The cat swallowed the rope: what to do

What drives any cat crazy is playing with ropes. But if the cat has swallowed the rope, how can we intervene?

The cat loves to play and brighten up his days, with everything that stimulates his curiosity, but the fact remains that he could run into objects that are harmful to his health, especially if he is left to himself without adequate controls.

In some cases he could ingest: toxic substances, dangerous liquids, objects, foreign bodies and cords, which can end up in his mouth and in the cat’s stomach. The cat, as we all know, loves to play with thread and twine, a rather dangerous game, because it could swallow the rope or the object, with harmful results for its health.

Always keep safety in mind when buying rope toys, choose the best alternatives for your pets, and make your home as safe as possible for them. Keep floss, fishing line, ribbons, cords, and even used floss lost where your cat can’t reach it.

If an animal eats a string or similar object, this object is called a “linear foreign body”. What if the cat swallowed the rope? How can it happen that the feline swallows a foreign body?

The cat swallowed the rope: how it can happen

The cat playing with the rope could swallow it and this can cause potentially serious damage to the intestinal tract. Sometimes the passage is harmless, but other times the foreign body gets blocked and causes an occlusion in the cat.

Uneven edges or attached needles or hooks can cause internal irritation or even perforation, leading to a serious infection. Another problem occurs if the thread gets stuck around the base of the cat’s tongue and cannot be passed, even when the other end ends up in the deep area in the cat’s stomach or intestines.

But why does the cat swallow the rope? Causes can be related to stress, boredom, attention-seeking behavior, gambling behavior, or the simple fact that the product tastes or smells good. How can we tell if the cat has swallowed the rope?

Symptoms of the cat that swallowed the rope

The cat may not exhibit symptoms after ingesting a linear foreign body. Let’s assume that the cat has swallowed the rope, but the animal continues to act and interact normally. If there are no complications, the cat should evacuate the rope within 10 to 24 hours in its feces.

The problem is that more often than not, it is impossible to know when the cat has ingested and if there is anything left in its digestive system. Alternatively, different symptoms could occur such as:

  • straining to defecate or diarrhea;
  • abdominal pain;
  • fever;
  • vomiting or feeling dry;
  • anorexia or decreased appetite;
  • feline dehydration.

How to intervene?

Timing is everything: never wait so long to intervene or postpone until the next day, if in doubt it is good to take your cat to the vet when you think your cat has ingested a linear foreign object, such as a rope. The vet will start with a physical exam and palpation, and that may be enough to understand.

If in doubt, additional tests, such as x-rays or blood tests, can be done. If there are complications and the cat will not be able to pass the foreign linear object on its own, the vet may need to perform an endoscopy or surgery.

The cat will have to spend a quiet post-operative / intervention period, will be monitored and controlled through new visits, in order to verify the progress. While if the cat is passing the string through the anus and has no troubling symptoms, you can cut this with scissors to shorten it.

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