Ragdoll Cat Dies from Hair Tie: Hair Ties in Cat’s Stomachs

Ragdoll Cat Dies from Hair Tie Hair Ties in Cats Stomachs

Charlie and Trigg have played with hair ties on and off for some time, but I did not know of their danger until the other night on Facebook when a reader posted about her Ragdoll kitty swallowing a hair tie.  I did not think they would actually eat them – however, I also just learned that cats can’t spit out things – due to the barbs on their tongue, there is only one way for items to go – that’s down.  So cats do eat hair ties and they end up in their stomachs and can cause serious medical bills and death.  Unfortunately, Karen had to say good-bye to her Sylvia in this way.

My heart just breaks for Karen and Oliver!  I will definitely not let Charlie and Trigg play with hair ties anymore.

Ragdoll cat owner, Karen, posted these messages on our Facebook page:

Sylvia, my ragdoll, is in the hospital. With that stuck in her stomach/intestines, nothing is moving. Have to make a decision, go ahead with a 50/50 surgery or let her go. There is a doctor there they maybe will take her if I sign her over. So now I have to decide what to do.”

“they did the surgery, and she swallowed a hair tie. perforated her stomach and stretched to her colon. they had to put her down. i thought she’d make it. brokenhearted. thank you. now i am paranoid. i have hair ties here and there. I have a male Ragdoll, Oliver, her brother. I got them both together. here is her

Ragdoll Cat Dies from Hair Tie Hair Ties in Cats Stomachs Hair Tie Photo
Here is a hair tie, one with metal one without. think the one without because vet did not say metal or mention it.

picture the bicolor on the left. oliver is the seal point next to her. never thought of that with hair ties. i wear pony tails and so does my daughter, granddaughter. we thought it was a plastic rubber bracelet.”

“Vet said that the hair tie rubber was like in bits thru her and the cloth was intact thru to her colon keeping them together and like stuck in stomach. she would vomit bile and clear at times violently. at first vet visit and second, they gave her IVs and cat lax and anti vomit stuff. This vet did not have an x-ray and said we needed to go to another one he recommended, she improved it seemed, but it must have been the fluids being dehydrated. couple days later i called and said she is worse, so went into another place for x-rays, and then surgery. they closed her up and said didn’t want to put her thru anymore since the stomach is perforated and another spot if i got them right.”

“They did just put her to sleep instead of putting her through all this. They were afraid she would get Septis, that poison that goes thru the body from the damage in the stomach. I wish I would have just went and got the x-rays at the place the Vet recommended, but we just went with the fluids and cat lax and anti-vomit medicine. Not realizing what she swallowed. This vet had no x-ray machine. So the key is”get an x-ray…don’t wait until the damage gets worse. The Vet even said maybe it’s the flu. She did get better for a couple of days and was even purring again.”

Ragdoll Cat Dies from Hair Tie Hair Ties in Cats Stomachs 2
This is Penny Lane (she died 2 months ago old age) Oliver in the middle, Sylvia to the right
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Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. My Ragdoll cat’s mother died from string getting wrapped around her intestines. We really have to be vigilant.

  2. Kristen Kincaid says:

    I am dealing with literally this exact same situation right now. Our cat Kimmy started vomiting over the weekend and became very lethargic and was hiding a lot and I was thinking maybe some kind of a stomach bug or something anyway needless to say I took her to the vet first thing Monday morning and thankfully they had an x-ray machine there. They did the x-ray and saw that there were three hair ties intertwined stuck in her intestines, so I was left with the choice to come up with the money to pay for a very expensive surgery or put her to sleep because they said eventually, she would just dwindle away over the next few days and die. At first I did not think I was going to be able to pay for the surgery out-of-pocket so our next option was to leave our cat overnight and let them give her different meds and IV fluids and give it a chance to possibly move which the vet said he did not count on, but it was worth a try. Well the next day the vet called and much to our surprise they had moved to her colon so fingers crossed she is able to pass them through her stool. I never dreamed in a million years she would eat a ponytail holder but I also did not know that cats can spit things out either so I’m very glad I read this article, thankfully we were able to come up with the money for the surgery so even if things go south and we have to end up having the surgery we will be able to do that now, but it blew our minds when we found out the cause of all this was ponytail holders, so make sure from now on we all hide those from our furry friends, My cat also loves to play fetch with them. Please say a quick prayer for my baby Kimmy in hopes that the vet calls today with news that she has passed them.

