and easily fit into a cat’s mouth, making them an irresistible plaything.

2. Scent and Taste

Cats have an acute sense of smell, and hair ties often carry the scent of their owner. Additionally, some hair ties might have residual scents from hair products or even food, which can pique a cat’s curiosity. The faint taste of these items could also be appealing to your cat.

The Playful Instinct

3. Instinctual Behavior

Cats are natural hunters, and their fascination with hair ties could be an extension of their hunting instincts. Hair ties provide an opportunity for cats to practice their predatory skills, honing their agility and coordination.

4. Entertainment Value

Cats are highly active and need mental and physical stimulation. Hair ties offer an interactive and engaging source of entertainment. Bouncing hair ties provide a cat with a moving target, which can keep them entertained for hours.

Ensuring Safety

5. Safety Considerations

While your cat’s love for hair ties can be entertaining, it’s crucial to ensure their safety. Cats can sometimes swallow or ingest small objects accidentally. To prevent this, always supervise playtime with hair ties, and consider using larger, pet-specific toys designed to fulfill their hunting instincts safely.

Why Does My Cat Eat My Hair Ties?

Cats eating hair ties can be a concerning behavior. There are several reasons why cats might do this:

  1. Texture and Taste: Hair ties are often made of materials that cats find appealing due to their texture and sometimes residual scents or tastes. Cats might chew or ingest them out of curiosity or because they enjoy the sensation.
  2. Pica Behavior: Pica is a condition where cats have an appetite for non-food items. It can be caused by dietary deficiencies, boredom, or stress. Eating hair ties could be a manifestation of pica.
  3. Hunting Instinct: Cats may perceive hair ties as prey due to their size and shape, leading them to “hunt” and play with these objects, sometimes resulting in accidental ingestion.

If your cat is eating hair ties, it’s essential to discourage this behavior and consult with a veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

Why Is My Cat Obsessed with Rubber Bands?

Cats’ fascination with rubber bands shares similarities with their attraction to hair ties:

  1. Texture and Bounce: Rubber bands offer an intriguing texture and bounce, making them appealing as playthings for cats. They can bat, chase, and carry these elastic objects around.
  2. Interactive Play: Rubber bands provide interactive play opportunities. Cats enjoy batting at moving objects, and the elasticity of rubber bands adds an unpredictable element to the play.
  3. Predatory Instinct: Cats are natural hunters, and rubber bands mimic the movement of prey. This satisfies their instinctual drive to stalk and pounce.

While rubber bands can be entertaining, always supervise play to prevent accidental ingestion or choking hazards.

Do Cats Choke on Hair Ties?

Yes, cats can potentially choke on hair ties. Hair ties are small and flexible, making them a choking hazard if swallowed. Cats may accidentally ingest them while playing or chewing, leading to a choking risk. Additionally, if a hair tie lodges in their throat, it can obstruct their airway, posing a serious health threat. To prevent choking, always monitor your cat’s interactions with small objects like hair ties and provide safer alternatives.

Why Does My Cat Put My Things in Her Food Bowl?

Cats placing objects in their food bowl is a behavior that might seem puzzling, but it has several possible explanations:

  1. Instinctual Behavior: In the wild, cats may hide prey or food to consume later. Placing objects in their food bowl could be an instinctual carryover, signaling an intention to “store” the item for later.
  2. Attention-Seeking: Some cats may use this behavior as a way to get your attention. By placing your belongings in their food bowl, they could be signaling a desire for interaction or play.
  3. Exploration and Play: Cats are naturally curious, and they may place objects in their food bowl as part of their exploratory play behavior. It’s a way for them to engage with their environment.


In conclusion, the mystery of why cats love hair ties is a combination of texture, scent, instinctual behavior, and entertainment value. While it may seem peculiar to us, it’s just another way for our feline friends to engage with their environment and indulge in their natural instincts.

So, the next time you find your cat swatting at a hair tie, remember that it’s not just an ordinary accessory but a source of joy and stimulation for them.

To delve deeper into your cat’s behaviors and preferences, consider exploring these additional resources:

  1. Why Do Cats Love to Play with Hair Ties?
  2. The Science Behind Cat Play
  3. 10 Common Cat Behaviors Explained

Understanding your cat’s quirks and interests can lead to a deeper bond and more enriched lives for both you and your furry companion.