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Dear crafters of the internet with cats: this is my first experience with kittens this young (12 weeks), so I had no idea they explored so much of the world by chewing on things.

In your experience, at what point can they be trusted around yarn/knitting? 6 months? 1 year? Never?

Please RT and please feel free to respond with images of beloved animals in your life, regardless of whether or not you have advice.

@twotone I'm afraid it is entirely down the individual cat. We have 4 cats. One is 15 years old and still chews on string and plastic. Two others are 9 year old siblings, one of whom chews and the other one does not.

Here's a picture of one of our non-chewers.

@twotone one of my kitties chews sometimes, but only when she’s particularly bored and stressed so we usually focus on fixing that problem rather than fixing the chewing

The other one we adopted at 10 mo, if he ever chewed he’d lost the habit by the time he showed up here!

@twotone sometimes chewer is kitty on the left (Sutchita) while kitty on the right was the stray who decided we were his humans (Miko)

I suspect ‘depends on the cat’ is going to be the most popular answer, unfortunately :)

@Satsuma Gorgeous kitties!

I appreciate every response to this; it's so interesting to see different cat-attitudes towards yarn and other materials!

@twotone yeah there’s definitely a fairly large variety!

@twotone cats can never be trusted with anything. Ever.

LOL kidding

but only sort of kidding

@twotone By the time my kitty came to live with me, she was already six and wasn't too interested in my yarn if I was careful. I don't remember when I started knitting when she was sitting on my lap but I know that by the time she was 12 I was definitely using her to prop up my patterns.

@twotone @Satsuma which is to say, we have sacrificial yarn balls for the cats and keep active projects tucked away in drawers

@June Right now, I'm debating whether I can safely knit around the kittens, or if it's going to be a constant struggle to keep them from chewing on the yarn as I knit... This may take some experimentation!

@twotone i use a bag with a drawstring top to contain my working yarn near me (like, lap or floor or desk) that they mostly ignore in favor of the sacrificial yarn. it's like they want something to work on when i'm working on mine.

@twotone I am an idiot and have used scraps of yarn to make little balls for Ursula to play with so I can't really expect her to understand the conceptual difference between "ball made of yarn she gets to play with" and "ball of yarn which is off limits". Here she is in one of her excursions into the toilet

@Sissas Gorgeous!

Our previous occasional yarn-chewer basically trained us to keep the lid on the toilet as much as possible because she kept trying to drink out of it...

@twotone yes this little gal is having the same effect on us! She goes wherever there is water though - the other day we caught her after playing around in the shower and it was hilarious because her wet paws didn't provide enough traction for the quick escape she had in mind, so she skidded her way away into the living room 😂

@twotone in terms of leaving the yarn *unattended* with cat access, never. Apart from that, depends on the cat.

My biggest chewer has eaten holes in the folded towels I had here and there as cat beds, as well as anything less than 1cm diameter sticking out of a toy. I've been trying to redirect him to actual chew toys, with partial success. He particularly likes the small dog chew made of rolled up dry salmon skin, which I cut in half.

(In case one becomes a problem chewer.)

@varve Oh wow, I'll have to keep an eye out for destructive chewing. Thank you for sharing your experience!

So far, our kittens have removed feathers from toys but not chewed all the way through anything...yet.

@twotone I think it's stress chewing, in my cat's case. He was rescued from a cruelty situation and is still quite skittish. One of my other cats will eat feathers. So any feather toys have to be both interactive and strictly supervised. Putting stuff away where they can't get at it is important.

@twotone Depends on the cat. Mine was fine when we adopted him at 1yr.

All bets are off if it moves, though. If you move it just right the knitted material turns into prey and your cat's "hunter-killer" mode will activate.

Some things are forever chewable. Soft plastics and resins are my cat's favorites.

@twotone
I have an older cat; she's very well behaved and doesn't chew too much but she can become a little bit of a menace if she's in a playing mood while I'm trying to make stuff. Playing mood usually happens in the eve, sometimes the morn, and the best thing to do is just try to avoid crafting stuff then and play with her instead. (If you have hard floors, i recommend bouncy balls! Bit of a hazard if they get left around tho.)

@twotone
Also my app crashes when i try upload pics, but we have a drawn-on photo of our cat as our avatar on the system account @certifiedsystem

@twotone trust? cats? you do know that they are a super intelligent alien race covertly ruling us, right?

@twotone Trusting cats around yarn? It depends on the cat. Rule of thumb: Never!

@twotone
My grandmother's favourite story about their adult family cat was about a knitting set which was "kidnapped" and the thread wound around several chair and table legs.

I think it very much depends on the individual character of the cat, but wouldn't trust an unattended knitting set if the cat us not very mellow :-)

@unixwitch oh noooo

I have had cats accidentally take some knitting with them and wind it around the living room, usually followed by me saying "nonono, stop so I can get that yarn unhooked from your leg"!

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