Beware of Shopping Bags

My wife bought some gifts Saturday evening and was given a large shopping bag to carry them in. When we got home Frankie was immediately interested in getting inside the bag. So much so that I had to move the bag to the bedroom where he couldn’t get to it.

I don’t know what happened after that. I’m sure Rose probably went through the bag and took out whatever was not meant as a gift. Whatever she did, she moved the bag and set it on the floor next to her closet.

We went out for lunch today and shortly after we returned we heard a commotion in the bedroom. It sounded like Frankie knocked the bag off the dresser, where I thought it still was, but the noise didn’t stop. Soon we saw Floki racing down the hallway with a large bag attached to him.

He ran up onto the table and then down under the table and then into the living room. We tried to stop him but he was completely freaked out. At one point the bag ripped and most of it fell away but there remained a large piece still attached to him. He jumped onto the coffee table and then up onto the sofa where he ran across the back of it and then back down. He then ran into the Florida room. I followed him out there and closed the door. He stopped on one of the cat perches and I tried to get the bag off him but the handle was around his neck and under his right armpit. I couldn’t pull it off.

I called out to Rose, “Can you give me the scissors?!” She immediately got them and brought them too me. Unfortunately, As soon as I tried to cut the handle the scissors broke. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep Floki calm for very much longer but then I remembered I had another pair of scissors nearby so I grabbed those and cut the handle off.

Below is a video of the last part of this drama. There might be some mild cursing so turn the volume down if that offends you.

Floki immediately jumped down and went into the cubby hole at the bottom of one of the perches. There we could see that he had a large amount of drool coming from his mouth. I assumed that is what happens after spending a long two minutes frightened out of your wits.

Fortunatly he seemed to recover quick and was napping next to me not long after the incidence.

Bag handles are very dangerous for cats. I have known this for a long time. Probably since Chris was young and almost got stuck in a bag handle.

At the time I thought it was funny but if it happens when nobody is around it could be life threatening, especially if the cat freaks out like Floki did. If we were not around and if that was a canvas bag it would not have ripped and would have eventually hooked on something and with Floki in a state of panic he might have been strangled. It is a scary thought.

Most of the time I do a good job keeping bag handles away from the cats when I am not around. I fold the canvas bags so they are not an enticement and I cut the handles off the paper bags I get at whole foods if they don’t go to the trash or recycling right away. Sometimes I do let them play but only if I am there watching.

On a side note, you may be wondering about the video. I saw this camera on Amazon on sale for under $20 so I thought I would buy it. I wanted something I could leave on so I can check up on the cats when we go to Germany as well as something I can use for security. The camera I bought takes relatively good quality videos for the price but it has issues that make it a bad buy.

It not only saves the videos in a format that my computer does not recognize but it puts every little clip in a separate folder. I can only view them using my phone and if I want to save it I can’t just download it I have to play it and hit the record button while playing. It then saves an mp4 file that has the audio and video out of sync. You wouldn’t believe the trouble I had getting them back in sync before uploading to YouTube. After uploading I noticed the end is further out of sync than the beginning. Lately I haven’t been using the camera but fortunately I decided to plug it in before we went to lunch.

47 thoughts on “Beware of Shopping Bags

  1. The Island Cats

    That is scary. They recommend that you cut the handles off of bags like that so cats don’t get caught up in them. Glad Floki is okay.

  2. The Florida Furkids

    That happened to Allie once. It’s scary because they think the bag is chasing them.

    We have cameras all over the house. They are all D-Link and are affordable, easy to use and pretty good quality.

    The Florida Furkids

  3. foguth

    I never realized that could happen! Good to know because I generally use gift bags instead of wrap boxes, so I shall now know that I need to somehow eliminate the potential problem.

      1. foguth

        Fortunately, I keep my gift wrapping supplies in my home office … I also keep my yarn there and the door locked against you-know-who.
        Didn’t realize they were both kitty hazards.

  4. onespoiledcat

    That had to be terrifying for him…..but thank heavens you were able to get it taken care of before anything worse happened. Teddy has never had any curiosity about bags but we still don’t have any accessible to him – they are thrown out or if they’re “keepers” they are in a spot he has zero access to.


