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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22615
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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Hi My young cat of just a year. Swallowed a fairly large

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My young cat of just a year. Swallowed a fairly large feather from a cat toy, it had a thin plastic bit down centre. Swallowed whole before I could get it out. Have removed the 2 remaining feathers from toy. Will my cat be ok fron this or should I be worried as they are pefigree's and show cats. I have given her some hairball remedy which I hope will help with elimination.

Can you advise me as I am worried, should I just keep an eye on her, or should I get her to my vet tomorrow.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

How long ago did Rosie ingest the feather?

Were the feathers real or plastic?

How is she in herself just now? Eating, drinking, behaving normally?

Any belly pain when you palpate her?

Any vomiting, diarrhea, straining to pass feces or fecal discoloration?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

roughly ingested between 2-3 hours ago. artificial feather from toy, so i guess plastic.


seems ok at present. resting in her snuggle bed, this is normal for her.


has eaten, behaving normal for her, not sure about drinking, as she is

not big drinker. no vomiting or or other symptons at the moment,


Thank you Brenda,

Now in the wild, kitties will be eating feathers (along with the rest of the bird) without a problem quite regularly. Still if this is a synthetic feather, then we do have to consider that there may be a risk of GI blockage (especially if it was very big and swallowed whole) or that the pointed edge could cause some discomfort and trauma to the inside of her intestine.

With that in mind, the main signs we need to watch out when we are concerned about GI obstruction are appetite loss, vomiting, lethargy, straining, and abdominal pain (sometimes the cats will hide or act aggressive). We can also see throat signs (coughing, throat pain), pale gums, blood in vomit or feces, or darkening of the stool if the feather is causing trauma to the gut. If we were to see any of these signs, then we’d want her to be checked by her vet (+/- xray) urgently.

Now since she is not showing any of those signs and is comfortable, then we shouldn’t panic and can just monitor her at this stage. That said, we can take some steps just now to promote moving that feather and the feces that are likely building up around it through her intestines. To start, we often will use cat hairball remedy to ease its passage through her gut and decrease the risk of it getting stuck, so I am glad to see you have started with this already. Furthermore, you could also consider treating her with a small volume of Miralax (1 tsp per 24 hours), lactulose (LINK) or mineral oil orally (ideally offer in food or if given via oral syringe then take care to avoid aspiration, since that would cause problems we'd best avoid) as a GI lubricant. Don't be alarmed if the does cause her feces to be a wee bit sloppy (it should be self-limiting and stop when these treatments are halted). Furthermore, if she is eating you can mix in a spoonful of canned pumpkin or a 1/4t teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil or Benefiber into her food. Just like people, these can help push things through the GI. I would offer these with wet food to ease her eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into her (as canned food is 35% water). Hopefully, with these interventions we will continue to see feces passing (which we would expect every 24-48 hours) and hopefully some with that featther in.

So, that would be your main focus for the moment. If you try these at this stage and as long as you do not see any of the adverse signs I have noted, then you can monitor and follow up with her vet tomorrow (where we'd want her seen right away if she did show belly pain or any of those aforementioned signs). If she is remains comfortable tomorrow, then you can continue to monitor her. That said, again any sign of those adverse signs or a lack of feces over the next 24 hours and she would need to be seen. Alternatively, you could just decide to have her checked tomorrow so that her vet can have a feel of her belly to give you peace of mind that there is no obstruction present and the feather is moving. And if one is suspected, then she will be in the right place to have it addressed.

Overall, feathers do not often cause obstruction in kitties. Therefore, since Rosie's current signs don't raise the red flags that the feather may be lodged, I would suggest monitoring her at this stage, taking the above steps to push the feather and feces through her gut. But if you do so and aren't making progress over the 24-48 hours or she does show any of those aforementioned signs, then those would be our cue to get her checked by her vet.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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