What happens if your curious cat gets their paws on them and decides to take a chomp? As a fellow cat owner and toy expert, I totally get how worrying that can be.
And If your cat chows down on Orbeez, you’ve got a reason to be concerned. These small, gel-like beads are made from sodium polyacrylate and they’re notorious for expanding when they come into contact with water.
So, when ingested, they can expand inside your cat’s digestive system, potentially causing dangerous blockages. That could turn into a life-threatening situation real quick.
Now let’s walk through everything you need to know if your cat eats Orbeez, from recognizing the signs of ingestion to potential health risks.
I’ll also give you tips on how to remove Orbeez from kitty mouths safely and prevent it from happening in the first place. Trust me, I’ve been there! So let’s dive in and orb-prepared.
See also Do Orbeez Guns Hurt?
Why Eating Orbeez is Dangerous for Cats?
Okay, so Orbeez are made from superabsorbent polymers, meaning they can absorb and retain insane amounts of water. We’re talking hundreds of times their weight!
This expands them into those bouncy, squishy balls, but it also makes them a major choking hazard and intestinal obstruction risk for pets. Here are some specific dangers:
Cats have small throats compared to their head size. A large, expanded Orbeez could get lodged in their esophagus on the way down, blocking their airway.
The balls can expand even further in a pet’s stomach or intestines until they cause a dangerous blockage or impaction.
As Orbeez absorb moisture in the GI tract, they can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
Some Orbeez contain ingredients like borax or boric acid that may be toxic if ingested.
So basically, orbeez are not a healthy snack for cats! Now let’s look at where cats tend to find these pesky balls in the first place.
Are Orbeez Poisonous To Eat?
Orbeez might look like cosmic caviar to us, they’re not exactly a cat-friendly treat. In fact, it’s best to keep these away from our feline friends, though they’re not classified as toxic or poisonous per se. So don’t get your whiskers in a twist!
Basically, Orbeez are made from super-absorbent polymers, which means they swell up when they come into contact with water. If ingested, they can cause some gastric issues like vomiting or diarrhea. It’s kinda like how we regret scarfing down that late-night taco; fun in the moment, not so much afterward.
First Signs Your Cat Has Eaten Orbeez
Cats are naturally curious creatures, so they may nibble and lick at interesting objects even if they aren’t food. If you notice any of these signs, your cat may have munched on some Orbeez:
- Pica behavior – Eating non-food or inedible objects. This could be a sign of boredom or stress.
- Excessive chewing or licking – Especially focused on their mouth area.
- Vomiting or gagging – Trying to bring back up something they ate.
- Loss of appetite – Not eating normal meals due to obstruction.
- Lethargy – Being abnormally tired or low energy.
Basically, look for any unusual behavior that started suddenly. Cats are pretty set in their routines. So if your cat stops acting like their normal self, orbeez may be the culprit!
Related Article: Can You Dry Orbeez In The Oven?
Where Do Cats Usually Find Orbeez?
Since orbeez are a popular kids’ toy, our curious kitties have plenty of opportunities to encounter them around our homes and gobble them up! Here are some common places cats discover loose Orbeez:
- Orbeez play sets – These toys let kids fill up containers with water and orbeez to make “aquariums”, bubble bowls, and more. Cats may drink or paw at the water and accidentally swallow orbeez.
- Orbeez guns or blasters – These toys shoot out wet orbeez, often leaving stray balls scattered across the floor. Watch where you aim them so cats aren’t tempted to pounce!
- Craft supplies – Orbeez are used in sensory bins and DIY projects. Make sure to securely seal bags and containers.
- Spilled containers – It’s easy to accidentally knock over a bag or box of dry orbeez, leaving them rolling freely. Always seal and store unused Orbeez to limit cat access.
Basically if there are Orbeez within paw’s reach, there’s a decent chance your cat may end up batting them around and nibbling on them. So supervise playtime and restrict access to reduce temptation!
See also Do Orbeez Guns Damage Cars?
Now, let’s get into some scary but important stuff – what can actually happen inside your cat if Orbeez cause a blockage or obstruction internally. I know, not fun to think about! But being informed is power.
