My Cat Ate Hair Tie

My cat ate hair tie and got me worried. The good thing is she threw up. But cases with long surgeries are also seen. If you need to know why the cat does that or how to keep her from doing so. Continue reading below.

my cat ate hair tie

Is cat playing or is it pica?

The cat owners have been discussing both aspects of having a cat as a pet. One being the cuddly and playful fun it brings with it. Other being the throwing up feature of the cat. Where the former remains the attraction, the latter is tough to deal with.

Many have been reported complaining about healthy cats throwing up suddenly or trapped in an emergency with a cat choking. This all is attributed to one common thing that is the cat ate hair tie. The owner complains that cats take it in and get the intestine clogged and surgically mended.

Many cat owners have shared the experience of having seen the cat eating hair, in addition to a hair tie. They have witnessed them playing and barely realizing that they ingested. One should be aware that a cat like a baby should never be allowed to chew on anything.

In fact cat’s inclination to eat on any object, furniture, ball, etc., needs to be checked for Pica. This is a complaint seen in a cat with an inclination to eat foreign objects. We shall discuss it in detail in proceeding section.

Cats and Hair Ties 

Old Cat owners will be aware that the cat is attracted to hair balls and has this compulsion to engulf the inch. It could be attributed to the ball-like appearance it takes as it is all rolled up. Even the hair tie look attracts their attention. Whether one gets to sit or makes sense of it. The cat will be compelled to have it in its mouth, which not every time gets ingested well.

This hair tie could be the cat’s owner, lying in the house. As it is out there, they tend to appear as a rounded shape ball or tie. This enormous mass is not necessarily assumed well when taken in by the cat and may block the intestine, upset stomach, and even choke the cat.

We have a list of symptoms that can be a sign of a problem if not intervened. So if your cat ate a hair tie, be watchful of the following symptoms.

Symptoms to note if the cat ate hair tie.

Cat after engulfing hair tie will show some signs of disturbance. If the matter aggravates and causes intense trouble to the cat. See if the case can be handled at home or if the vet needs to be visited.

  • Irritation and nausea
  • An episode of vomiting
  • Cat going dizzy
  • Cat refusing to eat and having a failed appetite
  • Uncontrollable diarrhea
  • Constipation for days
  • Swelling or pain in the abdomen
  • Cat shying away or seeking hideouts.

How to tackle a situation where a cat ate a hair tie?

The cat is always on a hunt. Roaming around and experiencing with anything it comes across. The list of things under this category is long and may range from plastic bags, Styrofoam boxes, and hair tie. Anything going in within small quantum or coming immediately out as vomit is okay. But in case of cat ingests it in mediocre or large quantity can be troubling.

In this case, one should keep an eye on the cat and closely observe for any changes. Check for changes in their habits, mood, or any discomfort experienced. See if they switch food routines and check stool until the cat passes out anything taken in.

However, if the former complaints persist with nothing in stool, go for the vet. The vet will rightly see and suggest medicine or surgery depending on the severity of the matter. The hair tie can sometimes obstruct the intestine requiring it to be cut and tied to get it back working.

What to do if the discomfort of cat post hair tie ingestion continues

Many cats do not show any symptoms after ingesting a hair tie. Many, on the other hand, would give off any foreign thing entering the cat’s body. A third category also exists under this scenario where the cat may show symptoms of not waiting and feeling discomfort. This is clearly a sign of deterioration of the cat’s health as the cat finds the GIT distended and irritated. Refusing to accept any more food.

Under such a scenario, one should keep feeding the cat and see the stool for anything abnormal. While in the absence of any changes within 24 hours in the cat’s behavior with food or anything in the stool. Refer a vet. Otherwise, with passing time, things will be only getting complicated. The health of the cat will get no better and decline with passing the time.

The vet looking into the cat’s condition and condition expressed by you will suggest medication or surgery in worse cases. For everyday situations, a laxative may do the work. This will be boosted with a diet like adding pumpkin or purees to lubricate GIT and get the food out naturally.

Here are few quick directions to be followed at home:

  • Cat consuming dry food should make a switch to wet instead.
  • Follow a wet food diet for a couple of days only.
  • Do not try to induce vomiting in the cat. It is risky and works only until two hours of ingestion.

How to manage cat throwing up after cat ate hair tie?

An episode of a cat throwing up shall take place soon as your cat ate the hair tie. However, one needs to maintain calm and observes the cat for any lethargy, unusual behavior, or whining more than usual. It is easy to be spotted. As cat usually sleeps for around 16 hours and is sleepless. Thus, if the cat refuses the meal and cannot sleep, something fishy is there.

A note of advice here is not to induce vomit on your own. Refer a vet that may get it done under his supervision. Moreover, he is in a position to undergo even more complicated procedures like surgery or so. If deemed necessary by the cat’s condition.

A failure in producing an apt response against the cat’s condition can worsen the situation. Even the cat may collapse in a matter of hours.


