Ok, thanks for all that information.
So, the short answer to your question is that swallowed items (if unhindered) will usually make their way out the intestinal tract in 24-36hours. When I am watching for an item to appear, I usually start to get concerned if it has not appeared after 3 days.
Cats like to play with strings and ribbons and they can be particularly problematic.
What can happen is that the ribbon goes down into the stomach and one end gets knotted up into a big ball. If the ball is too big to fit out the pylorus, it gets stuck there. The danger is that a tail of ribbon may slip out into the intestines. If you have a big ball in the stomach and a tail out in the intestines, the intestines will try to move the tail along, but cannot. Instead, the intestines will "plicate" up around the tail of ribbon.
Think of a hair scrunchy - that is what happens to the intestines. The ribbon is now all tightly pulled up in these scrunched up intestines, and it can then saw through the intestines! This is very serious! As you can imagine, if the ribbon does saw through the intestines, it is not only very painful, but also can be fatal.
I am worried about this because it is so serious, and is a possibility with your kitty. So, it is really important that you monitor him closely. There is every possibility that this will pass through with no problem. BUT watch him for vomiting, loss of appetite, hunched appearance, lethargy and reluctance to walk or run around. If these happen, see a veterinarian immediately!
Here is more about foreign bodies in cats:
To try to help this to pass, you could offer your cat some high fibre foods. The idea with this is that it makes a kind of pillow that traps the dental floss in it, and helps to move it through. Options would be:
- cans of "light" cat food
- canned pumpkin (PLAIN canned pumpkin, not pie filler) - 1 tablespoon twice daily
If he doesn't want to eat these things, just keep feeding him small, frequent meals of his regular food. Monitor his feces closely! If the floss appears, but is dangling out his anus, DO NOT PULL ON IT!! Just cut the piece that is hanging and wait for the rest to come out on its own.
Good luck with him, and please let me know what happens!
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The above is given for information only. Although I am a licensed veterinarian, I cannot legally prescribe medicines or diagnose your pet's condition without performing a physical exam. If you have concerns about your pet I would strongly advise contacting your regular veterinarian.
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