Cat question

I can’t decide if this goes in “factual” questions or in the IMHO questions but seeing as I’m looking for facts, I’ll try it here.

My cat had surgery for foreign object ingestion 3 weeks ago and had his stitches removed last week. While I’ve done my best to “cat proof” my house, tonight we had an issue with the trash and before we knew it, he had eaten one of those little red plastic strips that you rip off of cheese packages to get to the zip lock. Some of these were removed from his stomach when he had surgery.

My questions (trying to keep them as opinion-free as I can):
1.) What is the transit time for something like this to appear in his stool?
2.) I went to the pet store and bought a laxative to help him pass it, but is there anything else I can do to try to help this thing pass smoothly through him?

I totally understand that aside from a vet examining him, this is difficult to answer but I’d honestly appreciate any feedback you have.

Thank you!

I hope you haven’t given that cat a laxative you bought from a store.



The only thing you can do at home is bulk up the diet and cross your fingers. If the cat starts vomiting or having diarrhea or bloody stools, you have a problem.

Except using those symptoms as an indication of an obstruction are right out the door if you actually gave the cat a laxative from a store!!

If you really gave a laxative, you MUST call the ASPCA Poison Control: 888-426-4435. There’s a $65 fee for consultation, but you must do this.

If you haven’t given a laxative, at this point there’s nothing you can do but cross your fingers. The piece, one piece alone, might pass without a problem and it might not. Check stools thoroughly, as in pick them apart while wearing exam gloves to see if the strip is in there. Usually you may see it pass within 24-48 hours. If you don’t see it pass in that amount of time and he is eating and using the litter box normally, the strip may still be in his stomach. The only way to tell is through endoscopy, and could possibly be removed that way, too. If you see your cat actually swallow something he shouldn’t, just get your butt and his to the vet pronto where they can safely make him vomit. It WILL be cheaper than surgery or treating for toxicity by giving him medication you have no business giving without a veterinarian’s instruction.

SeaDragonTattoo, could you maybe calm down a sec and tell us what the panic is, exactly? I’m not saying there’s nothing to panic about, because I know nothing about this, but I do see a lot of laxative products marketed to cats sold at Pet Stores. Are they all dangerous for every cat? I’ve tried Googling, and I’ve found nothing.

Sorry, I’ve been up for a little too long, and just finished dealing with a dog that got a hold of amphetamines somehow and is in critical condition. Not a fun way to spend a shift.

If it’s just something like Laxatone, then my panic voice is unnecessary. It will be completely benign and ineffective for this cat aside from some diarrhea that may or may not indicate a worse problem. Thing is, I have no idea where the OP is from, and some “pet supply” stores stock completely inappropriate items. Where items like Laxatone and generic equivalents are really just a lubricant and are “laxatives” secondarily, an actual laxative that is taken orally or in suppository form are toxic to cats and dogs and I have seen people give these to very detrimental effect.

I apologize if I was a little crazy upthread, but please know that doing stuff like that on your own without a veterinarian’s advise can be dangerous. Or completely ineffective anyway, which can still be detrimental!

Okay, thanks, that makes sense!

ETA: And poor doggy, too! Hope s/he’s okay and your next shift is more peaceful.

Thanks, SeaDragon, for fighting my and other Dopers’ ignorance.
Please post more on your specialty!