Some of the additional diagnostic tools can be applied if the condition of the cat gets no better.

Some of them are readily available at the animal care hospital near you and given as follows:

  • Blood Tests: Works best for evaluating the intense complications. Some of the issues with electrolyte imbalance, and vital organs, including the liver, kidney can be figured out via this technique.
  • Radiographs: Radiographs best give a more profound image of issues. Especially sites not seen through the naked eye. One can identify the position and mass of the hair tie via this tool.
  • Ultrasound: Followed by a radiograph, it can help rule out some other grave conditions and rule out any further doubts about the cat’s health.

Treatment Measures

Cat on presentation of the very first clinical sign should be dealt with at a severe level. Upon making the correct diagnosis, the vet is in the best position to make a treatment plan. Depending upon the severity and the location of the hair tie, a couple of treatment modules will be suggested.

Endoscopy works by entering a small camera into the tract via the esophagus. This method visually tracks and follows the movement of the hair tie, entering via the mouth and tracking into the stomach and intestine. It involves the procedure of anesthetizing the cat, followed by the entry of a video scope.

It also, marks with a cut across the abdomen. As long as the tie is in the small intestine, it can best be removed within hours.

What is it like to have a cat eaten a hair tie?

Other than usual symptoms of cat, post-ingestion of hair tie. One needs to know of two dire consequences that can invite real trouble. One of them is the blockade of GIT. The other being the choking.

In first case, it is not very evident. The signs may be gradual and need observation until the vet recognizes and makes a decision on them. The latter, however, will be abrupt in its display. It will demand the owner to get the cat into the emergency department and control the condition under medical supervision.

GI obstruction

Even when a single hair tie obstructs the gastric tract of the cat, with cat chewing on things over time can pile up or depend on the size, can cause trouble. Or it could be a fractional blockade that deescalates the digestive process. Here the cat keeps digesting stuff but in small quantities. Or the liquid or wet food can work in this case.

On the contrary, if the condition leads to complete blockade. The intestine will carry neither dry nor wet food. In this case, cats will present a combination of, if not more, at least two of the given symptoms. They include diarrhea, constipation, laziness, abdominal cramps, uneasiness, and the cat is uncomfortable.

The vet will require to take a radiograph and identify the location of the hair tie. Having found the hair tie, interventions like removing part of the intestine under severe conditions. The rest is tied and left for recovery by controlling the intake of the cat.


Compared to any other pet, the cat comes as a smaller animal. No matter what species it is, it comes in petite sizes. Thus, have small mouths with lesser capacity. Irrespective of their concern to eat. When something goes in, it is most likely to gag with items, like a hair tie in this case.

While a cat plays with a hair tie, it might get caught between teeth and tongue or accidentally reach the throat. Where it gets trapped, causing suffocation. It brings in a medical situation demanding professional help, heading a vet where an emergency like obstruction to get cat breathing.

Can cats eat hair ties?

Out of playful nature and curiosity to see a hair tie, cats keep messing around it. It might just sniff or lick around but not aim at eating it. Also, with predatory nature, besides being domesticated, they continue hunting some of the random things in the home.

Typically, the cat will not. But in doing so, it might accidentally ingest the hair tie. It is generally recommended not to let the cat eat anything, and by being watchful, one can avoid the later problem. Keeping such things, including hair ties out of the cat’s reach, can also be a point of help.

On the contrary, the cat could be suffering a medical condition termed Pica. This psychological condition keeps the cat in a constant state of unease. To ease the discomfort, the cat having Pica tends to eat inanimate objects. It can begin simply with paper until some random item, causing a threat to the cat’s life. Here, one needs to be more careful with a cat.

This condition can arise with the poor nutrition of the cat. It makes them find rescue by going for non-edible stuff. But one cannot ignore the animal’s emotional and psychological fears and traumas that can also bring out the Pica in the cat. A nutrition or behavioral expert will be the best place to help you out if your cat ate hair tie out of Pica.


Cate ate hair tie is one of the complaints that most cat owners come up with. This issue can be attributed to their curiosity and sets well with the idiom’ curiosity kills the cat’. Well, in this case, almost killed with presenting complaints of dizziness, being nauseous, throwing everything fed, having abdominal cramps, and general discomfort. In cases where the cat gets into vomiting or induced under supervised care, it wards off the problem.

But where the situation goes unattended, issues like GI obstruction can be noted. This or choking will demand special care or an emergency visit to the hospital respectively. With his diagnosis and some lab experiments, the doctor will reach the area where the hair tie is. Then either through induced vomit, endoscopy, or any surgical intervention, we shall get it out.

The word of caution is don’t let the kitty fell and fall out of lethargy. The soon you relate to the symptoms of a cat with that indicated. Refer a vet; any delay would only make things worse. Plus, keep the stuff that the cat can ingest out of its reach and never let the cat swallow anything, in case it gets holds of it.

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