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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21419
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Our cat just ate some string that I use .

Customer Question

Hi ,
Our cat just ate some string that I use for cooking. What should I do and will she be ok as it was about 5cm long. Unfortunately she's a skittish cat so have been unable to grab it off her in time or even catch her now. Thanks.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian & I would like to help you with your wee one today.
Unfortunately, this is a real concern.
Strings can be very dangerous for cats. This is because if allowed to remain in her stomach, we can see situations where these become damaging foreign bodies. Often the string will get stretched (or one end caught in the stomach as the other moves down the gut) and this can cause blockage as it pulls the loops of gut together or can even cheese wire through the gut to cause damage or perforation to the gut wall.
In this situation, the best option would be to catch her and get her to her vet. They can induce vomiting by using injectable apomorphine and/or use their endoscope (a scope with a camera) to remove it from her stomach and avoid any issue.
Otherwise, if that isn't an option, then we'd have to try to get her to pass it the other way while keeping a close eye on her. To do that, we can add cat hairball treatment or a GI lubricant to her food to help ease has passing this. As well, we can add some fiber (ie canned pumpkin, 0.25tsp unflavoured Benefiber added to canned food, etc) to try to bulk up her stools and keep that string from getting stuck.
Of course, if you use the latter, we need to keep a very close eye on her. Any signs of appetite loss, vomiting, straining to pass feces, pale gums, black stools, or belly pain; and we'd need her seen urgently by her vet. And if they did confirm a blockage from this, then she may even need surgery.
Overall, these situations are precarious for cats and do carry real risk. Therefore, it'd be ideal to catch her now and have her vet remove that string before it can get into her intestines. If we can do so, we can avoid any serious harm. Otherwise, we need to encourage this to keep moving while keeping a close eye on her for the next few days to make sure this causes her no issue.
Please take care,
Dr. B.
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