Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cats and Bags:Keep your Cat OUT of the Bag (If It Has Handles)

Cats love bags. Paper bags, plastic bags, cloth grocery shopping bags, gift bags, tote bags...ALL types of bags.

If you are like me, you derive great enjoyment out of watching your cat play with, and in, any of the above mentioned bags.

WARNING: If your bag has handles...PLEASE, PLEASE, CUT THEM OFF! If you choose to not cut them off, then DO NOT ALLOW YOUR CAT TO PLAY WITH ANY BAG WITH HANDLES without close supervision!!!

NOTE:The bag above DOES have handles
Cody was NOT left unattended with the bag


Years ago on my blogging travels I  commented on a post suggesting that the bag handles be cut off because they cause a POTENTIAL CHOKING HAZARD FOR CATS AND KITTENS.

  • Shopping bag handles, like the bags you get from Nordstrom, Macy’s or The Gap, and the grocery stores—can get wrapped around the neck of a cat or kitten and can be fatal. It may start as fun, but they can panic and become stressed, caught in the handle and then choke on the handles. (from communityconcernforcats.org)

At the time, the person pooh-poohed my comment, then weeks later they returned and thanked me profusely, AND they APOLOGIZED. Not long after I left my comment, their cat had been playing with a bag unsupervised, and when the owner entered the room, the cat was struggling to be free of the handles that had wrapped themselves around the neck of the cat. Thankfully, due to the owner entering the room at the right time, the cat was unharmed.

We all love looking at photos of cats playing with bags, who can resist how adorable they look? Just please keep in mind that these harmless looking bags can possibly cause your cat to lose its life. 

FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF OTHER COMMON DANGERS TO YOUR CAT THAT CAN BE FOUND AROUND YOUR HOME, CLICK HERE


62 comments:

  1. My human has been cutting handles off bags for us kitties for years - in fact, sometimes she gives us the cut off paper handles to play with.

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  2. Great advice. I honestly didn't think of the handles as choking hazards. Of course they both only play with bags with supervision.

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    1. Thank you! I think many people aren't aware. I always try to supervise Cody too, but we still have to be vigilant about putting them away when we aren't around to supervise.

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  3. I never thought of it. Thanks.

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  4. Thank you for the reminder, Caren! I won't allow my kitties to have bags because Carmine likes to try to eat them, and that is no good at all. They're plenty spoiled with other toys, though :)

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    1. You are welcome! Carmine and Cody are quite similar for sure! Cody does the same!

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  5. I've been cutting the handles for years, because Nicki got the handle of a plastic grocery bag caught around his neck years ago, in just a blink of an eye. Scared the cr*p out of me and I've made sure all handles are cut off or even just cut open, since.

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    1. So glad that Nicki was ok! Yep, that's my point, it can happen sooo fast! I have heard too many stories of it happening. What burns me is the people who think the warning is just ridiculous. Hope they don't find out the hard way that it isn't!

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  6. Paws up for this important reminder. We have had two bag-handle incidents in our house, both of them resulting in a bag being dragged through multiple rooms by a terrified cat before the humans could extract him safely. Bags are fun, but bag handles aren't!

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    1. I am so glad you mentioned this! This post happened because as I travel around the web I am seeing more and more cats being photographed with bags with handles. Yes, I am sure the vast majority are being supervised, but I am also fearful that MANY are not! Glad all turned out ok at your house!

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  7. Mister Cat once got his head stuck on the handles and couldn't get out and he started panicking. So, now I never let him play with bags with handles unattended.

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  8. That is good advice. We have had a couple of cats get those handles caught around their throats and luckily, I was right there. All the bags around her get put up right away.
    You all have a fantastic day.

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    1. yep! All of my bags get put away too!! Have a great day! xoxo

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  9. All the bags with which we're allowed to play have their handles cut off for years. Purrs

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  10. We sure agree and the handles get cut off of any bags we get and we never get plastic bags, only paper ones!

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    1. cause your Mom and Dad are smart! We still get the plastic too because they make good poop bags for Dakota :) But....Daddy keeps them in HIS bathroom with the door shut at all times!

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  11. We keep all bags out of reach of kitties. However, hubby had a Bath & Body Works paper bag stashed in the closet that I didn't know about. One night, I hear Ringo meowing rather distressed like. I turn on the light and see he had somehow managed to get his torso stuck in the handle! Thankfully, he stayed quiet while I cut it away. He was fine but it was a reminder of that something worse could have happened.

