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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20736
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My one-year old cat just ate a small cord about 12 inches long

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My one-year old cat just ate a small cord about 12 inches long (like the ones that keep your glasses around your neck). He ate it in less than 6 minutes I was absent. Do I need to panic or wait to see if he gets sick.

He always eats threads or strings if he can find one anywhere. Also he wants to lick my legs all the time. Is he lacking something?

Hello and welcome.

This is not an information request but just a short message to introduce myself.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon, I will be very pleased to work with you today and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Please give me ten minutes or so to think through your particular problem, prepare an answer, and then type things up. I will then get back to you and we can then talk things over.



Customer: replied 4 years ago.


Hello again Donna and thanks for waiting.

I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think ...

In most cases you need do nothing in this situation, just observe your cat and wait until the cord passes out the other end or Murfee vomits it up. I have seen this sort of thing before quite a few times and in most cases it is not a problem.

However sometimes cats swallow things like thread, string or ribbon and this can tie the intestinal tract into knots and cause an obstruction which is potentially a very serious situation.

While as I said it is unlikely that Murfee will have a problem you should be aware of the symptoms of obstruction just in case. These could include vomiting, straining to pass faeces, abdominal pain, lethargy and anorexia. Of course if such symptoms develop or you become further concerned then you should have Murfee examined by your vet without delay.

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

That is pretty much what I thought, but glad that you confirmed.

Do you think he is missing something vitamin-wise to want to eat these things and always wanting to lick me, especially my legs. He gets premium catfood and has never been outside and does not seem bored. Or could it be a personality quirk?

Hello again Donna,

Glad to talk this over with you further ...

I am very much a cat person and I have six of them about the house at present! I would say that it is almost impossible that Murfee's behaviour is related to a lack of vitamins, it is just how some cats are!

Some of my cats lick a lot some don't, other like to play a lot others less so, my cats are all different in terms of behaviour, but they are all healthy!


Dr Scott Nimmo and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again Donna,

I am just getting back in touch to see how Murfee is getting on. How are things going at present?


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So far, so good. He is not showing any signs of feeling unwell, but have not seen anything in his litter box that would look like the cord he ate. Tomorrow morning should tell the story I think.
If nothing happens, I hope I can assume he chewed it up, rather than swallowed it whole.

Thanks for rechecking.

Hello again Donna ...

Thanks so much for the update on Murfee, that sounds very encouraging ...

Good luck,

Dr Scott Nimmo and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again ,

Just a short note to thank you very much for the good rating and bonus, this is very much appreciated.

How did Murfee do? Is he OK?

Kindest regards,

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes, Murfee is great. I did not ever see the cord or parts thereof in the litterbox, so do not know what happened, and he is not saying.

Thanks again for your help.

Hi Donna,

Thanks so much for the update ... I am glad all is well with Murfee !