Very sad and frightened for my cat...

ladybrowncoatApril 20, 2014

My cat has been my companion for 9 years. She's a rescue kitty, and I had to bottle-feed her since her eyes weren't even open yet so we've always had a special bond. She is very y affectionate but only with my husband and myself. We've seen her through getting spayed, surgery to remove bladder stones and most recently diabetes (a shot of insulin, twice a day). She's gotten through it all and is perfectly healthy and happy...

And then she swallowed about 1.5-2 feet of embroidery floss this morning. I called the vet- we induced her right away but she was not able to bring up the string. So we are in a waiting game. Either she will be able to pass it without issue, or she will show signs of being in pain and we will have to take her in for emergency surgery.

She is acting perfectly normal (if a bit confused by all the extra attention and tears) but I know it can take several days for either scenario to occur. Basically I am just a nervous wreck, wallowing in my own guilt and checking on her every 5 minutes. And reading horror stories on the internet (mistake).

I don't even know why I'm posting this here, except I think I just want someone to tell me everything will be okay. Thanks for reading.

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Sorry to read about kitty.

If it helps, our nutty cat Zorro has a thing for mylar ribbon. He can sniff it out and find it anywhere in the house. He managed to find several feet of it, chewed it up as fast as he could. Some he threw up, but the rest we had to wait on. We gave him extra gravy covered canned food to help the process along. We were very worried too, but in the all came out.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:07PM
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That sounds very scary, and I don't blame you one bit for being worried sick.

I'm not patronizing you when I say I think she'll be OK. Even if, God forbid, she does have to have surgery, remember, cats are SUPER tough and extremely resilient, as you well know. Nothing is ever certain, of course, but there IS a great chance she'll pass it normally. Not that it makes you feel any better at the moment. Since you know what she ate and are being vigilant about watching her, that is a big, big plus.

Hang in there, I know you'll get no rest until she passes the embroidery floss, and as a fellow cat lover, I totally understand that. I wouldn't either, if she were one of my cats. She'll be OK.

Please let us know how everything is going.

Best regards,
Don B.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:19PM
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Thanks for the support!! Kippy, I gave her the special canned food she likes but we don't give her all the time because it's gravy-licious, so it sounds like that was a good call. Don, it really does help to be reminded of how resilient cats are. I am worried sick but I am hopeful.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:34PM
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That same thing happened to my cat about 20 years ago. He ate a red ribbon that was wrapped around a gift and we didn't know it. On Christmas Eve he was showing signs of distress and we had to rush him to the emergency room. They performed surgery to remove the ribbon which was in his intestine. When we went in to pick him up a few days later, the vet handed us the red ribbon in a little plastic baggie. We actually used red ribbon in the baggie as a Christmas ornament for many years to come. That cat went on to live a very long life indeed!

Monitor your cat carefully and the moment he shows any signs of distress get him to the vet. If he doesn't pass the thread in a day or so, an x-ray should be able to show where it is and what it's doing.

I never used another Christmas ribbon after that happened.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:42PM
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Are you positive she swallowed it, sure you didn't throw it away or something?

I had a similar experience when the cat ate a piece of yarn. I checked her poop and found it had passed! Whew, I could barely sleep I was so worried. You know that if you see it exiting, don't pull, right? I agree the above poster that everything will be ok, but let's hope she just passes it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:13AM
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Thoughts & prayers for your kitty, my sisters dog once ate a Popsicle,stick & all and 3 days later it came out, hope that makes you feel a little better,animals are pretty amazing. I would think the stomach acids will make it dissolve. Keep us posted Christine

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 8:15AM
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Ladybrowncoat -
I understand completely the anxiety you are feeling. We're cat people ourselves, our kitties all being rescues and/or ferals, descendants decades back of farm cats left to fend for themselves as all the farms gradually disappeared. I bottle-fed one myself, and have treated sickness and wounds on many others. As Don said, they are very tough, and how fortunate (though more anxious for you) that you know what happened and can make a speedy response if you notice any problems developing. But, I bet everything will be fine.
- Alex

