Dangerous toys

Over the years I have bought a great number of toys for our dogs and cats. There is an interesting variety from simple balls to a large cuddly bear. Even the latter can be dangerous with its semi glass dark brown eyes. Get rid of them before you give it to your pet. It would not be the first one to try and pull one out and choke on it.

Always buy your toys from a vet or a reliable pet shop. They know the dangers and will not stock harmful toys.

Many years ago I bought a ball for my cats which had an elasticated string attached to it. What fun I had watching them playing. And what fun did they have, jumping up and down to try and get the ball.

Ill fate struck. Smokey, in her effort to catch the ball, shot up in the air with the string cutting deep into her leg. The scream was incredible and it took me a few moments to react. My first instinct was to get a pair of scissors and cut her free. It would have been a serious mistake as she would have run away with the string still attached to her leg.

The first thing to do is stay calm. The second to roll your cat into a towel and then cut him or her free. At least they cannot escape and it gives you a chance to assess the damage. In my case a visit to the vet was necessary and Smokey needed stitches and a painkilling injection. It made me feel guilty and stupid at the same time.

Since then I have not bought any toys for my cats. I keep it simple. I make little balls from knitting wool or aluminium foil. Cheep and cheerful - giving them hours of harmless fun.