The Dangers of Twine, Strings Ribbons or Yarns for Cats

Admin@ | October 22, 2018 | 0 | Construction

Strings, ribbons and yarns are very dangerous for cats, for many reasons. It’s not a secret that cats love strings, whether it is Baler Twine, yarn, tinsel, threads, shoe laces, hair ties, rubber bands, cords or even a simple ribbon. They are all toys in cat’s eyes and a prime target for pouncing, stalking or thrashing. Unfortunately, these items are hazardous for all cats to play with or without supervision.

Strings are dangerous to cats

If you noticed the tongue of your cat when they lick your feet, they are rough, like it has scales on them. The reason for this is, cats have a spike-like tongue that points out towards their throat. These spikes help cat groom themselves, eat or drink water. When cants are in the wild, the spiked tongue will help them tear meat from the carcass of their prey. Because of the way the spikes are positioned in their tongue, it does not allow cats to spit anything that comes in contact with their mouth. Strings, fabrics or twine is easily captured on the spikes, and they can only swallow it and not spit it out unless the cat can pull it out with their paws. The question is, why is it bad for the cats if they swallowed strings, ribbons, twines or yarn? When a cat swallows these kinds of things, there’s a big chance that they will develop a linear foreign body. It means that the end of the string can lodge somewhere in their GI tract and the other end of the rope will continue until it goes out in their body. The most common place for strings to lodge in is the base of the tongue or in the bottom of the stomach. It empties in the small intestines, and this area of the cat’s stomach is called pylorus.

The intestines will attempt to get rid of the strings just like any food that the cat eats. The bad news is, since the end of the string is lodged somewhere, let’s take, for example, the base of the tongue, the intestines plicate, or bunches up on itself. It is like when you tie a not at the end of a drawstring when you pull the other end, and the fabric will bunch up.

As time goes by, the tissue around the plication will lose blood supply and starts to deteriorate. Eventually, the tissue will die. In extreme cases, the intestines will be tugged so hard, that it will tear the tissues in the body, allowing any gastric contents to spill in the cat’s abdominal cavity. It will lead to serious implication called peritonitis. Peritonitis is a condition where the cat’s body is poisoned, that will result in death if not treated. Linear foreign body is a surgical emergency. The foreign entity, along with the dead tissues should be removed by surgery, and this kind of operation is very dangerous, and the risk of death is very high.

To know more about linear foreign bodies in cats, visit

Problems with strings

Strings, twine, ribbons or any string like objects can wrap easily to any part of the cat’s body while they are rolling or playing around. It includes the cat’s arms, legs, or neck. Strings that wraps around the cat’s extremities can lose blood supply that will lead to amputation. And let’s not talk about strings wrapped around the cat’s neck. Cat’s will frantically run around the house with strings in their neck, trying to get away. If the other end of the string will catch another object, it could cause asphyxiation or even death. Although strings and cats look like a funny tandem in movies, in real life, they don’t mix, and it is hazardous.

How to avoid this problem

Keep any string-like objects like twine yarn, rubber band, cords, shoestrings, hair ties or tinsel away from your pet’s reach. You need to pay more attention to kittens because they have more tendency to get into areas that most adult cats can’t reach, they can find small strings that you cannot see. Always pay attention to your pets when playing with them, know what toys are you can let them play with. You can allow them to indulge in their desires to stalk, trash or attack preys, but make sure that everything they get hold of is safe for them.

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