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    1. Rene oh my!!!!!! Thank you for sharing that even with OUR best intentions, often our spouses, kids, etc., may forget and put a bag where it could be a danger. Thank goodness Ringo was ok!

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  12. Always take off the handles now. Much safer. I have a cat that got stuck on the handles of my purse. To this day he still hates purses.
    Sue B

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    1. Purses!!!! I wish I had thought of that! THANK YOU for mentioning purses!! Yet another potential hazard!!! Must keep that in mind! xoxo

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  13. Great reminder! The only time we are allowed to play with bags is with paper ones and Mom cuts off the handles first.

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  14. Caren, this is an excellent post! I'm posting it on FB!

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    1. Thank you!!!!!! It actually came about after my blogging travels yesterday. I saw a post with a stock photo of a cat in a brown paper bag with the handles and it just totally upset me. I had been meaning to do a post about this for a long time, that photo was my reminder.

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  15. Great advice! And, of course, a great shot of Cody in action!

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  16. Good to know. Hope every buddy reads this
    Lily & Edward

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  17. Excellent advice here. Excellent.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your smart and wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

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  18. Excellent advice! Wes don't gets too many bags to plays with but wes does like the KFC Paper bags, but Mommy never thought about the cloth bags....
    Kisses
    nellie

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  19. We get mostly plastic bags here and I don't let Flynn have them. He does have an ancient disintegrating paper bag which I cut the handles off before he had it. I need to go to the store that uses the paper bags and get him another one before it totally disintegrates.

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  20. Amen to that, Caren! Louie has a talent for strangling himself with bag handles. I never let him have plastic ones, and I supervise the paper bag play.

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    1. OMG Crazy Louie!! lol!!! Cody just has a penchant for EATING plastic bags! (or anything that isn't bolted down lol). In all seriousness, I have to watch plastic bags in particular like a hawk. My vet told me the reason cats like to eat plastic bags is because they are now made with corn syrup!!!! Ugh!

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  21. Wow! Thanks for the advice!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  22. One time when Mommy was putting away groceries Lexy got stuck in a grocery bag and was running around the house. Mommy is always careful with bags.

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  23. My kitties don't get many bags to play in, they prefer boxes.

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  24. Astrid is or bag lady. She likes to get in the cloth grocery bags as soon as the food is removed. She's never left alone, however. Eventually she gets tired of being inside because the humans spend the entire time taking photos of her, many of which have been shared on the blog! XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

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  25. Weez not allowed to play wiff any bag wiffout handles. Dusn't mean we don't twy tho. MOL Gweat posty. Have a pawsum day.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

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  26. This is such an important warning. People don't tend to think of what can happen when a cat is playing with a bag. Clipping those handles is such a small thing, but it can be a lifesaver. I will have to share this!

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    1. Thanks Robin!! More and more I am seeing cats in bags like the ones I mentioned and I always pray that their family is nearby!

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  27. This is very important, and a hazard that many don't realize exists. As you mention, cats always love to play in bags. Thank you so much for posting!

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  28. My cat Alex almost got stuck in a bag. Good thing I was there to get him out before he panicked. https://flic.kr/p/a652zb

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    1. oh my!! Thank you for sharing that! You are right, he was totally calm in that photo but you got there just in time!

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  29. Great post (as always) happened to Greyson as a kitten and he was so freaked out it was hard to catch him to get the bag off him.

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    1. Thanks so much! OMG that is soooo scary! Thank goodness he was ok!

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  30. Yep, this is such an important message and one can't be said too many times.

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  31. We're glad you're getting the message out there! Our worry wart mommy makes sure no bags with handles are near us and she also cuts up anything round so we don't get hurt or any other animal when it goes out in the trash/recycle.

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  32. Important information! And something that a lot of people probably don't think about. Cats and bags can have scary consequences for sure. Thanks for spreading the word!

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  33. Absolutely have to tear off the handles of paper bags, and never let them play with plastic bags. Cats are like 3-year old humans....you can't leave them unsupervised with anything they can swallow, break & get hurt on, get tangled in, etc. We never leave coins, paper clips, drinking glasses, knives, rubber bands, pens, etc out because accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

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  34. Woofs! such an important safety message. Golden Woofs

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  35. Good safety advice - we always take the handles off our bags before we let the kitties play in them.

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