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Is steel wool good for cats? Answered

My cat loves steel wool. We stopped buying it because we couldn't keep it away from the cats.
I found a box in the basement and was using one to clean metal, she got a hold of it so I put it in the cabinet.  See video below.
I got a child lock on the cabinet now but my 2 year old takes them off. 
I know I got to clean the kitchen, got folks coming over.


Not that great of a child lock if a two year old can open it.

I can understand your concern pets are family.

To your cat the steel wool is a toy as long as it is not covered in chemicals and he doesn’t eat a lot of it like the saying goes, “It to shall pass.”

Your cat will not stop until you take the fun out of it, coat a steel wool pad with cat repellant or cat deterrent and leave it out for him to play with as well as in the cupboard. When it is no more fun he will stop.

Oven Repair 5.JPG

It's fine if you don't mind your cat chewing on a chunk of steel.

It should't harm your cat, but you never know what could happen with cats. :/


4 years ago

Cats do eat weird things. Bond, the cat my daughter adopted from my group eats rubber foam floor mats and then barfs it up in puddles only to go back and do it again. He was also eating her spider plants which was making him really sick as they contain natural aspirin in enough amounts to make it toxic to small animals. When she got rid of the spider plants he finally started getting weight back.
Steel wool does have a smell to it, even with out the soap. It is used for wood polishing for the ultra smooth surface it can create. But the little wires break up and can become splinters. Once in the skin they rust. I have had it happen, not pleasant. But other than that, iron in small amounts is not toxic. I wonder if the smell reminds her of blood because blood does have lots of iron in it. Just as an experiment I would get some dried processed blood that is used for fertilizer and see if she is interested in that. If she is then you could open up a stuffed toy and add it to the catnip and sow it back up. Or just do that with the steel wool. If she is otherwise healthy then its probably just an obsession she has learned and you need to give her a substitute, like a toy with the steel wool in it, or dried blood.

Hey, iron + stomach acid = free hydrogen.



i dunno, she smelled the thing out of the cabinet.
but she likes soapy things anyways.

she has been fixed, if she is pregnant i either need to call the weekly world news or get a refund.

I don't think it will be great, as there is a risk of splinters, especially if (he?) starts to chew it.

Looking at the way your cat treats the pad, it's probably a prey substitute (some cats use toys as kitten substitutes). You should be able to get your cat off the wool by offering substitutes, such as small plush toys or balls of aluminum foil.

My mother-in-laws various cats have always enjoyed playing with nuts on the kitchen floor, probably because they skitter atound like small animals. You could eat a walnut, scrape out the shell, then glue the shell shut with a small ball bearing or marble loose inside. It will rattle interestingly, and move in an erratic manner.

she likes to pick things up to play fetch with, if she cant pick it up then she has no interest with it.
she likes to play fetch when I am not paying attention to her, like when on instructables, eating, or while trying to sleep.

If it rust they could get tetanus. Best to keep it from them even if they are just batting it around to play with it.

Tetanus is a bacterial infection. How can rusty metal give you tetanus ?

You may have the bacteria on the surface of yoyr skin already;

The Department of Health defines tetanus-prone wounds as:
  • wounds or burns that need surgery, but where surgery is delayed for more than six hours 
  • wounds or burns where a significant amount of tissue has been removed, or puncture-type injuries (such as animal bites), particularly if they have had contact with soil or manure
  • wounds containing foreign bodies (any substance that shouldn’t be there, such as dust or dirt)
  • compound fractures (serious fractures where the bone is exposed and prone to infection)
  • wounds and burns in people who have systemic sepsis (a fall in blood pressure resulting from a serious bacterial infection)