Is tinsel dangerous to cats and dogs?

Tinsel, string, and ribbons can be deadly to cats and dogs, and should be kept away from pets.

Cartoon kittens are often seen frolicking with a ball of yarn, but in reality all forms of string – even shoe laces – pose a potentially lethal danger to cats and dogs.

Any type of string can cause internal blockages and/or injuries – or entangle itself around the pet’s tongue. Adult dogs may be less prone to playing with string than puppies and kittens, but if it has an enticing scent, even the most well behaved dog can be tempted.

When a pet ingests string, it can cause a “linear foreign body” – this means one end of the string wraps around the base of the tongue or gets caught in the stomach while the rest makes its way into the intestines. One part being anchored means the intestines may fold up around the string. This is an emergency that requires immediate surgery!

Dangers of string

If you find a piece of string hanging out of our pet’s mouth or behind, do not pull on it! Contact your veterinarian or a pet emergency clinic at once.

Store dangling toys and rope toys out of reach when they’re not in use.

Keep an eye out for dental floss, tinsel, yarn, ribbons, bows, rubber bands, easter basket grass, and similar. Towels and cloths may have long, exposed threads.

Dental floss is particularly sneaky since it’s often flavored, extremely durable, and may end up in an open trashcan in the bathroom.


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