Friday, February 13, 2015

Protect your cat!

I was at the sink, washing dishes.  Suddenly I heard a sound coming from the other side of the counter.  I recognized it as the noise my cat makes when he is retching, although it sounded a little different than usual.

I rounded the counter, expecting to have to do some cleaning up - and what I saw shocked me.  My cat wasn't retching - he was choking.

Earlier that day, I had taken the photos for my post It's a Puzzle, in which I published a photo of an apron with a puzzle logo on it.  I had laid the apron on the table, and not thought anything of it.



One of the thin apron strings had apparently dangled off the table, catching the cat's attention.  He must have started to chew on it, as I saw the end was in his mouth.  I ran over and grabbed the apron.  I pulled -- and pulled. Finally, the end of a very slimy string appeared - almost all of which had been located somewhere in my cat's GI tract. Had I not been there, I have no idea how he would have dislodged it from his system.


We try to never leave elastic bands where our cat can find them.  If ingested, they can lead to a blockage or other intestinal issue requiring surgery; yet he will seek out, chew, and swallow any that he can find.  Once, he even dug through my purse and pulled one out from there! Curling ribbon, pony-tail holders, and string are equally dangerous. I have even heard of a cat chewing on the thread dangling from a pin cushion, and nearly ingesting the needle. It is up to us to protect our cat from these perils.

Elastic bands, pony-tail holders and curling ribbons are all household dangers for cats.
A thread from a pincushion can tempt a cat to chew on it, and then possibly even swallow the attached needle!
It simply never occurred to me that the tie of an apron could become an issue.

Fortunately, my cat survived without the need for a trip to the vet. In order to take the photos for this post, I had to get the (now clean) apron back out, and recreate the scene. Immediately, the cat was attracted once again to playing with the apron strings.  This time though, I took the apron away before the tie ended up once again down his throat!


I'm pretty fond of this cat.  I'm glad I was there to help him when he decided to swallow an apron!

What other hazards would you list for cats that pet owners should be aware of?

16 comments :

  1. Close call. I'm glad you were there.

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    1. Balls of yarn are dangerous as well. We had a kitten who nearly strangled himself playing with a ball he found in my junk room. Christmas tinsel is another bad one.

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    2. Me too! Glad your kitten was okay - yarn seems like such a fun toy for cats, but I'm sure it is dangerous - and a good warning about the tinsel!

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  2. Back in the day I'd wear knee high nylons to work. Our black lab Fergus developed a fondness for them and would gobble them up whole if I foolishly left them lying around. He came into work with me and well ... it was quite the sight when they came out the other end days later. He'd spin and twist to get a look at why it was taking so long. Lovely when you're on a busy street and the full bus is passing by ... So happy your cat is ok!

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    1. Glad to hear my dog is not the only dog who has "passed" some strange objects... can't say I have ever had to endure a full bus watching the process though!!

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  3. Oh, I'm so glad for you that your cat was okay. Pulling the string could have been a bit dicey, so I'm glad it worked out. Our cat did a similar thing at New Year's--and while the vet was doing Ralph's surgery (yeah....) he took a sample and we discovered that the reason he wants to eat odd things is that he suffers from inflammatory bowel syndrome! Apparently that's a fairly common symptom. Who knew, right? He's on meds and special food now, and doing well, but it was a harrowing experience.

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    1. I agree Karen - had I realized he had so much of the string was in him, I would never have pulled it out so quickly! Fortunately, he suffered no consequences from it! Interesting about the IBS - my cat has the same diagnosis!! Cortisone shots have been very helpful when he flairs up, but the vet never mentioned that it might be the cause of him eating odd things ... and he definitely does (Enough to fill several chapters of a book I should write someday!)

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  4. So glad you saved your cat. Is this the same cat you've always had since you've been in Montana?

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  5. What a moment of horror! When your little fur baby is suffering. So glad you were able to sort things out. Sooo scary! And thank you for the advice. I don't have cats, but my kids do . . .

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    1. Apparently, a cat's tongue is sort of barbed - so when they ingest something like a string they can't just spit it out!

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  6. Yikes! I bet that was scary. I've never had a cat believe it or not I'm terrified of them. I have had a pet that I loved a lot so I can imagine your momentary panic.

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    1. If you are terrified of cats, Rena - you certainly wouldn't like mine! He scares most people!!

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  7. So glad you were nearby to rescue your cat! My husband is allergic to cats, so we can't have one, but our dog has been known to eat some strange things!

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    1. My husband is allergic to cats as well - but my daughter wanted one so badly when she was small, that he agreed to try it! We got lucky, this cats dander is apparently not the variety to which he is allergic!

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