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Old 01-22-2013, 10:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My cat swallowed an earplug..

Hi,

So tonight I bent down and a green, foam earplug fell out of my pocket. My cat (1.5 year old) grabbed it and ran away. I thought he'd just chew it and stuff, but turns out he swallowed it. Should I be concerned? I think a few weeks ago he also swallowed two of them (again I thought he had just played with them, didn't think he'd think they were food) and I think he was constipated for a while because of it. Anyway, what do you guys think? Should I be worried?
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not sure what to do about the situation now, but in the future I would make sure not to let the cat eat the earplugs or have anything that may resemble food lying around. I knew someone who had a cat that would lick their ears/eat q-tips because they liked the taste of earwax, so maybe your cat thinks it is food because of the earwax.

I would see how he does and take him to the vet if it causes any blockage. I am assuming that is something that doesn't digest well. My cats were eating packing peanuts and I had to throw a whole bag away.

Good luck!!
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I can't even visualize how big an earplug is right now, but it seems kind of big for a kitty to eat. Maybe he just chased them somewhere where you can't see them, like under the fridge? Or did he pass them in his poop?

If he's eating and acting like his normal self, it's probably ok, even if he ate it.

grrawritsjordi, I wonder if that's what attracted my first cat and made her eat part of a Qtip... I had no idea what was wrong with her. After I took her to the vet and paid for bloodwork, she pooped it out the next day.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's a relatively smallish ear plug, i guess. they all seem the same size to me though. a few weeks ago he went nuts with 2 earplugs, but he was keeping it away from his kitten brother so he ran away with it. my girlfriend looked for it because she was worried, but I honestly didn't think much of it because I didn't think he'd eat it. Now that you mention it, I also think it's the ear wax he's attracted to. You should've seen him wind around my leg after he swallowed it, begging me to give him another one!! it's like a treat for him!! Anyway, I watched him play with this one, and he chewed on it for a bit, and then it was gone and he was licking his chops, so he definitely swallowed it. i wonder if they have ear-wax flavored cat food?

anyway, this happened about 2 hours ago, so I'll have to wait. How do I know if he's "Stopped up"? I've fed him pumpkin and food in pumpkin broth (Solstice), so I hope that'll help him poop it out more freely. My girlfriend is panicking, thinking it'll "plug" him up and she's wanting to take him to the vet for whatever reason. I'm taking more of the let's wait and see attitude.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would be concerned, and keep a close eye on him until it passes through his system. An earplug is a pretty big size for a cat to pass without obstructing things. Didn't you find the other one(s) in his poop? If you don't see it in the litter box in a few days it should be time for x-rays.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I would be concerned. My Orry swallowed a piece of window/door insulation foam about the size of an earplug and needed emergency surgery to have the obstruction removed. I had no idea he had even swallowed it. When he started vomiting and not being himself I took him to the vet. It did not show up on regular X-ray. The vet gave him barium and then it showed up on another x-ray. Please keep an eye on your cat. If he starts vomiting take him to the vet immediately, time is of the essence in these cases. Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spirite View Post
grrawritsjordi, I wonder if that's what attracted my first cat and made her eat part of a Qtip... I had no idea what was wrong with her. After I took her to the vet and paid for bloodwork, she pooped it out the next day.
I would assume earwax has a lot of nutrition in it as it is a build up of wax and oils from our body. Cats use their sense of smell less than we do when it comes to determining what food is good for them. (If we smell something that is good, we are more likely to eat it than something that smells awful, even if it is good for you. Brussels sprouts... EWW). They probably sense that the earwax is nutritional, therefore it is a nice tasty snack! They are like "Hey! Don't be mad, I'm just trying to get my daily dose of nutrients."

Animals are strange. I had a guinea pig that loved cloth. She would chew on clothes, sheets, blankets towels and just about anything she could get her little teeth on. We had a dog that ate plastic bags. (I am not sure that the plastic bags were for any sort of nutrients as they are terrible for the environment, the dog was not the brightest.)
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a cat once who liked to lick my finger after I stuck it in my ear to clean it of earwax (I was a kid/teenager and didn't know better!). She definitely liked the taste. Not surprised a cat would eat something that tasted like that.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:51 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree, keep an eye on him. If these are the soft foamy ones they won't show up on an Xray. Get rid of them and buy yourself the reusable ones on a string that go around your neck.
When our son and his wife lived with us for year (ugh - NEVER again), she used to leave the baby's bottle sitting around. Billy the cat used to chew on the nipples and ended up eating the silicone. Made DIL mad as *ell. Made me LOL (and secretly think "I warned you!") but I don't think Billy ever got sick over it. I NEVER tried to stop him because DIL was such a *itch.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcia View Post
When our son and his wife lived with us for year (ugh - NEVER again), she used to leave the baby's bottle sitting around. Billy the cat used to chew on the nipples and ended up eating the silicone. Made DIL mad as *ell. Made me LOL (and secretly think "I warned you!") but I don't think Billy ever got sick over it. I NEVER tried to stop him because DIL was such a *itch.
So sorry your DIL was awful. My boyfriend is a mommas boy (not saying your son is) so I make a conscious effort to think of his mom's feelings before I do or say anything around her. We have been together for three years, and the only time we have ever had a problem was when my boyfriend and I moved out here to CA. He flew out here, but I drove my car and my boyfriend's mom and step dad drove his car with a Uhaul. Because of the three days on the road and lack of sleep, we got into a few little tiffs, but now we are good as gold.

Hope your relationship with her got better.
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