Categories: foreign object

Handsome Maine Coon cat addicted to eating cotton thread

If you have a domestic cat companion and if you like sewing, you should read this story. It’s a story which almost ended with the death of a beautiful Maine Coon cat.

Sir Dexter Purrbody likes to eat cotton thread. Photo: Photographer not specified.

Sir Dexter Purrbody is a beautiful Maine Coon cat. His guardian is Sandra Hamand. Sandra likes to sew and Sir Dexter likes to eat thread. Sandra didn’t know this so she didn’t protect him from her sewing equipment.

It’s ironic that Sandra likes to make cat toys in her spare time because Sir Dexter became very ill eating thread and she didn’t know why. Normally he’s a lively cat but suddenly he went quiet. She knew something was wrong because he wouldn’t eat his favourites such as prawns and chicken.

Sir Dexter began to vomit; bringing up bile because he had nothing in his stomach as he had lost his appetite.

He became dehydrated and Sandra’s veterinarian suggested that he might have pancreatitis because he had signs of that illness. He began to improve and she took him home.

He became ill again and return to the veterinarian who conducted further tests. Long strings of thread inside a cat do not show up in an x-ray. Accordingly, the veterinarian had to perform an operation to visually inspect his insides. She discovered that he had swallowed lots of thread. Some was wrapped around his tongue which stopped it going through his body.

The threaded acted like the elastic inside a hair scrunchie. This was covered with Fur which he had swallowed when grooming. Long threads can be difficult to diagnose. They can have what’s called a “cheese wire effect” and cut through the intestines causing a very serious illness. In this instance this had not happened but it had caused a major blockage and Dexter could have died.

The obvious moral of the story is to ensure that a sewing machine and accompanying threads and equipment should be placed in a secure place when not in use if you live with a cat.

The Dexter is recovering well and Sandra said:

“Now, I’m so vigilant and make sure I always keep the door closed so he doesn’t get near cotton any more. He’s doing fine now. He’s as bright as a button (excuse the pun). He is an adorable cat, he’s gorgeous, he’s my baby. I shouldn’t have favourites but he is.”

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • One more little known danger to indoor cats. I'll be posting this on FB and other social media sites.

    At this time of year, many people don't realize the dangers of Xmas tree tinsel, which many cat guardians use on their tree.

  • Sir Dexter of Deathwish more like!

    I wonder if this is a case of Pica?

    I'm glad Dexter is recovering. Handsome chops.

    • Thank you,he is fine now but still tries to get in the room where the sewing machine is, the door is tightly closed....

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