My Cat Ate Ribbon in Westville, IN: What Do I Do?

This might seem like a silly question, but it is a serious concern. Cats love ribbons and strings, even thread. Though they can be playthings and are traditionally represented as a common toy, ribbons and ribbon-like items can be dangerous for our cats in Westville, especially if your cat ate the ribbon.

Cat ate ribbon in Westville, IN

Eating string can bring serious health consequences.

Reasons Why Your Cat Ate Ribbon and Why it’s Dangerous in Westville, IN?

While a cat may find it natural to scarf down something long and stringy, say, a string, it could put them in the hospital. Ribbons mimic the eating of entrails, or worms, or snakes. Anything that is a linear foreign body, a cat will likely play with out of hinting instinct.

However, their bodies are not supposed to digest the plasticky ribbon, sewing thread, and whatever else they find that we leave around.

Some Cats Like to Eat Inedible Objects

There is a certain obsessive-compulsive eating disorder called “pica” that makes cats eat inedible objects.

Some examples of inedible objects that cats like to eat include:

  • Wool
  • Shoelaces
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • String
  • Dental floss
  • Fishing line
  • Ribbon

If your cat has an issue with eating non-food objects often, call a vet for treatment options. The only things cats in Westville should have in their stomachs is the food we give them and maybe a few non-toxic bugs.

Cats Can’t Digest Ribbon

If your cat ate ribbon, it could wreak havoc on their gastrointestinal tract. The veterinary term for ribbons and other similar non-food is “linear foreign body.” Even long blades of hard-to-chew grass could be considered a linear foreign body that can cause problems.


Cats in Westville are unable to digest ribbon, as one might suspect. Often there will be no problem for a cat to pass a length of yarn, but because there is little to no digestion of the plastic and other fibers, it can lead to complications if your cat ate ribbon.

Those complications occur when the foreign object bunches up and causes a blockage in the intestines. Or when a very thin thread wraps around the intestines. This might sound a little impossible, but the intestines are a long and winding road. A long piece of thread could partially wrap around one part of the intestines, while the rest of the thread is caught up further down.

This could result in squeezing and pinching the intestines, an “accordion” effect. A thin thread could even slice into the intestines if this happened.


This is without considering that, especially with thread and fishing line, there might be sharp metal pieces attached. Any metal a cat ingests could again cause blockage, or scrape up their insides and result in perforation and irritation. This means serious pain and infection. Even rough edges of a ribbon can be dangerous on their delicate gastrointestinal tissues.

Cats Can Choke on Ribbon

A final issue with cats eating ribbon or any linear foreign body is that it might get caught on the base of their tongue, while the rest of the object is further down their throat or even makes it to their stomach. Understandably, this is a choking hazard.

What to Do if Your Cat Ate Ribbon in Westville, IN

If you see your cat playing with ribbon and then the ribbon disappears, you might assume your cat ate the ribbon. If the cat does not show any signs of distress, it is likely that they are fine and will pass the linear foreign body within 24 hours.

Seek Emergency Care if Needed

However, cats are very good at hiding pain. And often we don’t know how much they ingest. It is critical to keep an eye on your cat for the 24 hours after they possibly ate ribbon. It would be safe to keep monitoring them for a day or two after, just in case any pieces were left in the gastrointestinal tract.

Symptoms of a cat who ate ribbon and needs emergency vet care include:

  • Vomiting or dry heaving
  • Decreased appetite or inability to eat
  • Difficulty defecating, or diarrhea
  • Dehydration
  • Lethargy or depression

If these signs never appear and your cat seems normal, they are probably fine. But again, keep a close eye in case any of these symptoms arise over the next few days after ingestion. If so, call the emergency vet in Westville, IN right away.

They may need to perform surgery on the GI tract to remove the linear foreign body if it has become lodged in the cat’s intestines. Most of the time, recovery is fast and your cat will be able to go home the same day as surgery.

Help Your Cat Pass the Ribbon

It is possible that if your cat ate ribbon, they will need help to get it all the way out. Sometimes a cat will start to pass the foreign object… but it doesn’t come out all at once. That would leave a long poopy string hanging out of your cat’s behind. If this happens, it might be necessary for your cat’s comfort and your own to snip the ribbon each time your cat is able to pass an inch or two.

But never pull the string, whether you see it protruding from their mouth or their bottom. Pulling will agitate any damage done by the ribbon. Taking any step like this could cause the object to “accordian” and severely hurt the cat. If you feel anything should be done for the cat, take them to the veterinarian so it can be done safely.

Prevent Your Cat from Eating Ribbon Again

Cats and other pets in Westville are like children and the appropriate “childproofing” of the home should be taken into consideration. Cats are very curious animals with amazing hunting skills and not much to do with them at home. A bored cat can and will get into all kinds of mischief. Mischief proofing your home could prevent your cat from ingesting many dangerous items and eliminate the risk of gastrointestinal harm.

Never let your cat play with strings and ribbons without supervision. Keep all thread and yarn safely away from your pets, as well as any other linear foreign body. Even toys made for cats can break and allow ribbons and strings to be eaten freely. If a cat toy is starting to break down, it is safest to get them a new one. Maybe a kicker fish with no ribbons.

Remember, prevention is key when keeping your cat safe from eating ribbon!

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