Hey, Dr. Jim here. I just finished changing the strings on this guitar here and it made me think about cats and strings. Now cats don’t have any real love of guitar strings unless they happen to be “Nashville Cats” an old “Lovin’ Spoonful” song, but cats do love string, yarn and ribbon, and eating this things can create problems.
String, yarn and ribbon. How can they harm my cat?
Some cats have an affinity for wool and they’ll shred a sock or sweater and swallow the strings and yarn. Swallowing anything like that can cause a serious problem if it doesn’t pass through.
What would happen if my cat eats a string?
Often times what would happen if it doesn’t pass through is the intestines will kind of bunch or accordion around the string and that creates an obstruction of the intestines and the solution for that is surgical removal of the string or yarn.
What is the procedure? What are the don’ts?
Often times the intestines have to be cut in several spots to remove it all. You just can’t open the intestines up and give it a tug and rip it all out. And that goes the same for if you were happen to see a string or thread wrapped around your cat’s tongue or coming out of their butt, you don’t pull it. You’ll create a big problem. It can really rip up the intestines and cause bleeding.
What should I do if my cat eats string?
So if you suspect something like this, call your veterinarian. You know, if there is obstruction typically overtime it’s going to make them really sick, will probably cause vomiting, weight loss, lack of appetite. Their belly may be really painful, and also sometimes you’ll see problems with the ribbon. For example, I have a cat that... I felt its abdomen and thought it had a huge tumor and actually that cat ended up going into surgery and it had a ball of ribbon from presents, the size of a baseball that it totally filled up its stomach. Another cat had probably a hundred or more hair ties in its stomach and intestinal tract that it eaten over time.
Any precautionary tips?
So you need to be careful of your hair ties, you need to be careful with your ribbons. Any toys made of string you got to be really careful with those, make sure your cat’s aren’t tearing toys up and swallowing the strings and kind of be careful when it comes to buying toys.
So that’s cats and string. Have a good one. Sorry about the singing.