Hello! Nigel, here!

Aren’t cats playing with string just adorable to behold? They look so cute and silly when they are all wrapped up in endless cords of colorful yarn. It really is quite a cliche to imagine a basket full of kittens rolling around in spools of soft, cottony string. Unfortunately, this type of play often leads to very distressing ends.

We cats are famous for enjoying a tug or chew on a string, ribbon or piece of thread. We often find loose strands hanging from furniture, area rugs, towels, blankets or other common household items. Some of us will even go so far as to pull dental floss out of the bathroom waste basket. (Yes, I know…it’s disgusting. I’m not saying that I do this. I’m just saying that some other less-refined felines might…). In households with female human servants, we frequently get our paws on those delectable, chewy hair bands that you like to use. Some particularly determined cats have managed to swallow upwards of twenty hairbands at a time!

Luckily, in most instances, nothing at all comes of this lunacy. We either barf up the offending substance or pass it silently in our poop, unbeknownst to ourselves or our human caretakers.

For an unfortunate group, however, things do not turn out so wonderfully. These strings can get lodged in one spot–most commonly around the base of the tongue or the outgoing passage of the stomach (the pyloric sphincter)–and then cause a bunching up or “pleating” of the small intestine. This is a very dangerous situation indeed as it can cause severe vomiting, inability to eat, and in some very severe cases, a puncturing of the walls of the intestine and leakage of food into the abdomen. This is most awful indeed, and can lead to the untimely demise of a gorgeous feline creature.

Now, I’m not saying that string toys can’t be enjoyed. They certainly can. They just need to be enjoyed under the watchful eye of our human benefactors. Never leave your feline overlords with a string to keep themselves amused. Even toys that are partly made of string, like “fishing pole” styled toys should never be left with us cats without a human to enjoy them with. We can very quickly chew through these strings and swallow them down. (Again…I’m not saying that I would do such a devilishly foolish thing…just that some cats might…ahem…Cecil….but, I digress). And for heaven’s sake, please keep your hair ties in a safe place, away from kitties that have a hard time resisting their chewy goodness.

If you think your cat may have swallowed such an item, be sure to call your veterinarian immediately. Swift intervention is a must, if one hopes to keep their kitty healthy through such an ordeal.

Well..that’s all for now! As always, I am your not-so-humble furry friend..Nigel. Meow!

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