Cat Ate Dental Floss – What Now? (Solved & Explained!)

Cats are known for being finicky eaters, but sometimes they’ll eat things that aren’t meant to be eaten. This might include dental floss – a small piece of which can become lodged in a cat’s throat and cause serious problems.

So what should you do if your cat eats some dental floss? Keep reading to find out!

dental floss on gray

Is Dental Floss Dangerous for Cats?

Yes, dental floss can be dangerous for cats. If they chew on or ingest dental floss, it can cause choking or blockages in their intestines. Therefore, it’s important to keep dental floss well out of reach of your feline friend.

If you think your cat may have ingested dental floss, contact your veterinarian immediately.

siamese cat licking lips in grass yard

What Should You Do if Your Cat Ate Dental Floss?

If you think your cat ate dental floss, the first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. They will likely want to bring your cat in for an examination to make sure there are no blockages and that the floss has not caused any damage.

Your vet may also want to take X-rays to check for foreign objects.

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Depending on the situation your vet may also ask you to simply monitor your cat and make sure they pass the floss by the next day.

Cats pass their food within 24-36 hours, so if it has been that long and you don’t see the floss, it’s likely passed through their system.

If it has been more than a day and you still don’t see the floss, or if your cat is showing any signs of distress, contact your veterinarian and bring them in.

Why Do Cats Eat Dental Floss?

No one knows why cats eat dental floss. Some people think it’s because they’re attracted to the minty flavor, while others believe it’s simply because they’re curious and want to explore.

Whatever the reason, it’s important to keep dental floss well out of reach of your cat to avoid any potential problems.

monkey using dental floss

What Happens to Your Cat when They Swallow Dental Floss

Symptoms

If your cat recently ate dental floss (or any string), watch carefully for these symptoms:

  • Vomiting or dry heaving
  • Dehydration due to vomiting
  • Lethargy or Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty going to the bathroom
  • Not going to the bathroom at all
  • Restlessness

If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will likely want to bring your cat in for an examination.

Treatment

If your cat has swallowed dental floss, the first thing your vet will do is check for any blockages. If they find a blockage, they will likely need to perform surgery to remove it.

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In some cases, the floss may have already passed through your cat’s system and they will just need to be monitored.

When Should You Call the Vet?

If your cat ingested a piece of floss, it’s important to keep an eye on them and see if they pass the string. If they don’t pass the string by the next day, you should call your vet. The vet will likely want to do an x-ray to make sure that the string hasn’t become lodged in your cat’s intestines. If it has, surgery may be necessary to remove it.

Preventing Your Cat from Eating Dental Floss

The best way to prevent your cat from eating dental floss is to keep it out of reach. This means putting it away in a drawer or medicine cabinet where they can’t get to it.

You should also be careful when using dental floss around your cat. The easiest way for your cat to get it is by digging it out of the trash.

If they do that then you’ll need to take precautions with your bathroom trash. It might be best to keep it in a cabinet or even under the sink.

Another way to prevent your cat from eating dental floss is to buy them a toy that they can chew on instead. This could be a Kong toy filled with treats or a scratching post.

Cats like to chew on things, so giving them something that they’re allowed to chew on will help keep them away from the dental floss.

Conclusion

If your cat ate dental floss, it’s important to watch for symptoms and call your vet if they don’t pass the string within a day. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the floss from their intestines. The best way to prevent your cat from eating dental floss is to keep it out of reach and give them something else to chew on.