Top 10 Personal Items Cats Steal From Us

Wonder what happened to your hair bands/swabs/Post-Its/straws? Ask your cat.

By Angie Bailey | Posted: January 28, 2015, 6 p.m. EDT

10 Things Cats Like to Steal

Cats are little thieves, always on the lookout for something shiny or highly swattable. I can see the look in my cats’ eyes when they spot something they want. They become highly focused, and go forward with the thievery in one of two ways. They either try to be ninja-like or they blatantly swipe the item right from under your nose – usually the latter.

In this week’s Top 10, we’ll be counting down the top 10 personal items cats love to steal from us, with some nice examples from my own little thieves.

10. Post-it notes
Post-it notes are fun for cats for a few reasons. The pads are light enough to swat around like hockey pucks, a single note has delightfully sticky stuff on the back, and a crumpled up Post-it note is, well, a paper ball. Cats and paper balls are longtime friends.

9. Tape
My Phoebe goes out of her way to lift any loose tape that’s easily available to her pilfering paws – even if it’s off the roll of tape sitting on my desk. And I have to bury tape pieces in the wastebasket or she’ll snag it and race away with her exciting acquisition.

8. Corks
Corks are some of the most easily stolen objects. The size, shape and weight make them a breeze to bat off the kitchen counter. Cats want us to drink more wine.

7. Cough drops
When I’m not feeling well and chain-sucking cough drops, I often have a little pile of wrapped lozenges on the table beside me. My cats believe this is a new pile of toys just for them. I’m sick, and they want to steal from me. Nice.

6. Q-tips
Q-tips are another object I have to bury in the wastebasket because used ones are way more steal-worthy than new ones; however both are attractive to cats and usually find their way into their possession.

5. Emery boards
My cats have a thing about chewing emery boards. The thought of that just makes my teeth hurt! I’ve seen Phoebe swipe an emery board from the bathroom counter and hot foot across the house with it in her mouth. I have to admit – it is a really funny sight.

4. Straws
My cats have been known to snag a straw right out of my glass. I was confused the first couple of times this happened, and then I found a collection of chewed-up straws under the sofa. Mystery solved.

3. Hair elastics
Classic. Hair elastics are small, stretchy, light and easy for a cat to carry in his mouth. I forget how many I leave lying around until I find random elastics under the bed, in the toy basket, and floating in the cat fountain. Or maybe my cats secretly want to be hair stylists? It could happen. Ed Note: Keep an eye on these! Cats eat them!

2. Lip balm tubes
These tubes are the object of many a theft at my house. They’re small and slide like crazy – the perfect cat toy! I’ve been using the lip balm in the circular tube lately, and that drives the cats even crazier. It’s easy to swat off the table and it rolls. Stop, thief!

And the No. 1 personal object cats steal from us is … drumroll, please!

1. Pens and pen caps

Cats love to bat a nice, slidey pen or cap across the floor. At one time, I tried to keep all my pens in a little cup on my desk, but then Phoebe decided she’d just pull them out of the cup. She likes a challenge, so the pen-in-the-cup solution further encouraged her thievery.