Preventing Causes of Intestinal Obstruction in Cats

Intestinal obstruction is particularly common in young cats that accidentally swallow foreign objects while playing. But even adult animals are not immune to it. In addition to swallowing foreign objects, there are other causes, but they are much rarer.

Playful kittens are often curious and careless when romping around. For example, if they swallow a piece of wool, there is a risk of intestinal obstruction. This can be life-threatening and should be treated immediately. What other causes are there and how can you prevent an intestinal obstruction as much as possible?

Causes of Intestinal Obstruction: Foreign Objects Swallowed

If cats play too wildly, parts can detach from the toy. Your cat may then swallow these small particles, entering the intestines. Sometimes the foreign bodies are excreted again, but under certain circumstances, they get caught in the digestive organ and block it – the result is intestinal obstruction. This can also happen when your cat plays with yarn, rubber bands or ribbons, buttons, or small marbles.

Rare Cause: Intestinal Intussusception

If swallowed foreign bodies are not one of the causes of intestinal obstruction, a so-called intestinal invagination may be behind it. However, this rarely occurs. A section of the intestine loses its mobility and becomes paralyzed. The rest of the intestine can then pull over the immobile section and circulatory disorders occur. Gradually, the tissue dies at the inverted point, the mashed food can no longer be transported and excreted properly, and intestinal obstruction occurs.

Although this condition is rare if you notice your cat losing appetite, appearing listless and apathetic, vomiting, or acting strangely, see your vet immediately. It can research the causes and react to them – whether it is actually an intestinal obstruction or not.

Preventing Intestinal Obstruction, is That Possible?

You cannot prevent intestinal intussusception, but you can reduce the risk of your cat swallowing foreign objects. For example, make sure your pet only romps around with toys that are stable. This means that the decorative and play elements such as feathers, threads, buttons, or even plastic cores cannot be easily ripped out and bitten. Cats should also not play with marbles, packaging clips, ribbons, and threads without supervision. Keep an eye on them and make sure your cat doesn’t accidentally swallow anything.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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