Danger: Cats and Thread

K8OrlandoAugust 26, 2012

Many of you have seen me post pictures of my cats, including the handsome blonde, blue-eyed McQueen. McQueen may not be the most even-tempered cat in the house but he's my quilting buddy and my pillow cat, sleeping snuggled up to my head at night. When I'm quilting he curls up on the fabric and watches to see if I'm doing it right. We've had him a bit over 4 years and he's always had a habit of eating thread. It's because of this that I keep the sewing room door closed whenever I'm not in there and I keep all but the thread I'm currently using on an upper shelf. But I must have missed some or turned my back on him at the wrong moment because we've had a thread incident and my beautiful cat is fighting for his life this weekend. If you have a thread-eating cat, I urge you to take more precautions than I've taken! I feel horribly guilty.

I won't go into all the details of his decline and the vet visits, but to make a long and grueling story short, they found a piece of thread lodged under his tongue with both ends disappearing down his throat. X-rays didn't show a needle or any big masses, so that's the good news, but even after they snipped the thread and administered meds, he's still not doing well. We've been using an eye dropper since Friday to get fluids and blended food into him, hoping to move the thread through his system. By now we expected to see some improvement, but he still won't eat or drink on his own. He's very weak and pitiful. I'm so afraid we are losing him.

Please, please, please be more careful than I have been.

Kate

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jackier123

Oh Kate I hope he gets better. I have 3 cats of my own and have banned them from the sewing room because of another friend having the same thing happen. Cats are durable though and hopefully he will start eating on his own after the fear of what happened goes away. One of my cats ate a staple a year or so ago. She would not eat for over a week on her own. I think she was afraid of eating another thing that hurt.

Jackie

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:06PM
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magothyrivergirl

Oh Kate~I am so sorry to hear this! Don't blame yourself!
Cats are full of mischief! I am wishing a speedy recovery for McQueen.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:22PM
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sandlapper_rose

McQueen is a beautiful cat. I can understand how bad you feel. Just hope he is better really soon.
Jeanne

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 8:42PM
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tuppermom

Kate, praying that McQueen begins to eat and drink on his own again soon. I have a Birman cat and her mother grabbed a thread with a needle in it off of a spool of thread. Fortunately, the needle got stuck in the roof of her mouth and didn't go down with the thread. It was a very traumatic experience for Tessa and my sister. It did take a few days for her to get back to normal though. Don't beat yourself up though...my sister is a breeder and her livelyhood depends on her cats and it took her a day or so to see that Tessa had a problem. Cats have a habit of hiding when they are distressed. I would imagine that McQueen has a bit of a sore tongue from the thread being wrapped around it.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 9:59PM
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toolgranny

Here's hoping for a full recovery. Losing a catfriend would be awful and from your own thread, even worse. We'll be thinking of him.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:02PM
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msmeow

Oh, Kate! I'm crying for you and McQueen. Prayers for his recovery! And for you...please don't beat yourself up...cats are quiet and curious, as you know, and they can get into anything!

HUGS to you both!

Donna

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:02PM
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mary_c_gw

I'm hoping for a full recovery for your McQueen, Kate.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:11PM
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geezerfolks_SharonG_FL

Oh Kate! I'm so sorry about McQueen's thread incident and hopefully, he'll come around soon. Please don't beat yourself up about it as accidents happen. Keep us posted.

SharonG/FL-IN

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:21PM
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quiltnhen

So sorry to hear about his misery. I'm holding good thoughts for a complete recovery. But as others have said. Don't beat yourself up. You did your best and accidents happen. Cats are amazingly devious.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:28PM
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loisflan

So sorry, Kate. He's so beautiful. Nature has a way of healing its creatures. Maybe he just needs some time now. Good luck. Lois

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 10:38PM
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polardreams

Kate,
I am so sorry about McQueen. He is really beautiful. I will pray that his "thread-ball" passes and he has a full recovery. My silly dog does the same thing and I am terrible about not keeping threads and scraps picked up. I vow to do better!
Sue

    Bookmark   August 26, 2012 at 11:32PM
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murphy_zone7

hoping that McQueen and you are doing better. Cats do have nine lives....I don't have a cat, but am owned by a thread, used tissue, zinnia eating maltese. Have to watch him every minute and the bathroom wastebaskets live in the tubs. Also try to keep the threads out of his reach, but sometimes....well you know what I mean. I will be more careful thanks to your reminder.
Prayers for a speedy recovery.
Murphy

