Cats love to play with string, yarn, and even balloon ribbon! If the balloon happens to blow across the floor, the ribbon follows behind. And if your kitty sees this, off she goes after the ribbon! But what happens if your cat eats a balloon ribbon?
Has your cat eaten balloon ribbon? Are you worried the balloon ribbon will make your cat sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your cat eats something like this.
We’ve put together some information about balloon ribbon and whether it can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!
What is Balloon Ribbon?
A balloon ribbon is any ribbon tied to the closure of a balloon and is used to hold the balloon in your hand. Years ago, balloons were tied off with string; however, these days, many balloons you can buy at the store use ribbon to tie off the balloon.
Many balloons are tied with curling ribbons. The curling ribbon is made of polypropylene and has ridges. If you take a pair of scissors and gently run this over the ribbon, the ribbon will curl! It’s a very pretty effect that’s easy to achieve! Curling ribbon is also used on gifts and other items.
But what happens if a cat eats a balloon ribbon? Can the balloon ribbon make a cat sick?
Balloon Ribbon & Cats
Unfortunately, balloon ribbons can be very dangerous for a cat. The problem starts with the cat’s tongue. A cat’s tongue is rough and contains tiny bards that help the food go down without the cat dropping it. The barbs are also helpful when a cat grooms herself.
The barbs on the cat’s tongue may trap the balloon ribbon, making it almost impossible for a cat to spit out. So, the cat may either eat the ribbon on purpose or swallow it by accident. Either way, this is a very dangerous situation for the cat.
The problem is the ribbon may cause a couple of problems. One of these is a serious choking hazard. It’s possible the ribbon could become caught in the esophagus. The second problem is that once the ribbon is swallowed, it can become trapped in the cat’s digestive tract. The ribbon may cause gastrointestinal obstruction, causing the intestines to twist and bunch up. This can be a deadly situation for the cat.
Symptoms of Gastrointestinal Obstruction in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat has eaten a balloon ribbon:
- Lack of appetite (refusal to eat)
- Abdominal pain & swelling
- Cold body temperature
- Not wanting to lie down
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, or you suspect she’s eaten a balloon ribbon (or something else), call the vet immediately. This is a life-threatening emergency.
The good news is that most cats can make a complete recovery if they receive prompt medical treatment. In some cases, the cat may need emergency surgery to remove the balloon ribbon; however, many cats make a full recovery.
So, it’s best to keep all balloon ribbons away from your cat, especially if she likes to eat string, ribbon, and other similar items!