What are the consequences of my cat eating a piece of gum?

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Customer: what are the consequences of my cat eating a piece of gum?
Answered by Dr. KB in 2 hours 15 years ago
Dr. KB
Pet Specialist

132 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Cat Veterinary, Cat Medicine, Cat Diseases, Small Animal Veterinary

YOu mean chewed it up and swallowed it?

How old is the cat?


Reply to Dr.Fiona's Post: yes, swallowed the gum. the cat is about 15 months old

Wow, I've been a vet for 14 years and never had a cat do that! What an unusual cat you have!

If he is not choking (difficulty breathing, gagging, coughing), I expect he swallowed it down into his stomach and it will just get passed out in his feces.

I would not actually encourage him to do this, but don't expect any problem! What a funny cat! ;-)

Good luck. If this has been helpful, you can hit the "accept" button. If you have further questions, let me know.


The only problem other than what Dr. Fiona said would be if the gum contained an artificial sweetener called xylitol. It causes a severe drop in blood sugar that is very prolonged. There would require a hospital stay. I would check and see if the gum contained this and if it did, I would take your pet in before you see symptoms.



I don't know if any cases have occurred in cats, but I am assuming the biomechanics would be the same, if consumed.

Good point! I hadn't considered that the gum might have xylitol in it. Thanks for pointing that out!

Dr.KB, You have got me worrying about this cat now! I have done a search on http://www.vin.com/ (veterinary access only medical site) and this is what I found when I asked if xylitol is toxic to cats:

The simple answer is we don't know. There was a lot of research into xylitol in dogs in the late 60's-70's plus our experience at the APSS so we have a lot of information in dogs. There has been no research in cats (or ferrets) and no cat cases at the APSS with significant exposure to xylitol so we don't know yet. There is tremendous species variation with xylitol exposure so I couldn't even speculate about cats.

Eric Dunayer, MS, VMD, DABT
VIN consultant: Toxicology
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center
1-888-4-ANI-HELP (1-***-***-****)


I hope this little guy is ok!


I love VIN! Just don't have it at the moment.

I know xylitol is a biggie these days and hard to manage. Hope he's oK.

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Dr. KB
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Pet Specialist
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