Vet’s shock as X-ray reveals 61 objects swallowed by cat

Toowoomba cat Riker kept his owners on their toes after her veterinarian found something unusual in his stomach during an annual check-up.

West Toowoomba Vet Surgery Michael Burke was examining the red and white dyed house short hair when he felt a large and hard knot in his abdomen.

CHEEKY CAT: Ginger and White Domestic Cat Riker kept his owners busy after their vet found something unusual in his stomach during his annual checkup.

Concerned with the discovery, the owners advised the vet to proceed with the operation, but no one expected the results.

“Riker came for his annual checkup and vaccination and he had no history or symptoms that would suggest he was feeling unwell,” said Burke.

“When we did research, we found that a lot of hair ties were clumped together with food and other things.”

The x-ray revealed an orange ball with 61 hair ties, food, and other items. Image: Rhylea Millar

The x-ray showed a large orange lump in his abdomen and showed a large ball that was about 4 x 7 cm.

The local vet said the eight and a half year old cat was more likely to chew the 61 hair ties over time than in one session.

“Riker has a history of chewing foreign objects – he ate an ear of corn a few years ago and had to have it surgically removed, but he hasn’t had any problems since,” said Burke.

“Some cats really get obsessed with chewing things … it’s actually a syndrome called pica and it’s something he suffers from.”

STOMACH MOVEMENT: West Toowoomba vet Michael Burke found 61 hair ties in Riker's abdomen.

STOMACH MOVEMENT: West Toowoomba vet Michael Burke found 61 hair ties in Riker’s abdomen.

And while this doesn’t happen every day, the vet said he’s seen dogs and cats swallow pretty much anything from socks and underwear to large bones and nectar seeds.

“At first we were worried because when you find a big lump like this you think the worst, but luckily it was a good result,” said Burke.

“If you have a pet who loves to chew things, try to lock them up and keep them out of reach.

“But it just goes to show the importance of having your annual health checkups and vaccinations because you never know what you are going to find and it would only get worse until there were problems.”

Originally published as a Vet’s Shock as an x-ray shows 61 objects swallowed by the cat