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My cat just ate a foam Christmas Ornament

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My 9 month old cat has been eating a lot of bad stuff lately. I've found twine (string), plastic Easter basket grass, and other various, but not identifiable materials in his stools -- who knows what else he's eaten. Today he ate part of my 6 year-old son's home-made foam Christmas ornament.

He doesn't do this a lot (not that I know of) but we're noticing it more lately. We feed him the recommended amount of food per day (from what the cat food bag says) but he does seem to want more food throughout the day. I don't know if he's eating this stuff because he's hungry or because he's a cat and this is what they do. We've only had him for about 2 months. Your input would be appreciated.
post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Traveler5 View Post
My 9 month old cat has been eating a lot of bad stuff lately. I've found twine (string), plastic Easter basket grass, and other various, but not identifiable materials in his stools -- who knows what else he's eaten. Today he ate part of my 6 year-old son's home-made foam Christmas ornament.

He doesn't do this a lot (not that I know of) but we're noticing it more lately. We feed him the recommended amount of food per day (from what the cat food bag says) but he does seem to want more food throughout the day. I don't know if he's eating this stuff because he's hungry or because he's a cat and this is what they do. We've only had him for about 2 months. Your input would be appreciated.
I'd give your Vet a call and let them know what he's eaten. Who knows what chemicals are in that ornament.

If you're finding string and things in his stool, you're really going to have to "cat proof" your house. No cat toys with strings (I had a kitten once who nearly strangled himself to death on one of these), no twist-ties lying around, no strings of any type, definitely no tinsel (icicles) on your Xmas tree, keep window blind strings wrapped up and tucked in the slats of the blind (curious cats can hang themselves on these, too), always leave toilet seats down (curious cats can jump in and drowned, not to mention they may drink the toilet water which is gross and has the residue of cleaning products that is toxic), ........basically a lot of the same things you do when it comes to dealing with a crawling infant (things they can put into their mouth, etc).

What do you feed your cat, what kind of food? How much? If it's a cheap food that contains a lot of "fillers", while you may be feeding the right amount but kitty just doesn't feel full/often still feels hungry.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_food_lady View Post
I'd give your Vet a call and let them know what he's eaten. Who knows what chemicals are in that ornament.

If you're finding string and things in his stool, you're really going to have to "cat proof" your house. No cat toys with strings (I had a kitten once who nearly strangled himself to death on one of these), no twist-ties lying around, no strings of any type, definitely no tinsel (icicles) on your Xmas tree, keep window blind strings wrapped up and tucked in the slats of the blind (curious cats can hang themselves on these, too), always leave toilet seats down (curious cats can jump in and drowned, not to mention they may drink the toilet water which is gross and has the residue of cleaning products that is toxic), ........basically a lot of the same things you do when it comes to dealing with a crawling infant (things they can put into their mouth, etc).

What do you feed your cat, what kind of food? How much? If it's a cheap food that contains a lot of "fillers", while you may be feeding the right amount but kitty just doesn't feel full/often still feels hungry.

It's hard to cat-proof a home with 3 kids. We try to make sure things are put away but inevitably the cat finds things to chew that we've missed or that he's found under a sofa, etc. What I can't believe is he actually swallows this stuff. We feed him Nutro Max dry food which he really likes. We buy it at the 2 big pet stores. We won't buy him the cheap, filler stuff found at a grocery food store. After looking at the ingredients on the bag I'm confident it's good food for him. According to the bag, based on his age and weight, we're feeding him the right amount which is 3/4 cup. We give him a half cup in the morning and a 1/4 cup in the evening. By the way, he hates wet cat food -- can't say that I blame him. We used to feed him about a cup per day then realized about 5 weeks ago that we were giving him too much -- and it showed. He started to look fat. Thanks.
post #4 of 10
Absolutely do not have any tinsel on your holiday tree or in your house. It's irresistible to cats and can kill them. How old are the kids? Are they old enough to understand that some things are unsafe for their pet?
post #5 of 10
My Max is that way...I put away all stringy items, but he still manages to find things he shouldn't eat at times...and I find them in the litter box! The only thing that seems to help, aside from continually cat-proofing the house, is giving him plenty of safe toys to play with and chew. Try finding some toys that he really likes and can safely chew without swallowing them. I found that Max loves chewing on plastic straws, but he won't swallow them. I just make sure to throw them away when they start to get holes in them. As far as the styrofoam, I don't know what to tell you about that. If you are worried about him, then I'd talk to your vet. But it may pass right through like everything else!
post #6 of 10
These strings he is eating can wrap around his intestines and literally kill him. You must teach your children to put these things away that can cause him harm. There are many people on this site who have had to rush their kitties into emergency surgery from this happening.

That comes in part of the care of being a responsible pet owner. I know it can be overwhelming because I happen to have a kitty, I have to cat proof things for, but its something that you are going to have to work out in your home because it can cost your cat his life.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
I really don't know where he's getting this stuff -- maybe under the kid's beds, open closets, etc. We've tried to make sure that stuff isn't left on the floor.
post #8 of 10
As the meowmy of a nearly 18 month old cat--who apparently hasn't received the memo that he's no longer a kitten. I understand them getting into things. And as a former nanny and long time daycare worker I understand kids. Its very important that you stress how much eating these bad things can hurt kitty--just because kitty has passed some of them doesn't mean they all will pass so easily.

Perhaps each night like after dinner for like 10 minutes you could have kitty clean up time. And the kids could go to their rooms and make sure nothing is on the floor that kitty can get etc--they can check bathrooms, living room, playroom etc

That way you all feel more confident that the little things aren't where kitty can get them.

Leslie
post #9 of 10
Three years ago my then one-year-old cat suddenly stopped eating, and I took him to the vet. They ran several tests, he continued to decline. They thought perhaps he'd eaten string, they opened him up, found nothing. He came home, shouldn't have, threw up green bile-like liquid, and I rushed him back to the vet for an emergency visit. They decided to open him up AGAIN, and this time a small piece of a foam toy was found lodged right outside the stomach. They had missed it the first time.

Since that time, I have outlawed foam toys and ornaments to the best of my ability. My kids are getting older, so it's not too hard, but my point is - do everything in your power to keep him from eating stuff like that. This was a very small piece of foam - about the size of a dime - and my cat couldn't pass it. I have never seen a cat be so sick and live.

The sad thing is, I remembered him chewing the foam toy, and it had been at least a couple weeks before. I never knew he chewed a piece off of it. Watch your kitty for a few weeks; if it stops eating, that may be why.
post #10 of 10
Threecatowner,

Wow, very scary, thanks so much for sharing, very important................Traveler5, watch your cat like a hawk for signs of a bowel obstruction: vomiting, lack of appetite, straining in the litterbox, doesn't want to be handled (abdominal discomfort), hiding under the bed and not wanting to be around anyone, etc. Any of these signs, to the Vet ASAP.......bowel obstructions can definitely be very life-threatening. I went through this once when Taco ate the foam wrapper from a pack of hamburger, he'd gotten into the kitchen garbage. Judging by how much of the foam and plastic wrap was left, I could tell he'd eaten a fair bit............I got him to the Vet, they did an xray, told me to watch him very closely......gave him some laxative (at Vet's direction) and some fluids.......luckily he never had any problems but it was a close call.
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