Serious Health Risks of an Orbeez Obstruction
If your cat manages to swallow Orbeez, here are some of the potentially serious medical issues that can occur:
- Esophageal obstruction – Orbeez stuck in the esophagus or throat. This would require immediate emergency removal!
- Gastrointestinal obstruction – Orbeez blocking the stomach, small intestines, or colon. This can cut off blood flow and require surgery.
- Dehydration and electrolyte problems – As mentioned earlier, Orbeez can leach moisture and cause electrolyte imbalances. This can lead to kidney issues.
- Emergency surgery – Blockages may require endoscopy or abdominal surgery to remove obstructing Orbeez and prevent organ damage.
So in a worst case scenario, an intestinal obstruction from Orbeez can become life-threatening and require emergency vet care. That’s why it’s so important to act FAST if you suspect your cat has eaten them!
First Aid if Your Cat Eats Orbeez
Okay, take a deep breath. I know you’re probably panicking if you think your cat ate Orbeez. But let’s walk through the steps you need to take to get them help safely:
- Contact your vet ASAP – Call and alert them you’re on the way in case of obstruction. Time is critical.
- Monitor for signs of distress – Watch for gagging, choking, vomiting, weakness, etc.
- Bring the Orbeez package – This will help identify any toxic ingredients.
- Only induce vomiting under vet guidance – They’ll decide if this is the safest course. Don’t do it without asking first!
- Be prepared for emergency surgery – Your vet will have to determine if obstruction requires surgery.
I know that all sounds scary, but the sooner you get to the vet, the better chances of avoiding any lasting issues. So don’t wait – get your cat checked out right away!
Now, if you happen to witness your cat nibbling on an orbeez and want to remove it from their mouth quickly, here are some tips on how to do that safely:
How to Remove Orbeez From Your Cat’s Mouth?
- Don’t pull forcefully – You don’t want to push it farther down their throat!
- Use tweezers or pliers – Gently grasp and remove the orbeez if you can reach it.
- Wipe the mouth – Use a washcloth or towel to wipe out excess saliva and orbeez debris.
- Check for more orbeez – Look under lips and check gumline for any remaining.
Basically act fast but gently. You want to get the orbeez out without pushing it deeper into the mouth or puncturing any tissue.
Phew, that was a lot of scary potential outcomes! Now let’s shift gears and talk about something more positive – how to make sure your cat never eats Orbeez in the first place. Prevention is the best medicine!
Preventing Orbeez Ingestion in Cats
Okay, let’s face it – cats have minds of their own. Stopping them from batting around a colorful bouncy ball will be tricky! But here are some tips to orbeez-proof your home:
- Supervise playtime – Don’t let cats near orbeez in use. Put them away when done.
- Store containers out of reach – Keep dry orbeez sealed up high in closets.
- Pick up spilled orbeez ASAP – Don’t leave stray wet or dry ones lying around.
- Provide alternative toys – Give kitty safe balls, mice, and chews instead.
- Limit Orbeez gun use around pets – They startle easily and may eat fallen orbeez.
Basically keep orbeez out of sight and out of paw’s reach. Easier said than done, I know! But doing your best to limit access can prevent a world of health issues and vet bills down the road.
So in summary, here’s the orb-ottom line when it comes to cats and Orbeez:
- Orbeez pose major choking and blockage risks for cats if eaten.
- Signs your cat may have ingested orbeez include vomiting, appetite changes, and oral fixations.
- Act immediately if you think your cat ate orbeez – contact your vet and monitor closely.
- Removing obstructing orbeez may require emergency endoscopy or surgery.
- Be vigilant about storing orbeez securely and supervising playtime around pets.
I hope this overview gives you a game plan in case your cat ever snacks on these superabsorbent balls. While orbeez seem harmless, they can definitely cause health issues if they end up in the wrong paws – or mouths!
With some awareness and preventative steps though, you can help keep your furry friend safe. We cat owners have to look out for each other, right? Let me know if you have any other pet health topics you need covered! I’m happy to dig in and research the things that worry us as pet parents. That’s what I’m here fur!