A Woman's Warning To Fellow Cat Owners: 'Don't Make The Same Mistake I Did'

By Allegra Ringo

Let me start by saying that the cat in question survived the incident and is now thriving, so you can keep reading without an impending sense of dread. That said, settle in for a harrowing tale.

Imgur user and cat owner Ramphasto posted a series of photos warning fellow cat owners against a menace she wasn't even aware of: hair bands.

When her cat Ollie suddenly began throwing up, she naturally became concerned. Her concern intensified when Ollie stopped moving, and she rushed him to an emergency vet.

Cat Ollie with a cone post-surgery
Ollie recovering post-surgery
credit: Ramphasto via Imgur

After blood work and x-rays, the vet determined that there was some sort of hard mass lodged in Ollie's stomach and intestines. He needed emergency surgery, which Ollie's owner, of course, approved, despite its $4,000 price tag.

Ollie's owner was shocked when the vet pulled a mass of her hair bands out of Ollie's stomach.

Mass of hair bands pulled out of a cat's stomach
The hair bands pulled out of Ollie's stomach
credit: Ramphasto via Imgur

The vet was less surprised. They told Ollie's owner that it's common for cats, especially young cats, to swallow things like hair bands, string, or yarn. Ollie's owner had seen him playing with her hair ties, but she'd never imagined that he was swallowing them, or the havoc they could wreak on his insides. The vet even said that they once performed surgery on a cat who swallowed an entire ball's worth of yarn.

Two cats lying on a couch
Ollie, alive and well, hanging out with his friend
credit: Ramphasto via Imgur

Ollie's owner shared her story in hopes of sparing other cat owners the stress, not to mention the cost, of what she went through. So a word of warning: If you have cats, especially young ones, keep them away from hair bands and similarly swallowable items. Naturally, these are the items that cats love, but there are plenty of cat toys that are safe alternatives. Emergency hairband surgery is something no one should have to endure.