General Question

poofandmook's avatar

Cats and tinsel: How do you know if your cat has a blockage?

Asked by poofandmook (17077 points ) December 13th, 2011

My best friend just got a new kitten this spring, and she’s now a feisty teenage cat, getting into all sorts of trouble. She’s had a cat before, but it was always very passive, and so tinsel on the tree was never a second thought; the cat never went near the tree at all.

Now though, while doing some “cat research”, she discovered how dangerous tinsel can be for cats, and is paranoid.

What kind of symptoms would the cat display, and about how long after the cat ate the tinsel would it likely take to notice said symptoms?

Her cat isn’t exhibiting any strange behavior, and she hasn’t seen tinsel in the litterbox, but I thought I’d try to give her some better info than what she’s been finding on message boards and whatnot almost always full of histrionics and dramatic, overblown accounts, causing more paranoia.

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7 Answers

Coloma's avatar

Potential vomiting, lethargy. lack of appetite, bloating, inability to have a bowl movement.
One strand or a small broken piece tinsel would most likely pass on through, multiple strands could be a problem.

My cat swallowed the plastic tip of a syringe applicator once and he was fine. I had another cat attempt to swallow a long piece of string he got from a roast in the trash. He was gagging and I was able to pull it out of his throat.

The cat will not “eat” tinsel on purpose, it would become stuck in her throat from playing and chewing.

If your friend is that worried just don’t use tinsel on the tree. ;-)

JilltheTooth's avatar

Tip # 1 about cats and tinsel…don’t have it around. Just don’t. Your tree doesn’t need it to look pretty, your Easter basket doesn’t need it either (that plastic “grass” is the same stuff.)

Symptoms could be scooting (cat dragging butt on ground), meowing in pain because of blockage, no stools, etc etc. If your friend is at all concerned, a trip to the vet is in order.

gailcalled's avatar

Ditch the tinsel.

Reward your cat with some one-on-one time

poofandmook's avatar

she did rip all the tinsel off the tree… but she’s mostly concerned about it being one of those situations where the cat doesn’t exhibit symptoms until it’s already too late.

Coloma's avatar

@poofandmook
Well, she’s done all she can, the rest is neurotic.
To keep worrying after one has taken all precautions is just self abuse. haha

syz's avatar

Inappetence, vomiting, and diarrhea. The timeline depends on how much and where within the GI tract.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Oh no – please don’t have tinsel if you have a cat. That is just asking for an injured cat.

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