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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, city, and state. You can follow her @cathymrosenthal