Cats and Bones – Not a match made in heaven!


Joan Henderson
Our feline friends are so sensitive and smart. Whether it is understanding our emotions or conveying their likes and dislikes, cats are always curious and bring so much joy. But sometimes when they are in a naughty mood, your cat might eat something wrong which can be a problem for them!
Cats are pro at eating food with bones, in fact they enjoy it. But sometimes if the pet parent is not careful and gives them a large bone, it can get lodged in their mouth or food pipe and cause a lot of distress. Your pet will try to dislodge the bone but often it is very difficult for the cat to get rid of the bone, and often in the process they might hurt themselves.
Bones that are never a boon
If the bone is wedged between the teeth it is not difficult to get rid of it. You’ll have to hold the front legs of the very nervous and upset cat, and use forceps to remove the bone. If this does not work then sometimes an anesthetic is necessary — that is usually because the cat is in a real panic mode and often the bone becomes even more wedged into the teeth. It is best to visit your vet and take his/her expert opinion.
If a bone is lodged lower down it will require delicate surgery to avoid damage to the arteries and veins. Dogs seem to be able to crunch a bone down to very small pieces and swallow them without any trouble. But for cats this does not seem to be as easy. As a pet parent you need to be extra cautious about the size of the bone you’re giving your cat. They should be able to chew it without getting into trouble or hurting themselves. Cooked chicken bones splinter when they break and it’s dangerous because the fragments could get caught in your cat’s teeth or cause internal damage.
If you suspect that your cat has a bone lodged, do check thoroughly. Using a strong light to look into your pet’s mouth is a good idea. If you are confident enough, you can take another person’s help to hold your pet and use small tweezers to remove the bone. Imagine when you have something stuck in your teeth, how uncomfortable are you? Your pet would feel the same.
The bottom line is – be careful while giving food to your pet and don’t leave bones around (even in trash) for your cat to discover.
(Joan E Henderson is a retired all breeds judge from Melbourne, Australia)