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 8:40AM
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jerzeegirl- Aw, glad your kitty made it through! I think weâÂÂre going to have to avoid ribbons and such in the future, as well.

socks- Unfortunately we are positive she swallowed it :( And yeah, the vet has stressed not to pull. I canâÂÂt believe IâÂÂm typing this sentence, but I hope I find thread in my kittyâÂÂs poop, too! Ha.

christine- A whole popsicle?! ThatâÂÂs impressive. The vet does seem hopeful she will be able to at least partially digest the thread since itâÂÂs organic. Fingers crossed!

samhain- Thanks! I do tend to think of her as fragile, because of all her issues, but youâÂÂre right - I have to remember that she has gotten through every one of her health setbacks and is thriving now.

Thank you all so much for your support! Your kind responses were the last thing I read before a fitful nightâÂÂs sleep, and the first thing I saw this morning. They are helping me to stay hopeful. The vet has been wonderful- he is not her usual vet but he looked at her history and all and called me today to check on her!

In case anyone else has this issue: He says the thing to look for is vomiting with consistent timing after eating or drinking. As in, if she vomits 25 minutes after eating, every time she eats, then likely itâÂÂs hitting an obstruction on the way down. He says not to bring her in for x-rays unless that happens or we see signs of distress, since if we bring her in it will put her off her food and we wonâÂÂt know if issues are from that or the string. We are to encourage her to eat and drink as much as possible (apparently heating canned food until it is, and I quote, âÂÂmushy and really stinkyâ is a way to entice reluctant kitties to eat).

He is quite optimistic she will be able to pass it, as she has had an appetite last night and today, is still active and has had a bowel movement (but no thread, darn it!).

Again, thank you all so much. The kindness of strangers on the internet is a wonderful thing!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 12:57PM
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Sounds good so far. As you said, since it probably is all cotton, maybe it will just be digested and you will never know!

I cannot describe how happy I was when I found that formerly blue yarn in my kitty's poop and hope you get to have that same thrill!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:10PM
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My dog ate a cellophane wrapper from a packaged round steak. I did not know she ate it until she threw it up. Boy was I surprised. I was very careful about what I put in the trash after that. She also ate a suction cup off of one the darts my son's played with. She did not pass that with out help. I had to take her in for the reg worm check when the vet discovered it. She would never have passed it by herself because it had swelled up with all the moisture. I was very young and was not aware that you had to watch over a pet the same as a toddler.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 4:44PM
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One of our four cats eats shoe laces as soon as he can get to it. We try to keep all shoes away from him but sometimes he is faster than we think. Over the last couple years he has probably eaten a couple feet. He has also eaten holes in several blankets. One of the other cats throws up on a blanket and he "cleans" it up and keeps eating. Of course that only happens when we are not home.
I'm always worried but so far he digested everything. He must have extremely strong stomach juices. Most likely your cat will be OK.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 6:24PM
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I found thread!!!!!!!!!!! Never been so happy to see poo in my life.The string was in pieces, and very brittle, so it looks like she's partly digested it (TMI? ha ha!) so hopefully she's in the clear. SO relieved!!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:41PM
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That great! Thank God!! My cat's used to eat tinsel off of the Christmas tree.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 6:46PM
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Very glad to hear that, Ladybrowncoat! Now, get some sleep, eh? : )

Don B.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:15PM
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Thank goodness! We went through a similar incident after our first Christmas with our kitty. We no longer use ribbon on our presents. They might look a little boring but she can't be trusted!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:21PM
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Hurrah! Only another couple of weeks off your life - LOL! Thanks for letting us know.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2014 at 8:45PM
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I'm happy it all worked out in the end. ;-)

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 1:55AM
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No, not TMI, Lady. I know exactly how you feel! Whew, you got through that one OK. I'm so glad.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 4:33PM
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So happy to hear it came out.. I was almost afraid to open this.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 9:56AM
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