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Cat eats hair ties. HELP!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Oh wow.  Yesterday I came home and I found a HUGE clump of tangled yarn scraps, elastic, and bits of drawstrings that I hadn't seen in WEEKS.  The cat apparently ate them, couldn't digest them, and vomited them up.

 

TODAY I find a clump of FIVE hair ties/ponytail holders.  They're the kind with no metal on them.  

 

I keep this stuff hidden from the cat- I think he sniffs them out.  

 

What to do?  I assume this can't be good for him!

post #2 of 6

You're right, not good for kitties.  My cat Sam has a thing for elastic bands.  Not much you can do other than essentially keep the things under "lock and key" so to speak.  The danger is that they could become entangled in and around the intestines and that would require surgery to rectify the situation.

post #3 of 6

I have a cat that eats ANYTHING that might potentially, in some way, be potentially string like.  It started with tinsel.  I never had a problem before with cats and tinsel, though I do know the warnings.  One Christmas we started to discover tinsel hanging out of her rear end.  I tried to chase her down, but she ended up hiding in the litter box and eliminated the rest of it there.  So, no more tinsel for our trees.  Then she progressed to thread from my sewing room.  It's all in the thread box, but occasionally some little bits have been known to hang out of the drawer.  So she ate them.  This was discovered as she was in the process of eating it.  I managed to get it away from her before she swallowed too much.  She found some yarn, I am not sure where, that I discovered in a similar manner to you describe.  Once I caught her trying to eat the plastic thread that holds carpets together.  It's kinda like fishing line, but more flat.  Anyway, she discovered a section of carpet that had been pulled up in one corner to lay cable line.  That I discovered when I caught her trying to puke it up and not getting anywhere, it was hanging out of her mouth, but she had swallowed part of it so it was stuck in her throat.  She couldn't swallow the rest of it, couldn't puke it up and kept gaggin on it.

 

That one resulted in a $100 trip to the vet, money that we didn't have and had to borrow from my teen daughter.  The vet was not able to do anything really.  They did just what I did first, tried to pull it out gently but couldn't get it.  They did an x-ray to make sure there wasn't some sort of carpet tack or staple on the end she swallowed, there wasn't.  They sedated her to see if they could pull it out that way and were not able to.  So, at that point, our options were do surgery to remove it, clip it as close to the throat as they could get to make it easier to swallow the rest, then wait to see if she passes it without distress.  With that we had the option of leaving her with the vet overnight for observation, that way if she became distressed they could do surgery immediately, or, take her home with a list of specific distress signs and if she showed any, take her to the emergency department so they could do surgery. 

 

Despite the fact that I was genuinely concerned for my kitty, I had to take her home.  I already had to make payment arrangements for the X-ray and that particular month was truely a matter of pay the vet or make the housepayment.  And, within 24 hours, she passed it and it was fine.

 

Now, I just try VERY hard to keep anything sting like locked up.  We are a tinsel free and easter grass free house as well.  I also try to let her outside some to eat grass, hoping she will puke out there and anything she might have eaten will come up.  (I don't keep cat grass inside because she will then puke inside.)  so far we haven't had any other major issues, the one time some easter grass snuck in and she ate it, she managed to eliminate it quickly. 

post #4 of 6

I also have a cat that will eat all manner of inappropriate things, anything string-like is his favorite.   He had emergency surgery twice and then a third surgery to correct an issue caused by the first two incidents. 

 

Not to sound flip but we simply learned to keep everything he might possibly fit into his mouth out of his reach.  We had to put child locks on the cupboard doors, coats were immediately put into the closet, no shoes with strings or laundry or clothing on the floor, ever. 

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caneel View Post

I also have a cat that will eat all manner of inappropriate things, anything string-like is his favorite.   He had emergency surgery twice and then a third surgery to correct an issue caused by the first two incidents. 

 

Not to sound flip but we simply learned to keep everything he might possibly fit into his mouth out of his reach.  We had to put child locks on the cupboard doors, coats were immediately put into the closet, no shoes with strings or laundry or clothing on the floor, ever. 



We are now doing the same! However.. he's likely got a hiding spot because I'm finding him thowing stuff up that I haven't seen in a lonnng time!

 

Also.. do you think he could have eaten an amber teething necklace?  DDs is missing.  I took it off to give her a bath the other day, and didn't lock it up figuring I'll be back in 5 minutes for it.  Poof.  Gone.  DD1 and DH haven't seen it.  I've looked everywhere to no avail :(

post #6 of 6

I thought we were alone with Thomas our cat and his "Strange Addiction"!!!! It started with him eating rubber based (the soft foamy) flip flops, soles of slippers and then moved onto hair ties, rubber bands, shoe laces, etc.  This weekend his eating habits cost us $2000 at the vet to remove, 7 hair ties, a shoe lace, a rubber band and pieces of left over flip flop.  We feel like terrible terrible kitty owners seeing we knew he had a problem and he still got into trouble. But, no matter how much I hide stuff from him, he's borderline OCD until he finds these items to chew and eat.

 

We thought this occurence could be stress induced seeing we're in the middle of moving and just brought a new baby home- Thomas was our "fur-baby" until our real baby arrived. Sadly, there seems to be no way to prevent this behavior other than hiding every single rubber based product in the house he could chew.....

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