Big problem of small toys

Cats like to play from the day they are born, as a way to learn, de-stress and express their happiness.

As cat lovers we enjoy seeing our cats happy and that often means piles of toy mice, balls, feathers and all sorts scattered around the house in piles.

It pays to consider your cat's safety when buying a new toy, as we were reminded at the National Cat Adoption Centre, recently.

One of our residents, Gizmo, was seen being sick over a few days. It wasn't anything serious, but he was  bringing up spittle and bile.

We kept a close eye on him and, one morning, we found a small piece of rubber within some sickness in his pen.

At first this was a mystery as we couldn’t find where it had come from. But after aonther episode of sickness, when more tiny plastic parts were found, it struck us what had happened.

The plastic was part of a small rubber ball that some of our cats had been given to play with.

An innocent looking toy like many people have at home and does not usually cause any trouble.

To Gizmo, though, it had been something to chew on and, innevitably, some pieces had been swallowed.

As the rest of the ball could not be found, Gizmo was booked into our clinic for an x-ray to check if any was left in his stomach. Lo and behold, there it was. 

The other half of the ball was clearly visible in his tummy, so Gizmo had to be operated on straight away to remove it.

This is potentially a very dangerous operation and not an easy one from which to recover.

The stomach cannot be overstretched so Gizmo has to fed very small meals and is under tight monitoring.

We are glad to say that Gizmo has fully recovered and is now available for rehoming again.

But all small toys have been removed from his pen - and all other pens, to be on the safe side. 

So take this story as a gentle reminder: play safe and know your cat.

If, like Gizmo, he likes to chew everything, be extra careful with small toys.