  5. iamthesunking

    Oh my goodness! How lucky that you were there to free poor Floki! All our bags are in cupboards and drawers so there is zero chance of Louis Catorze getting to them (unless he uses his Cloak of Invisibility to sneak in). Hope Floki is ok!

  6. Timmy Tomcat

    We have had a bag episode at our house and also keep an eye out now. Thanks for the post to remind us all that the simplest thing can be dangerous in the right situation

    1. Charles Huss Post author

      I’m going to reminder every now and then can’t hurt. I should have been more cautious with that bag and I should have made sure my wife was more cautious as well. I know better but sometimes I need reminding too.

  7. databbiesotrouttowne

    dood….we iz buzzed happee yur aye oh kay…..thiz happened ta R cuzin de perkolator manee yeerz ago; her waz down stairz N her peepulz waz sleepin up stairz… de hee roe waz de bull dawg they had at de time; him barked hiz fool head off coz he new sum thin was just knot…rite 🙂 ♥♥ that woke em up N they waz abe bull ta help perky ♥♥♥

  8. caren gittleman

    Like you, I have known for a LONG time that ANY shopping bag with a handle is dangerous to cats. So much so that when I see people on blogs with their cats playing in bags I have been known to leave a comment telling them to STOP doing it. Even knowing what I know…….about 2 years ago the SAME THING happened to Cody that happened to Floki and he COMPLETELY freaked out. I had a plastic shopping bag on top of a table and it was flat with nothing in it. I had planned on moving it but hadn’t yet. Cody got inside and the bag got stuck around him…………he also got completely freaked out like Floki and ran under the bed. I was extra upset with myself because I KNEW not to have a bag around. These warnings are important and I hope that people heed your warning………both with shopping bags and ANY sort of a bag with handles. Glad Floki is ok!!!

  9. kittiesblue

    We have had a few bag incidents in the past. It is really scary. Any bag this around where a cat could find it always has its handles cut. So happy Floki wasn’t hurt. I absolutely know how frightened you were.

  10. Cathy Keisha

    Whoa! I hope he wasn’t caught for a time while you were out too. This happened to me shortly after I moved here. I went to get into the recycling paper bag and got caught. I raced through the house like Floki. Pop panicked but TW got the scissors and calmly cut me loose. It might be the only time she didn’t panic. Other bloggers and folks get mad cos anytime they post a “cute” pic of a cat resting in a bag with handles, I freak and let them know it. Anyhoo, I’m glad he’s ok and didn’t get a burn or anything from the handle.

  11. Marjorie Dawson

    Wow that is SCARY. We had a cat caught in a bag once and while it seems a bit comical it totally creaks the cat out. I will share your post – it matters a lot.

    PS I know the Petcube is not cheap but the Petcube play also has night vision. I would not be without mine.

  12. Cats Herd You

    This is so important for people to realize. Louie, one of the cats who came before, managed to do this on three separate occasions. Cupcake did just recently with a small shopping bag I had brought home from the optometrist and still had a small container of glasses cleaner in it. It’s traumatic for a cat to have a bag “chasing” them like that, and it’s up to humans to be sure bag handles are safely cut.

  13. BellaDharma'ss LadyMeow

    Meow wow that was sum scarey time for Floki man cat! Mee ‘angel’ Unkell Siddhartha got cott inn a plastick bag like Floki an same thing happened!! Mee LadyMeow had to calmlee chase Unkell an then tooked him inn bathroom. Hee was all ways calm onn there an shee got bag off him! An LadyMeow nevurr let mee Unkell play with plastick bagss again! Or mee!
    Wee hope Floki iss all bettur now…..
    **purrsss** BellaDharma an {{huggiesss}} LadyMeow
    Pee S: Wee saw yore link on Miss Marjorie’ss timeline on Faceybook an wanted to come an vizzit.

  14. Deziz World

    We’re so glad Floki is okay. Mommy learned this pawful lesson long ago and trains us to leave handled bags alone. And, she removes them quickly from our grasp just in case temptation be too much. Big hugs

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Raena


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