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:21AM
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ritaweeda

So sorry you're going through this, I would be sick if this happened to our Sassy (dog). I worry constantly about her swallowing something, she eats everything. We've finally got her trained to only chew her toys in the house, but outside is a different story. It's impossible to follow her around 5 acres of woods and she loves to roam out there so much, I hate to keep her confined all the time.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 5:55AM
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bozogardener

I hope McQueen pulls through! My niece's cat ate a bunch of thread and had to have emergency surgery. She pulled through, though. Ever since then everything is put away after every sewing session since my sewing room doesn't have a door.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:03AM
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K8Orlando

Thank you all for your kind thoughts and words. McQueen isn't noticeably better this morning but he's no worse either. He protested a bit more when we were eye-droppering water and food into him; we took that as a good sign. Unfortunately neither of us could stay home with him today. Maybe, left to himself with just the other animals around, he'll start to at least drink water on his own. If not, we'll continue with the eye dropper when we get home.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 8:48AM
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nanajayne

How sad for you and McQween,but don't feel guilty, things happen dispite how careful and thoughtful we try to be.
Cats have a survival instinct and I am sure he will start to improve as soon as his tongue start to heal. I don't curently have a cat but am very fond of them. My best is with you both.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:53AM
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dawnp

I'm sorry to hear about your beautiful kitty.

Please let us know how she is doing!

Dawn

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 11:37PM
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lafonda_ranch

I am so sorry. Who would have guessed? I hope he bounces back soon.

Robbi

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 8:43AM
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K8Orlando

Tuesday morning update:
- Still some nausea (why do cats throw up on CLEAN laundry???)
- A bit more activity and he looks much more alert. He jumped onto our bed last night!
- Still pretty lethargic
- Still won't eat on his own, but drank a bit of water

All in all, I would say he's doing better.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 11:25AM
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quiltnhen

So glad he's returning to normal. Now since he's a cat he'll milk it for a while and be just fine. Interesting how picky they are about where they put their messes isn't it.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 11:34AM
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msmeow

Kate, that sounds like good news! Hopefully he's on the mend. Like Jayne said, his tongue is probably sore.

Jeff Foxworthy says babies are nauseated by the smell of a clean shirt...maybe that's true for cats, too. :) Ours usually run off the laminate floor (easy to clean) and onto the carpet (not easy to clean) before they barf.

Donna

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 11:36AM
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lola99

Kate, I'm so glad to hear McQueen is starting to drink. That is a great sign. Hope he continues to recover.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 1:54PM
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dawnp

Yay!

Hoping for more progress today!

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 2:26PM
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dan_the_mailman

Kate, I just saw this and it sounds like McQueen is going to pull through. It's hell to go through though when one of them is sick, and I understand how you're feeling. Stella went thru something similar this past Spring, and I was scared sick! But, if he's protesting what you're doing and drinking water, it sounds like he'll be fine a few days. Then it'll be on to the next phase/tantrum/bit of mayhem!
Sending you and McQueen Happy Thoughts!
Dan, Bump, and Stella

    Bookmark   August 28, 2012 at 7:41PM
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msmeow

Kate, how is Mr. McQueen doing? I've been thinking about you guys!

Donna

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:20AM
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K8Orlando

Well, yesterday was a messy day but a good one. If I told you the whole gory story you would probably end up laughing but grossed out. Let's just say most of the thread has been expelled. We're not sure how long the process took yesterday because we came home to the aftermath. One section of thread was 14" long with 'pearls' attached. It had been dragged around the house before... ah... detaching! Trails of... ummmm... 'stuff' everywhere. Another 12" section was still with him, if you get my meaning and so we snipped that as close to the source as we dared. We're hoping, if we are doing the math right, that maybe there's only another couple inches left in him and he should be able to get rid of that more easily. We cleaned him up, then scrubbed the floors. He's drinking water, eating a couple tiny bits of food, and resting happily.

