My Cat Ate A Rubber Band – Should I Worry?

You’ll not believe this, but my cat ate a rubber band. I know what you are thinking: “What does that have to do with me?” Well, I am glad you asked!

I’ve been reading up on how dangerous it is for pets when they eat things like these. So now the question is, should I be worried? Will answer that and more in the article below.

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Check For These Signs

If your cat has eaten rubber bands, cat owners should check for these signs in the cat’s body! You must check your cat’s mouth to determine if it is in immediate danger. Gently open your cat’s mouth wide enough to see down its throat.

If the rubber band is in their mouth and hanging freely, you can carefully remove it. If the rubber band is lodged around one tooth or stuck, you should not move it. Even if the rubber band is going down their throat, you should not remove it.

Doing so can cause serious damage to their throat and mouth.

If the rubber band is not in their mouth, the next thing to check is their rear. After the poop, you’ll want to see if the swallowed rubber bands is in their stools or litter box. If so, then your cat successfully passed the rubber band. They should be fine. If only a piece of it came out, then keep an eye out for the other half. It may be stuck.

One instance that you may find yourself in is when the rubber band is sticking out of your anus. You may feel compelled to pull it out. Don’t.

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Pulling on the rubber band could have serious consequences. While it may seem to hang loosely, the other end may be twisted around cat’s intestines. You could cause lethal harm to your cat.

You’ll also want to check and see if your cat is choking. If so, then you need to take it to the animal hospital.

Keep an eye on their energy level and whether or not cat eats food. This can help you determine whether or not the rubber band is interfering with cat’s digestive system. Lethargic cats, in particular, could signify that something dire is occurring.

Finally, when checking the rubber band, you should see if it is whole or torn. A whole rubber band means the cat successfully passed it entirely. One that is torn or has missing parts indicates that some of it may still be stuck in the gut.

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Potential Problems

Here are a few problems eating a rubber band may cause your cat.

  • Choking

  • Digestive problems

  • Intestinal injury

  • Esophagus injury

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What To Do

One of the first things you should do is watch your cat. They’ll be able to tell you quickly whether something is wrong. In some cases, they may be able to hack or vomit the rubber band back up. (1)

However, if you notice them choking, it’s time to take them to the animal hospital.

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If they aren’t showing any signs of immediate distress, you may be able to wait and see if the rubber band comes out on its own. In some cases, if the rubber band is small enough, it may pass without problems. However, you’ll need to keep a close eye on their stools to ensure it’s out.

After a few days, if the rubber band still has yet to pass, then it may be lodged inside the intestines without any hope of moving. In this case, you need to visit the vet before the problem worsens. It could be causing a block in their digestive tract. This could lead to serious problems like inflammation and infections that may claim your cat’s life.

One major problem to watch out for is telescoping. This is the process in which the digestive tract tries to empty itself by telescoping back and forth. The problem is that the motion can cause the rubber band to see into the tissue. This is especially true if the rubber band was torn in half.

The frayed end can act as a saw and start to cut into their intestines. As a result, digestive fluids leak out of their intestines. It also allows toxins from their food and other pollutants to enter their bloodstream.

At this point, your cat will develop a fever. They may vomit or attempt to vomit and otherwise have a lack of appetite and be extremely lethargic. You need to take your cat to the animal hospital at this stage. Injured intestines can kill your cat.

While you may have nothing to worry about, it’s always a good idea to take your cat to your vet. They can safely remove the rubber band before it becomes a problem.

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Do I Need To See The Vet or The Emergency Animal Hospital?

If your cat swallowed the rubber band without difficulty, you can see the vet. (2) They should be able to remove the rubber band from your cat and send them on its way.

However, you must immediately take your cat to the hospital for more dire circumstances like choking or telescoping. Waiting to see if they get better could cost them their life.

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Safe Alternatives To Eat

There are no safe rubber bands to eat. However, if your cat enjoys the kind of activity that a rubber band gives, then there are a few toys that they might enjoy that are much safer.

One is a round kitten toy that’s made of fabric. It’s still flexible and springy. Yet it’s thick enough that cats won’t want to eat it.

You can always remove the ring around milk cartons for a budget choice. Cats enjoy those as well. They’re also far more durable than rubber bands.

Jerry Kurlz is another great alternative. It’s made of paper and infused with catnip. It’s also in a ring shape that cats love hooking around their paws and playing with. Thanks to the catnip, your cat is sure to love the toy.

Can Cats Eat Rubber Bands?

While rubber bands aren’t toxic for cats, they can be extremely dangerous to eat. Rubber bands can become lodged in their intestines and cause several gastrointestinal problems. At the very worst, they can rip the intestines and cause your cat die or shock.

Watching your cat play with rubber bands may be cute, but they’re a deadly toy. Choosing one of the alternative toys is a safer option for everyone involved.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can a cat pass a piece of rubber or elastic string?

A: No, cats should not ingest rubber or elastic strings as they can cause serious harm to the digestive system and potentially result in blockages or tears. If a cat has swallowed a piece of rubber or elastic string, it is recommended to seek veterinary care immediately.

Q: How long does it take to digest a rubber band?

A: It is not recommended for cats to ingest rubber bands, as they are not digestible and can cause harm to the digestive system. Rubber bands can cause blockages or tears and should be removed as soon as possible if ingested. The length of time it takes for a rubber band to pass through a cat’s digestive system will depend on the size and location of the blockage.

Q: Can cats choke on rubber bands?

A: Yes, cats can choke on rubber bands if they are ingested. Rubber bands can get lodged in the throat or digestive system, causing a choking hazard or blockage. It is important to keep rubber bands and other small items out of reach of cats to prevent choking or ingestion.

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Q: How Long Can a Cat Live With a Blockage?

A: If a cat has consumed something causing a blockage, it can be life-threatening. Depending on the severity of the blockage, cats can live for a few days or even weeks before the situation becomes dire. You must seek veterinary help immediately if you think your cat may have ingested something dangerous.