You’re not going to believe this, but my cat just ate a rubber band.
I know what you are thinking: “What does that have to do with me?” Well, I am glad you asked! You see, 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.
Table of Contents
Check For These Signs
To determine if your cat is in immediate danger, you need to check its mouth. Gently open your cat’s mouth wide enough to be able to see down its throat. If the rubber band is in their mouth and is hanging freely, then you can carefully remove it. If the rubber band is lodged around one tooth or is stuck, then you should not move it. Even if the rubber band is clearly 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, then the next thing to check is their rear. After the poop, you’ll want to see if the rubber band is in their stools. 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 that the rubber band is sticking out of their anus. You may feel compelled to pull it out. Don’t.
Pulling on the rubber band could have serious consequences. While it may seem to be hanging loosely, the other end may be twisted around their 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 they eat food. This can help you determine whether or not the rubber band is interfering with their digestive processes. Lethargic cats, in particular, could be a sign that something dire is occurring.
Finally, if possible, 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 parts missing indicates that some of it may be stuck in their gut still.
Here are a few problems eating a rubber band may cause your cat.
- Digestive problems
- Intestinal injury
- Esophagus injury
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 or not. In some cases, they may be able to hack, or vomit, the rubber band back up.
However, if you notice them choking, then it’s time to take them to the animal hospital.
If they aren’t showing any signs of immediate distress, then you may be able to wait and see if the rubber band comes out on their 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 all of 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 of 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 the life of your cat.
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 actually saw 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 gain entry into 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. It’s at this stage where you need to take your cat to the animal hospital. 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 see your vet. They can safely remove the rubber band before it becomes a problem.
Do I Need To See The Vet Or Go To The Emergency Animal Hospital?
If your cat swallowed the rubber band without difficulty, then you can see the vet. They should be able to remove the rubber band from your cat and send them on their way.
However, for more dire circumstances like choking or telescoping, you need to take your cat to the hospital immediately. Waiting to see if they get better could cost them their life.
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.
For a budget choice, you can always remove the ring around milk cartons. 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 which cats love to hook around their paws and play 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 to go into shock or die.
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.