My 2 y/o cat just ate a rubber band. Vet suggested waiting to see if it passes (since it wasn’t very big and in the past he has successfully passed at least one) and then bringing him in if he shows any serious symptoms. Just curious if others have dealt with similar what they did/result of the decision? Is this a really dangerous situation?

1 Answer 1


Yes, this is a potentially dangerous situation.

Rubber bands and other items that are string-like can get tangled up in the digestive tract and cause damage. Though it's definitely possible nothing will happen to the cat, and the rubber band will simply pass through naturally, the very worst scenario is the cat could die.

However, that said, I am not a vet, and so I cannot really advise you on what is the best action to take. Definitely follow whatever advice your vet gives you, and make sure to keep all rubber bands, strings, tinsel, etc., away from your cat in the future.

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    If at all possible, one should make sure to recover the foreign object, which should typically show up around 18-24 hours after ingestion. Prior to this event, watch closely for any signs of trouble, e.g. lost appetite, vomitting, trouble defecating, tiredness, aggression when touching the belly or hardness to the touch in belly. Basically anything that is out of the ordinary warrants a trip to the vet. Get latex gloves ready, as you'll likely play "split the sausage" a few times...
    – bgse
    Jun 19, 2022 at 21:29
  • @bgse at what point can I considered it safe? I went through the litter and saw he had eaten other plastic objects recently, but not sure I specifically pinpointed the rubber band. He seems to be in no discomfort whatsoever and its been several days... is it fair to assume its passed?
    – Runeaway3
    Jun 22, 2022 at 13:48
  • @Runeaway3 I would suggest to discuss this with your vet, as the idea behind the whole "combing through feces" process really is to absolutely know for certain when it is safe, which is when you have the object in hand. Depending on timing, is it possible that you missed the defecation where he could have passed the rubber band, e.g. started inspecting feces only 10 hours after ingestion? This would be the absolute quickest the rubber would have passed. On the other end of the spectrum, it may take many days for something to pass, so I would discuss this with your vet.
    – bgse
    Jun 22, 2022 at 15:08

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