It took us a while yesterday to notice that all the other animals were hiding or at least staying clear of him. We were kind of busy! Then we realized that he had probably been pretty crazy during the elimination process. He's not the sweetest cat in the best of times and generally treats the other cats and the dogs badly. Yesterday he must have been truly scary, running around the house in a panic, polydactyl fully-clawed paws flying. He's a vocal Siamese too so if he was suffering and scared he would not have kept that to himself. I'm surprised the noises didn't scare the neighbors! Anyway, we coaxed all the kids out of hiding after we cleaned things up, gave them some special treats and some extra cuddling, and now all seems OK.

We'll continue to watch him and make sure he's getting enough food and water but he seems to be recovering.

Thanks for all your well-wishes and your emotional support!!!

Kate

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:06AM
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quiltnhen

Funny or not, oh so sorry you had such a mess. Guess he had a right to complain of a stomach ache didn't he! On the bright side, wonderful that he's recovering.
Our cat so far just smacks things around on the floor or off the table. I keep all the pins up and so far she hasn't touched the thread! Got my fingers crossed and your cautions at the front of my mind!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:55AM
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loisflan

Kate, what a hoot! But I'm so glad he seems to be recovering. I had a cat once that loved to eat the tinsel, or icicles, from our Christmas tree with the same results as you describe. It's a very festive look for a cat! Lois

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 11:55AM
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geezerfolks_SharonG_FL

Kate, Glad to hear McQueen is recovering.

SharonG/FL-IN

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 12:51PM
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msmeow

Oh, Kate! I'm sorry it was such a mess to clean up, but SO, SO happy he's doing better!

Once I saw Penny with a piece of dental floss hanging out of her mouth. Of course, by the time I caught her the last of it was disappearing! I called the vet and they said bring her in RIGHT AWAY. I stuffed her in the carrier and dropped her off on my way to work. Not long after I got to work they called and said she was ready to be picked up. When I picked her up at the end of the day they handed me a baggie with the floss in it (like I wanted it). They must have given her kitty ipecac or something. :)

Donna

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 1:40PM
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K8Orlando

When the vet called today - he's really a good guy and has been calling every day - I told him the story and then asked if he wanted me to bring in the thread so they could see how much there was. He was silent for a minute, then just laughed and said "No, I know where it's been". LOL

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 2:58PM
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ritaweeda

Oh, Kate, I hate to admit this, but I was silently giggling. The things we do for our animals! Just yesterday I miraculously talked DH into studying some YouTube videos on how to express the dog's anal glands. (BTW, after I had viewed a couple of them I almost hurled.) But I mean, come on, $25 bucks at the vet every time she scoots her butt on the floor?? I made sure that he understood that this was HIS dog, HE brought her home, and it was HIS duty. I was asked by the vet with the last dog if I wanted to learn how to do it myself, and very rapidly replied: "NOT!" Anyway, I am glad your dear kitty is pulling out of this.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:12PM
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calliope

Please be very careful on the anal gland expression. If it isn't done properly, you can do a lot of damage.

Yeah, the things we do for our animals. Three years ago, I had a half dozen cats and a dog, all geriatric. My vet told me I was running an animal rest home. Honestly my nursing training from years ago came in handy. I probably would have laughed when I was shelling out the money for the tuition, to know where it would eventually come to fruition.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:10PM
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littlehelen_gw

Well Kate...I too am most happy of the good news...and having had the pleasure to engage with your various furry menagerie over the years...I will say McQueen,while the handsomest of boys, I'm sure terrorized the rest of your happy home during his trials today...oh my...too bad you two didn't set up a video to keep an eye on things!
.
What we do for our animals...Donna: LOL at your bag of floss...our vet handed us a very handsome bill for surgery and a 3" rubber ball chewed in half which he procured from our 12 pound boston terrier.

love to everyone's furries that they stay healthy and safe with us!
V.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:44PM
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polardreams

I am glad that McQueen is starting to get better. I have to admit, I did chuckle at the scene when you came home - only because many of us have been there! My son's dog came to visit this last weekend and proceded to puke all over the living room. Gosh, I love that dog ... :)

Keep us posted.
Sue

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 9:26PM
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magothyrivergirl

Happy to hear you found your tread.......:)
McQueen should feel better each day. No more sewing for him!

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:16AM
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lafonda_ranch

Awesome!! Glad to hear he is almost back to normal.

Robbi

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 8:16AM
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