Beautiful black and white long-haired cat Tilly came to us feeling very sorry for herself.  The house cat had been very sick and had subsequently refused to eat anything for several days.

On examination, it was clear Tilly’s abdomen was painful and we could feel something hard inside her guts.  We took x-rays which confirmed she had ingested a foreign body that had become stuck and needed to be removed to enable Tilly to eat and digest food normally again.

A faint white-edged triangular shadow near the centre-bottom of the x-ray indicates a foreign body

Surgery went smoothly, and we discovered the root of Tilly’s intestinal trouble: a piece of bone from a cooked joint of meat.

Intestinal foreign bodies are far less common in cats than dogs – generally because cats are more discerning about what they eat! And it is very rare for cats to swallow a solid piece of bone like Tilly.  The most common type of feline obstruction involves string from around joints of meat, where it twists and knots around the guts and can lead to multiple intestinal perforations.

Tilly’s incident is all the more unusual as she is an indoor cat so doesn’t have the opportunity to scavenge for tasty morsels outside.  Instead, home cooking smelt so good she secretly raided the kitchen bin!

Although it is well known to avoid giving cooked bones or left over cooked meat with bones in to dogs, Tilly’s misfortune highlights that cats need to watch their diet too!

The piece of bone extracted from Tilly’s gut during surgery was around the size of a penny but still large enough to cause a blockage