Most cats LOVE playing with a dangly, twitchy, bouncing string. Some cats take play too far. Take Jake, for example. Jake was helping his owner embroider some Christmas gifts. Enter the Rayon Embroidery Thread......It came on a spool that rolled.....It was RED and SHINY.....like a snake. It was fun to chew. It felt good against my teeth...OOOOPS! I swallowed some!
48 hours later, really sick cat, scared owners.
Does any of this sound familiar? Have you ever pulled a string out of your cats mouth? Here are FOUR things to know about "string foreign bodies" that may prevent your cat getting into Jake's situation.
ONE: If the string is "organic", it may digest. Cotton is organic. If you hold the string tight and pull, and it breaks, it is probably organic. MOST thread and yarns are MAN MADE fibers -nylon, polyester, rayon -this is the stuff they make fishing line out of -This thread will not break when pulled. And it will not digest. SO, if you let your cat play with string or yarn -BE SURE IT WILL BREAK when pulled!
TWO: Often, a string that is swallowed will pass thru the GI tract. You may see tell-tale evidence in the litter box. If you do, consider yourself lucky, but FIND THE SOURCE of the string and eliminate it.
THREE: If you EVER see a string hanging out of the rectum of your pet (cat OR dog), NEVER PULL ON IT! You should cut it short, and wait for the rest to pass on its own. Pulling can cause damage to the intestines if the string is a MAN MADE FIBER (see rule one.)
FOUR: IF your cat likes to chew/ swallow foreign material, I can guarentee that they will NEVER learn their lesson. You will need to police their environment 24/7 to keep them away from whatever they love to chew. You may need to put the embroidery thread, or yarn or fishing rods under LOCK AND KEY (really)!
Jake is now home from the Fox Valley Cat Clinic, recovering nicely from his stomach and intestinal surgery. I am certain that Jake's owners have learned their lesson, but I am pretty sure that Jake will soon be up for a quick game of "dancing thread!"
From my cats to yours, a Wish for a Holiday full of purrs and happy feet, a warm nap with your favorite person, a squirrel outside your window, and a tummy full of your favorite meat.
Dr. Maureen Flatley
Dr. Maureen Flatley