Cats are curious about many things they find lying around the house! They may find something small, like a bobby pin, and bat it around the house for a while! But when a cat gets bored with her plaything, she may try to eat it! But what happens when a cat eats a bobby pin?
Has your cat eaten a bobby pin? Are you worried the bobby pin may 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 information about bobby pins and whether they can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!
What is a Bobby Pin?
A bobby pin is a hairpin made of metal and is used to keep hair in certain places and styles. The pins hold the hair in place. The hairpins usually have two prongs that allow the hair to slip between them and then stay in place.
Bobby pins are usually a plain color that fits into the hair without being seen too clearly. The hairpins have been in use since the 1920s!
While bobby pins are safe when used as directed, what happens if a cat eats one? Can a bobby pin make a cat sick?
Bobby Pins & Cats
Unfortunately, bobby pins can make a cat sick. Sometimes a cat may eat a bobby pin, and the hairpin goes safely through the cat’s digestive system. In that case, the bobby pin comes out, intact, in the cat’s poop! The pin may be hard to see, as the pin may be enveloped in the middle of the poop. So, it’s necessary to squish the poop (wearing gloves) to see if the bobby pin has safely exited the cat’s system.
However, there are also times when the bobby pin could become lodged in a cat’s esophagus and cause her to choke. The hairpin may also get stuck in the cat’s digestive tract and create an intestinal obstruction. These are both serious issues that can lead to death if not treated.
Symptoms of Bobby Pin Ingestion in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat has eaten a bobby pin:
- Diarrhea (may contain blood)
- Abdominal pain & swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Producing only small amounts of stool (may contain blood)
- Breathing difficulties (in case of choking)
- Gagging/retching/coughing (bobby pin may be stuck in the throat)
If you notice these symptoms in your cat, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment depends on where the bobby pin is stuck and how easy it is to reach. For instance, the vet may be able to use a special scope to remove the bobby pin from the cat’s throat or esophagus. However, if the bobby pin is lodged anywhere in the digestive tract, your feline fur baby may need emergency surgery to safely remove the object.
The good news is that cats who receive prompt medical care have the best prognosis. So, if your cat has eaten a bobby pin, call the vet right away! Her life may depend on it!