Hair ties always seem to have a way of disappearing. Most of the time they fall under inconspicuous hiding spots or simply get misplaced, but in the case of Kitty the cat, the lost hairties—over a dozen of them—disappeared into her belly.
Kitty, a 7-year-old Siamese, was brought into Boston's MSPCA-Angell when his previous owner noticed that something was off about him. Kitty was lethargic, not eating, and vomiting. It was at the MSPCA that doctors discovered Kitty had ingested 14 hair ties, which had became lodged in his intestines. Kitty needed emergency surgery, which was performed by Dr. Emma-Leigh Pearson. In fact, it was a life or death scenario for Kitty, since his intestines were under such distress.
Andrea Bessler, a lead technician at the MSPCA who worked side-by-side with Dr. Pearson, tells petMD that the two-hour procedure included a gastronomy, in which an incision was made into the stomach wall to remove the rubber bands in the cat's stomach. Kitty also had a resection and anastomsis.
"A portion of [the] intestine was removed and re-attached because a bunch of hair ties got stuck and damaged the tissue," says Bessler.
Luckily, Bessler assures us that Kitty "sailed through the surgery and is well on the way to a complete recovery." Since Kitty was surrendered by his last owner who brought him in, the MSPCA is now working towards finding him a new forever home.
"Because he is such a nice kitty, he will find a home fast," Bessler says.
Of course, whichever household Kitty winds up in, his new pet parents, like all pet parents, should be aware of items that could accidentally be ingested by their cats. String, tinsel, baby pacifiers, plastic bags, and hair itself, can be household hazards for cats, says Bessler.
"Pet parents should always be mindful of what is dropped on the floor or what your cat has access to in the home," she says. If your cat has ingested an item that he shouldn't have, you should seek immediate veterinary care for your pet.
Not all cases will require such a drastic medical procedure. "In some cases, surgery is not needed and the cat can have a less invasive procedure using a scope and skilled doctor to remove the object," says Bessler.
Images via MSPCA