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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 21195
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My cat just over a year old was playing and ate one of those

Customer Question

My cat just over a year old was playing and ate one of those small fluffy balls. It was on a string attached to her "play tree" I looked over she was pulling at the cord - the ball was gone - I checked her mouth - nothing but the ball is no where to be scene. I'm worried, just rescued two weeks ago today
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. The Veterinarian will know if your cat will be able to digest that. Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about your cat?
Customer: No, the vets are all closed. Thanks
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

How long ago did she eat this?

How large was this (since they can vary)?

Any gagging, retching, lip licking, drooling or vomiting?

Can she keep water down?

Are her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?

If you press on her belly, any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello there,
Thank you for the prompt response -How long ago did she eat this? within the past hourHow large was this (since they can vary)?
maybe one inch to 1.5" fuzzy circle/ballAny gagging, retching, lip licking, drooling or vomiting?
She was running and playing right after, currently has been nappingCan she keep water down?
Has not had any water since - no vomiting - currently was resting, got her up again to check on her - playfullAre her gums pink or pale/white? Moist or sticky?
Gums look normal, feel moist from where I could getIf you press on her belly, any discomfort, tenderness, or tensing?
No tensing, no discomfort I was able to push/feel pretty deep.Worried, she is new to me..... never had this happen with my past cat.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Thank you,

Now when our cats eat these kinds of items, we do always need to tread with care.

This is because while soft, these are of a size that could lead to a gut blockage. So, I have to say that the best option here would be to have her seen by the local ER vet urgently so that they can use an endoscope (a scope with a camera) to remove as much of this as possible. That way we can reduce the potential for harm here.

Otherwise, we could also try to induce vomiting just now. To do so, you can administer 3% hydrogen peroxide orally at a dose of 0.5 ml per pound. (1 teaspoons per 10 pounds of body weight). You can give it via dropper, syringe, turkey baster – we just want to get it in. After giving this orally, move the abdomen around or get your wee one walking about to get things mixing. This should usually lead to vomiting. If it is unsuccessful after 10 minutes then it can be repeated twice more. And if we still have no vomiting, then you'd need to consider seeing your local vet (or ER vet) so that apomorhpine (a very strong injectable emetic) can be administered just get this out of the stomach and avoid any adverse issues.

Otherwise, if that is not an option, we can start some supportive care to help this move though the gut while monitoring her. For that, we’d want to start her on small meals of bland food (ie boiled chicken/white fish or scrambled egg) for the next few days. Whichever you choose, you consider adding a spoonful of canned pumpkin to the meals. The fiber in the pumpkin will further encourage any ball material to move through the GI. As well, cat hairball treatment or a GI lubricant (ie Latulose, Miralax, food grade mineral oil) can also be added to these meals to help it slip through.

While encouraging passage of this material, you do want to keep a close eye on her. Specifically, we need to keep an eye out for any belly tenderness or pain when you press on her stomach, pale gums, straining to pass feces, passing blood in vomit or stools, appetite loss, restlessness, or black feces. If you did see any of these; then those are all red flags of a possible blockage or trauma and would require her to be seen urgently by your vet for an exam +/- xray.

Overall, we do always have to tread with care in situations like this. So, at this stage and in this situation, we’d want to use the above steps to get this back up and out of the stomach or at least encourage this to pass while we keep a close eye on her. If we can do this for the next 48 hours and see no issue, then we'd suspect we are out of the woods and should see it passed. But any of those signs and we’d want her seen urgently to make sure no blockage is present from this.

All the best,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. B.