  3. Karen Richter says:

    About two months ago, my normally happy as can be cat, Leo became lethargic and hid under the bed. We took him to the vet, they did xrays and showed me that his stomach was full of small curly things. Without surgery they could not determine what, but kept and treated him with antibiotics and various drugs till he finally passed them. He is not used to anyone but us, so was a mean and aggressive patient, everyone got clawed. Thank God my wonderful vet was patient and saved him. When I tried to figure out what he had eaten, I realized that he had been sharpening his claws on my shag bathroom rug. I think as he tore the fibers out he decided to eat them too. Needless to say, dumped the rug and anything else he might possibly decide to swallow. So, thought I would add this to the comments in order to warn anyone else.

    1. Thanks for sharing – how scary – glad all turned out OK

  4. Patti Johnson says:

    OMG! Jenny, thank you so much for posting this as a warning to all of us about these deadly items! <3

    Karen, I am so sorry for the loss of your lovely Penny Lane and the very tragic recent loss of your beautiful Sylvia. I know how devastated you must be from the entire situation. *BIG HUGS* Praying that you will be able to find all the hair ties at your home and put them some place safe where Oliver won't be able to find them. Also sending you prayers of comfort. <3

    Thankfully, my hair is short, so we have no hair ties around but there are always other threats (dental floss in the bathroom trash, bread bag ties that might fall on the floor, silicon "cause" bracelets, etc…). I will be more diligent about all of this schtuff going forward.

    Big hugs!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle <3

  5. RagdollCatMom says:

    Denali loves hair ties – he carries them around in his mouth and brings them to me for him to fetch after I throw them. But ever since I saw this post a few days ago, I’ve picked up as many of the ties as I can find. I need to check under the couch to see if he’s stashed any. I was so heartbroken when I read about Sylvia. I never dreamed a kitty would swallow the ties. I’m so good about strings or anything else I think they could swallow, especially since two of my boys love to chew plastic. I’m wondering if the larger, cloth scrunchies are safe for them to play with? He enjoys fetching those just as much as the bands.

  6. Teresa Reid says:

    So sorry for your loss. Sad situation in so many ways. Just found a rubber band in the floor yesterday that my husband had taken off the mail and had not put it in the garbage. He got a good scolding because the same thing could have happened. Thank you for sharing your story and know it will help others know that these things, even though they don’t look like anything harmful, can be deadly to our angels.

  7. SoCalBohoGal says:

    SO sad! I used to play with a couple of my cats with hairties, but usually the elastic band in a wider band of cloth type.

    Being a swimmer/diver, and having rust come through the type of ties above, I usually use these for in-water time, but I can see where these could be a serious problem for a cat or a child!

    Thank you for the heads up on this!

    I wonder if a drive for package warnings for kids & pets would help bring awareness to this issue???

    Worth sharing! Please everyone pass on!

  8. such a sad sad story. i had a cat die from ingesting something (i never did find out exactly what it was) they found something in his stomach and he died during the surgery. it’s hard to keep them out of everything. you do the best you can. it’s very difficult when you lose one of your animal friends. thanks for telling us your story so that we all are more educated about what can happen. i never knew cats couldn’t spit things out. i had a cat that could spit an allergy pill across the room. but i can see if it’s something fabric that it would like stick to their tongues. i had never even thought about that.

  9. Thanks so much for telling us about this. I also let me cats play with them a lot and thought it was cute. But, no more hair tie play for them. I feel so bad for Karen, but she did a great thing by sharing her story.

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