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Dr. Christy
Dr. Christy, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 298
Experience:  12 years clinical experience with a passion in small mammals and internal medicine.
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My cat ate an 18-inch length of dental floss four days ago.

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My cat ate an 18-inch length of dental floss four days ago. She seems to be fine, eats normally, defecates normally, is in no pain and is just as playful and active as usual - but I have not seen the floss come out in her poop yet (I haven't combed through it, but there is no evidence of green string anywhere) and I am worried. Should I see a vet?
Thank you for using just answer. You are right to be concerned because string foreign bodies can be very serious and require surgery to remove. It is a very good sign that she is acting and eating completely normal. If she had an active problem with the floss you would be seeing vomiting, pain, and refusal to eat. I would not take her to surgery at this point because she is acting so normally. Some of these strings will pass on their own without complication. An x-ray will not show the floss, only suggestive gas patterns of a foreign body.

At this point I would be inclined to just continue to monitor her very closely. At the first sign of vomiting or refusal to eat I would take her to see her veterinarian and let them know the situation.

Of course you can take her to see her vet for extra reassurance and so you can sleep at night!

I hope that this has answered your question, but if not please let me know!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for responding to quickly. Just a few questions: How long should I keep monitoring her and how long should it take for the floss to pass? I gave her Hartz hairball remedy paste yesterday and this morning (a total of 1/2 tsp all together - she won't take petroleum jelly at all) Should I give her more? Should I not?
I think that we will need to on our toes a bit more then normal for a week or so. The floss could pass in less then 12 hours or it could not pass at all and cause problems days later. I think that the hairball remedy is a fine idea and perhaps using that once daily for several more days would be a good idea. I have seen animals pass things like this with no trouble and I have also seen things like this cause vomiting several days later. It is a bit of a hope and pray situation. It is a very good sign that we are on our fourth day with no sign of trouble but we will be ready if any changes for the worse occurs.
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