Tips to Prevent Foreign Bodies in Cats

Cats love to explore, hide, and get into every nook and cranny in our homes. While our kitties have great fun finding new spaces and discovering high places on which to perch—it can sometimes lead to trouble. Cats can ingest dangerous objects without owners ever realizing it since most of us do not crate our cats when we are gone.

Here are symptoms to look for if you think your cat has eaten something he/she shouldn’t have:

  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargic/depressed
  • Painful abdomen
  • Straining to defecate, diarrhea, or constipation
  • Behavioral changes—especially when their abdomen is touched


The most common foreign bodies in cats are:

  • String
  • Carpet
  • Plastic


Keep your cat safe without having to limit their access in your home when you are away by following these tips:

  • Never leave string where your cat can get it.
  • Never leave small pieces of plastic or garbage sitting out.
  • Never leave your cat alone with toys that have string or yarn. Rawhides also present an obstructive risk. Only use these items under supervision.
  • Examine all toys for damage every time you give them to your cats.
  • If you suspect your cat has swallowed string, part of a toy, or any item in your home—call your veterinarian right away.
  • If you see string dangling from your cat’s mouth or rectum, do not pull! Call your local ER veterinary clinic immediately.
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