Sewing thread is a threat to pets

Category: ,

As Seen With - Cathy Rosenthal

Encourage Kindness to Animals!

Highly-acclaimed children's books for your child or organization

Sewing thread is a threat to pets

Updated Dec 21, 2021

Dear Cathy,

I just wanted you to be aware of a danger concerning cats swallowing sewing thread. A friend took her cat to the veterinarian because she was afraid the cat had swallowed a needle. X-rays showed no needle, so the cat was sent home. The next day, the cat was much sicker. Emergency surgery revealed the cat swallowed sewing thread, which required the removal of 18 inches of intestine. The cat now has chronic diarrhea and must eat special food. Even though they missed the proper diagnosis, the vet charged my friend $10,000 for the treatment and surgery. It seems that thread acts like a knife, so be careful what your cats’ swallows. Plants are not the only thing that can be harmful to your cats.

— Nancy, Shoreham, New York

Dear Nancy,

I can personally attest to your cautionary tale about sewing thread. I had a cat who once ate thread from a spool of thread on a sewing machine. I was only away from the machine for two minutes, but it was long enough for him to swallow enough thread to require emergency surgery. Sewing thread can cut like a knife, as you say, and injure organs, so a word to all cat parents: don’t leave sewing thread anywhere where your cat can get to it.

Cathy M. Rosenthal is a longtime animal advocate, children’s author, syndicated pet columnist, and pet expert with more than 30 years in the animal welfare field. Send your pet questions, stories and tips to Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal

Was this article helpful? Share with others!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Cathy Rosenthal (aka The Pet Pundit), CHES, CFE
Animal Welfare Communications Specialist

Cathy brings more than 35 years' experience in the animal welfare field. She is a sought-after speaker, Certified Humane Education Specialist, a syndicated pet advice columnist, an author, a publisher, and of course - a loving pet parent.

Read more about Cathy here or check out her Non-Profit's page to see more ways she can help you and your organization.

Scroll to Top