Dangers of Dental Floss

I just finished up a wonderful sit with a very sweet cat that ended in 48 hours of stress after I caught her digging in the trash to play with a piece of used dental floss. Long story short, she ate the floss! After several frantic calls to the THS vet help line (which unfortunately was not very helpful) and a local vet I realized this is very common and also can be life threatening as it can get tangled in their inside and cause all kinds of havoc. After consulting with the owners, we decided to keep an eye on her instead of rushing her to a vet for a scope and surgery. Very happy to report thankfully it came out the other end about 48 hours later and all was well (I never though I would be so happy to see cat poop!) So wanted to share so others can take precaution to keep their teeth clean and their pets safe by making sure to dispose of floss in a can with a secure lid. Crisis adverted, but phew that was stressful!


@Freebird Wow! I never knew that. Thanks for the heads up, and sorry that you had to go through that, it must have been incredibly stressful - probably like the ‘pea-up-the-nose’ for toddlers.


@Freebird Thank you for sharing and a good reminder especially when there are open bins in bathrooms. Phew glad it was okay in the end, but something I will keep an eye on in the future for sure. Well done for coping with this on your sit!!

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As a long time kitten foster, I have learned the MANY ways cats can get hold of stringy things. Dental floss is probably the most common, but second is the frayed edges on towels or sheets that might be used for bedding. Also feathers from wand toys or little stuffed toys.

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It is great that all these reminders get posted as sometimes, as humans, we just don’t click that something could be dreadful for a pet…like leaving a chocolate candy bar on a table and forgetting about it…then having Rover sniff and notice it’s there, thus helping himself to it. I remember several years ago, I was putting together gift baskets for my clients and I had purchased bags and bags of Harry & David chocolates, along with many other great items. I left them in the center of my dining room table and ran out to get something else for the baskets, only to return home to find EVERY SINGLE BAG opened and devoured with the wrappings on the ground (at least she didn’t eat those). I panicked and contacted the vet who told me just to keep and eye on her. Fortunately (or not, depending on how you look at it) she managed to relieve herself of them in quite a few ways around the house, but at least she was okay. Lesson learned.
Always good to also remember about certain beautiful plants/flowers we might bring into our home that can be deadly for our pets.

I am so glad your kitty was okay!


Thanks for sharing. We just did a cat sit and the owner stated that the cat had previous surgery because it liked to eat hair bands. We made sure to throw everything away in the trash can with a secure lid.


I’m curious to know why the THS vet was not very helpful.
As this is something (god forbid) that we may all need at some time, I would assume they knew their stuff.
I would really value your experience.
Is it a phone call or a video call by the way?
Many thanks from a newbie - yet to sit , but two booked and 2 applications in. :blush:


My friend’s cat had to have a leg amputated due to complications from eating something like dental floss. Thanks for the reminder.

It is helpful for all pet parents and sitters to research ahead of time how much chocolate is harmful (kind of a lot, and dark is worse.)

I reached out to them a couple of times and I would agree they were not that helpful. Both times they told me it’s best to talk with the owners and I told them I reached out to the vet line due to the fact that I couldn’t get a hold of the owners