All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Las Vegas, NV Explains How Hair Ties Can Lead to Intestinal Obstruction in Cats


LAS VEGAS, Sept. 06, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cats are often attracted to small household items they can bat around—and chew. Some items can be dangerous getting stuck in the mouth, the throat, or obstruct the intestines. All About Cats warns that with increased frequency, the ingestion of hair ties is causing obstruction of the intestines.

While cats love to play with hair ties and rubber bands, “The type of hair tie that seems to be the new culprit is the Elastic No Damage Hair Bands that feel like a rubber band covered tightly with fabric,” says Dr. Terri Koppe, owner of All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in Las Vegas, Nevada. “Either cats are attracted to eating this type of band more often than other types, or this style has a hard time moving through the intestines. We’ve seen so many cases with this style of hair band within the stomach, some even with over 15 bands tangled together in the stomach at once,” says Dr. Koppe.

Dr. Koppe recommends that cat owners go through every inch of their homes and pick up hair ties so they can be hidden from the curious cat. Be vigilant about keeping them away from your cat.

Cat owners may not realize that a hair tie, or several, have been eaten until the cat develops symptoms of an intestinal obstruction. Since cats can’t verbalize what led to their symptoms, it’s up to the owner and vet to figure things out. Fortunately, veterinarians can find these hair ties in an X-ray. Most of these cases require surgery to remove the hair bands from the stomach or intestines.

Symptoms include loss of appetite, vomiting, and lethargy. The cat’s abdomen may be swollen and painful. A painful abdomen can cause the cat to assume a hunched position. If the obstruction is high in its intestines, the cat vomits right after eating and can’t get food past the obstruction. Very alarming symptoms include vomiting multiple times in a short period of 1 to 2 days, and if the vomit color is green.

If the obstruction isn’t diagnosed or treated, it can be life threatening. “When we see a cat with an intestinal obstruction, we treat that as a veterinary emergency. We carry out medical testing, looking for the obstruction," says Dr. Terri Koppe. "Once we know what the object is and where it’s located, we remove it surgically.” If you know that your cat plays with or chews hair ties, you may even want to come in for a screening X-ray to check the stomach. Hair ties sometimes stay quietly in the stomach before moving along and causing problems.

All About Cats Veterinary Hospital, in Las Vegas, Nevada provides wellness care to its feline patients. It also treats many feline conditions, using several diagnostic tests. Cat families can groom or board their family cats. Call All About Cats Veterinary Hospital at 702-257-3222 or visit the website: