What Do I Do If My Cat Ate String?

Cats are notorious for playing with things like string and yarn. They love to bat at it, chase it and chew on it. Because of these behaviors, they are known to actually swallow these items, which in many ways, can be a danger to cats. It is always recommended that cats only play with these items while under supervision and to keep these types of items put up where your cat cannot get into them when they aren’t being watched because sometimes, these pieces of string or yarn can have a needle attached at the end, and it is common for them to ingest that too. Should the unfortunate happen and you suspect that your cat may have ingested string or yarn, you will want to take action in order to assure the safety and health of your feline. Here are some things that you should watch for if you suspect your cat has a piece of either material in its system.

Look for the string or yarn to either be hanging out of its mouth or rectum. Watch for vomiting, loss of appetite and if any of these are accompanied with your cat having a history of playing with these items, then you will want to move to the next steps for caring for your kitty.

1. Your cat might be scared and feeling nervous, so approach him slow and carefully. You may have to gently restrain your cat in order to try to help him, if he shows signs of anxiety.

2. When examining your cats mouth and rectum, if you don’t see any visible signs of the thread or yarn, proceed to step #3. with the petroleum jelly. If you do see an end of the string from either end of the cat, here’s what you do:

2a. Gently pull on the end of string, from whichever end it is sticking out from. If it becomes resistant to move out, don’t force it to. Never pull hard enough to force it to break free, as there could be a needle at the end if it is sewing thread, or some other reason it is stuck inside. This could be dangerous.

2b. Cut the material, thread or yarn, off as short as possible.

3. You want to give your cat one tablespoon of petroleum jelly, but not by mouth. Simply rub the tablespoon of petroleum jelly on its mouth and front paws and allow him to lick it off. Petroleum jelly is not the same as mineral oil and that is something you do not want to give your cat. Only white petroleum jelly. If there is no reasons that the string or yarn is hung up somewhere in the intestinal tract, the petroleum jelly should help the string or yarn to pass in your cat’s stool.

4. If your cat starts to have issues with vomiting or stops eating, it is important you get your cat to the veterinarian as quickly as possible.

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