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Rebecca, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 16836
Experience:  Veterinarian for more than 30 years
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I had been playing with my (4 to 5 year old) cat Tia with a

Customer Question

I had been playing with my (4 to 5 year old) cat Tia with a big piece of string secured properly on the end of a large emery board, as I do several times each and every day. It is like a long shoe lace but ironed out so it's flat. I made sure there were no plastic or sharp bits whatsoever and the flattened lace was double thickness rendering it extremely strong. I also always check there are no weakened areas that could potentially harm her. When she has had enough, she picks it up and starts to walk with it, probably pleased with herself that she had caught and disabled "her prey"! She walked just a short way around the coffee table, which she often does, and literally just a couple of minutes later, I bent down to see if she was ok, again, what she and I regularly do, when to my absolute horror, she had a very small piece of the string hanging from the side of her mouth. I am severely disabled and use my wheelchair a lot of the time, but as I got there, just 2-3 seconds later and bent down to try to retrieve it, it had gone. I instantly put my fingers in her mouth to see if I could get it before she swallowed it, but it had gone. I tried to make here vomit, but nothing came up. I was and am desperately upset and crying, appologising profusely to her as this was my fault. Looking at the length of material left, I would hazard a guess that she has swallowed about 6" of it. I had to move into this sheltered housing recently, as I was constantly falling and breaking more and more bones. I live on my own, with my beautiful little friend Tia, as my husband had walked out on me after 30 years of marriage and I had to use my wheelchair more. I don't have anyone to help me, and as I am unable to use a taxi, I am in a dreadful situation. I have always had cats in my life, since the day I was born. All of
my previous cats lived and flourished to a really good age before they passed and I still mourne them all. It never gets any easier, but this is my fault and I can't cope with it. I am on such a small budget having to live on benefits since my ex walked out on me. Could you please, please tell me how to make her sick as this happened about 2.15am, and I am praying it will still be in her tummy and not started to digest into her intestines. I may be able to actually get her to a vet tomorrow, in Rochdale, who is alright with people in my financial situation and would be able to help me Pro Bono. I don't know if I can get some help yet, I will have to speak to them in the morning. If I am unable to, I don't know what I'll do. If there is any advice or help you could give me pertaining to this matter It would be greatly, greatly appreciated and you would make an older lady extremely grateful.
Thank you for time and help in this matter,
Madeleine Doodson
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
I am so sorry to hear what happened with Tia, your situation, and that you are so upset. I am a veterinarian, and will do my best to help.
Cats are so curious, and things like this happen often.
You are right to be worried, because when cats swallow things like yarn and strings, they can get a "linear foreign body", causing the intestines to be all tangled and pinched off. Generally, I worry about strings that are 8 to 10 inches or longer as causing a problem.
Since your string was only 6 inches, there is a pretty good chance it will pass.
You could try to induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide (we do this in dogs), but it can be harmful to the stomach lining in cats, and I don't recommend it.
I would just treat her like normal. As long as she is eating and drinking, and not vomiting, she may be passing the string.
Keep monitoring her gums to see if they are pink in color.
Let me know how you and she are doing, and what else I can answer.
Expert:  Rebecca replied 2 years ago.
How is Tia today?