Most cats are naturally drawn to any type of string, including yarn! They almost seem compelled to follow a piece of yarn drawn across the floor. When the end of the yarn nears a corner, the cat may pounce to keep it from disappearing! But what happens if a cat eats yarn?
Has your cat eaten yarn? Are you worried the yarn 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 gathered information about yarn and whether it can make a cat sick. Let’s get started!
What is Yarn?
Yarn is a long, continuous piece of textile that’s made of interlocking fibers. It can be used to create fabric by crocheting, knitting, sewing, weaving, and more. Most yarns today are made from synthetic materials, though it’s still possible to find yarn made from cotton, sheep’s wool, alpaca hair, and more.
It’s OK to use yarn to play with your cat, but what happens if she eats it?
Yarn & Cats
Unfortunately, yarn can make a cat sick. So, we must first say never leave your cat unattended when she’s playing with yarn. You can drag yarn across the floor to play with her, but never let your fur baby play with yarn on her own.
When a cat eats yarn, it can clump together anywhere in the cat’s digestive system. When this happens, the string can cause a condition called an obstruction. This is a very dangerous condition that can cause death if it’s not treated.
What’s more, the string can also wrap around her tongue or become stuck in her throat, causing her to choke.
Symptoms of Yarn Ingestion in Cats
You may notice these symptoms if your cat has eaten yarn:
- Gagging, coughing, choking
- Lack of appetite
- Abdominal pain & swelling
- Aggression (due to fear and pain)
If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, call the vet immediately. This is an emergency.
Treatment of Yarn Ingestion in Cats
If your cat is choking on the yarn, the vet will try to remove it. They may need to perform an endoscopic procedure, depending on where the yarn is caught.
For cats that have an obstruction, the vet may order x-rays to see where the blockage is located. They may next need to perform surgery to remove the blockage and repair any damage it may have caused.
The prognosis is best for cats who receive prompt medical treatment after eating yarn. In the future, never leave your cat unsupervised with yarn. It’s too dangerous. And if you use yarn to play with your fur baby, never let her bite the yarn. It’s OK for her to chase it! You’ll both be happier for it!