Cats are adventurous little creatures. There is very little, which scares them. If you have been a cat parent for an extended period, you would know better than anyone what we are trying to say. We are sure you would’ve run in on your cat trying to experiment with something with its mouth at least once. Maybe getting its tongue stuck to a block of ice? It wouldn’t be arguably to say the cat motto is to live by thrill or not at all. You are making your job as a cat parent twice as tricky. Not too different is the case when it comes to balls of threads.
Why do cats like strings?
You could put a cat toy and a ball of yarn for your cat to choose from, and it will still go for a ball of yarn. Why is it this way? What do cats find strings to be more attractive? We will let you in on a secret about cat psychology! They have an uncontrollable attraction towards anything that is associated with motion. Some veterinarians believe that it makes them feel similar to when they are running to catch a mouse. A string that can be twisted into patterns is the closest a cat can find something that gives rest to its impulses.
What are the signs that your cat has eaten strings?
If only a cat parent could be monitoring every passing second of their cat’s movement, the possibility would never arrive. However, this is not an ideal world, and such is not possible. For this reason, the likelihood of you being present when your cat swallows a piece of string is relatively low. You will have to be on alert for any symptoms your cat may be experiencing. Particularly if your memory isn’t kindled over the thought of your cat has eaten any human food or low-quality junk food. Be mindful of the following symptoms; these can be an indication for the underlying cause to be string swallowing;
- Decreased appetite than usual
- Abdominal pain ( this may be apparent if your kitty resists sitting down with its stomach touching the floor or being picked up)
- A slight fever
- Diarrhea (the cat may have bloody diarrhea if the circumstance is serious)
Why do cats swallow strings?
This, too, is associated with them being drawn towards catching prey. Domestic cats seldom get the opportunity to go to mouse or snake hunting. To fill up that gap left in their lives and the instinct that draws them forward, cats tend to swallow strings. For the reason of putting it simply, envision your cat eating a string imagining it to be the tail of the mouse it just ate. They tend to have wild imaginations, but can you blame them? A kitty’s got to have fun!
Another unusual reason might be that the cat suffers from ‘pica.’ This is an obsessive-compulsive disorder that creates an undeniable longing in the cat to eat non-edible items. If you are the cat parent to a kitten who cannot resist swallowing strings, you might want to pay a visit to a doctor. Pica is common amongst kittens making them more susceptible to danger!
Is it harmful to a cat to eat string?
Unfortunately, yes. Not everything you love is right for you in an imperfect world like ours. Swallowing a string is considered no less of a medical emergency than food poisoning. After consuming a piece of thread, your cat unknowingly makes itself vulnerable to a vast range of complexities. Significantly, if your cat belongs to a smaller breed or is generally susceptible to illnesses, the risks are even higher! It is integral for you to know the menace your cat might regrettably be in as a cat parent.
What are the risks of string swallowing in a cat?
The moment your canine friend sneakily swallows a piece of string, it will start causing a feeling of irritation to the cat. It might feel as if something is sitting at the back of its throat without any intentions of passing out or moving backward. It is similar to the feeling of scratchiness we are caused after accidentally swallowing a hair or thread. This is because one end of the string remains stuck to the mouth while the rest of it hangs down to the cat’s intestines.
This is a health crisis requiring immediate aiding; otherwise, it may lead to grave consequences. It is caused if the cat has swallowed a long piece of any string. Once it gets inside the cat’s body, it might get stuck around either the end of a cat’s tongue or the small intestine. A circumstance of seriousness and emergency arises if it is wrapped along the small intestines. It restricts the continuous movement of the intestines. Eventually, due to these movements, the string may take such a shape around the intestine that it is impossible to pull out. The gut or the intestine may pile up upon themselves during a gastrointestinal objection. If the string is left inside the body, it may start suffocating the intestinal walls causing them to rupture. A gastrointestinal objection can occur within thirty minutes of your cat swallowing a string of any material.
Can cats die from eating a string?
It is not the case that every situation of a cat having swallowed a string leads to being fatal. It is also true that if complications arise, something as minor as a string can take the life of your cat. If the culprit has all of your cat’s digestive organs in its wrap, it may make digestion impossible and therefore put the system out of function. Over a few days, the constant battle between a cat’s intestines and the string can be the basis of bacteria leaking into the bloodstream, sepsis, etc. These may prove death-dealing to the cat.
Another life-taking scenario maybe if the cat develops ‘intussusception.’ which is a condition in which a specific bowel partition contracts to allow the food to pass. However, due to the string being wrapped around the gut, it would be impossible to pass. That particular bowel segment can then fall over another, being the reason for gut obstruction. Not too surprisingly, blood circulation is hindered, and the blood tissues might die.
What do I do if my cat ate string?
Your very first instinct after gaining awareness about your cat eating string may be to pull the yarn out. It is not harmful to do so, as long as you are cautious and steady. We understand how panic-stricken the situation seems to be but being hasty won’t do any good. Maintaining your calm throughout, open up your cat’s jaw, and look for a visible end of the string. If you can spot it, do not pull it out straight away. If the cat’s intestine is enveloped in the murderous string, pulling it can rupture the organs. It will only be further agonizing for your precious kitty. For this reason, try to pull the yarn out as unhurriedly as possible. In case the process is disrupted, let the string be where it is.
Ring up your vet. In such incidents, it is best not to play the vet yourself. You might be trying to help your cat by attending to it as quickly as it can. In comparison, the effects it can have might be very contrasting to what you intended. The vet will inform you of the exact quick measures to take, which will worsen the situation.
Nonetheless, there is no replacement for allowing your vet to get hands-on experience with the cat. If it is manageable for you, book an appointment with the doctor for the nearest slot available and rush your cat to the hospital.
The most simplistic way to force the string out of your cat’s body is to get your cat to vomit.
However, in dire circumstances, the doctor may suggest for your kitty to have surgery. It is heart-wrenching to hear those words as a parent, even if it is to a cat. You should try and keep hold of the thought of your cat being back to normal after the surgery after a thunderstorm comes a rainbow. For surgery, you might need to get the feline fellow admitted to a hospital for several days. Be careful to feed your cat a healthy diet suggested by the vet once you welcome it home after an operation.
Endoscopy is another method of saving your cat from the evil doings of strings. It is used worldwide for both humans and cats to identify where the issue lies and extract it. The doctor will need to insert a tube-like structure with a camera inside the cat through its mouth. Afterward, the string can safely be removed, and your cat is allowed back home before you can even realize it was gone.