My cat has swallowed a foreign body: what should I do?


A risk of suffocation is quite possible in cats when they ingest a foreign body but we can also fear perforation of the intestine. This type of situation is quite common especially in kittens. These young animals love to play with various objects and can therefore swallow one. Complications are then to be feared, and in certain cases unfortunately, the vital prognosis can be engaged. Must therefore react as quickly as possible when a cat swallows a foreign body. But how ? This is what we will see.

Ingestion of a foreign body: possible symptoms in cats

There are certain signs that your cat has swallowed a foreign object. It could be for example:

  • Pain in the intestine due to the pressure exerted by the foreign body,
  • Intermittent vomiting or sporadic vomiting,
  • Intestinal obstruction,
  • A rapid deterioration in his general condition,
  • Inflammation of the intestine or the stomach depending on the location of the object.

We must react very quickly in the presence of these symptoms. They may indeed suggest that the cat has swallowed a inappropriate object but they are also manifestations due to certain pathologies which affect the pancreas, the stomach, the intestine or the liver for example. It is therefore fundamental to be able to identify the origin of symptoms so that a care protocol can be decided by the veterinarian as soon as possible, the cat’s life may be endangered.

Warning ! You should never make a cat vomit who has swallowed a foreign body. This can be very dangerous for the animal. In this type of situation, the cat master must not attempt anything. Its only obligation is to take the cat to the vet closest to his home so that he can be taken care of emergency.

My cat has swallowed a foreign body: what does the vet do?

The practitioner begins by auscultating the animal. A careful palpation of the abdominal region is performed and if he suspects the ingestion of an inappropriate object, he subjects the cat to an ultrasound or a contrast medium x-ray. This implies that the animal drinks a radiopaque liquid before the imaging examination that makes the foreign body more visible. Several x-rays should be taken at one or two hour intervals in order to locate the object and study its progress.

But its visualization can be difficult when it is in the intestine or even in the stomach. This is why the cat owner must be able to describe as precisely as possible the symptoms that his little feline suffers from, their intensity, at what time and under what circumstances they started to appear.

The treatment is applied case by case and takes into account the general condition of the animal. If he vomits a lot he is probably dehydrated. It is therefore necessary to administer intravenous rehydration solution and at the same time give him painkillers.

The use of a endoscope may be essential when the foreign body still in the cat’s stomach needs to be removed. It is a flexible tube fitted with a mini-camera that is introduced into the stomach after having anesthetized the animal. Manual massages may be sufficient to extract the swallowed object from the intestine. In this way, it is simply expelled through the natural pathways (anus).

But if the foreign body East stuck in the intestine, the veterinarian then proceeds to a surgical intervention and the animal remains hospitalized for several days so that it can be perfectly rehydrated, that the treatment against the pain can have its effect, that the digestion is returned to normal and the animal is restored. As soon as it leaves the clinic, and until the withdrawal of the threads if they are not absorbable (that is to say for 12 to 14 days), the little feline is equipped with a collar. This prevents him from licking or scratching the wound caused by the surgery. A small diet is also essential and daily rations should be reduced at first, then gradually increased.

However, it should be noted that if the object remains immobilized for too long in the intestine or else if it has perforated the intestinal wall, there is a great fear that feces have spilled into the abdomen. It is an extremely serious situation which leads to the death of the cat in almost 9 out of 10 cases.

Adopting a cat or a kitten is a responsible act. Each master must show vigilance so that his little companion is protected against this type of mishap which, let us remember, can cost him his life. The caution is required and must be even more important with a kitten in discovery period because he tends to put everything in his mouth. This is the reason why it should never be left alone with bits of wool, cat toys and other small objects made up of detachable parts, as is done with young children who put everything in their mouths. .

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