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Is tinsel toxic? My cat ate tinsel from our Christmas tree and has been vomiting

Our question this week was:

Dr. Debra – Is tinsel toxic? My cat ate some tinsel that fell from our Christmas tree. Since then she has been vomiting. This has been going on for about 3 days and now she is acting weak. Is there something I can give her that will help?

William S. – Wheeling West Virginia


Hi William– thanks for your email. I’m very worried about your cat. Tinsel is not toxic but is known to cause gastrointestinal foreign bodies in cats. Basically, some cats will ingest the tinsel and it will get caught in their intestines or stomachs. At this point the only treatment is surgical removal.

I’d recommend that you have your cat evaluated by your local veterinarian immediately. It has already been going on for a few days and she is probably getting week from dehydration. She could die if untreated. Please see your vet or take her to your local emergency clinic as soon as possible.

An article that might be helpful to you is Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies in Cats.

Dr. Debra

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