Persian Kitty’s Taste For Tape Leads To Sticky Situation

Charm has always been the most problematic of Jill Rygwalski’s three silver-shaded Persian cats, but his good looks and charming personality have always kept him out of serious trouble. That is, until one day at their Woodbridge, VA home, when Charm’s mouser mischief took a near tragic turn after he swallowed more than three feet of packaging tape. Charm’s inexplicable injury and incredible recovery have earned him the title of August’s “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Nationwide, the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance.

On the day of Charm’s feast, Jill was out of town picking up a new kitten for the family when she received a call from her pet sitter. The sitter explained that she had arrived to find vomit throughout the house, but couldn’t figure out which pet was sick. Fearing that one her pets was suffering, Jill immediately left for home. When she arrived, all of her pets were excited to see her and meet the new kitten, except for Charm.

“When I got home with the kitten, the other two cats and the dog rushed to the door to greet us, but Charm was nowhere to be found,” said Jill. “When I found him in the other room, he was acting strange and wouldn’t come out from hiding. I even offered him his favorite treat, and when he refused, I knew something was wrong. Thankfully we have Nationwide and could just jump in the car and go to the emergency room without worrying about the cost.”

Once at the animal hospital, the veterinary team examined Charm thoroughly, but his X-rays and blood levels all appeared normal. However, over the next couple days the troubled tomcat refused to eat, so Jill took Charm to her longtime family veterinarian. The veterinarian took more X-rays, and this time something translucent and faint appeared that didn’t seem to be food. Charm was again sent home with medication and high hopes that the indistinct foreign substance would pass on its own.

Charm Collage

The next day Jill could hear Charm coughing something up, and what came out left her in disbelief. Charm had vomited a wad of packaging tape that stretched 18 inches long and one inch wide. Despite his regurgitation, Charm seemed to get worse overnight, so Jill took him back to the animal hospital the next morning. The veterinarian suspected that more of the substance could still be in Charm’s system and prescribed a laxative. Jill and her veterinarian hoped the tape would pass on its own or else surgery was inevitable. Thankfully the next day, Jill watched with relief as Charm visited the litter box multiple times, eventually passing another 19 inches of tape.

After passing all the tape, Charm is back to his normal charismatic self. Jill still has no idea where Charm found the tape or why he decided that it was a suitable snack. Whatever the reason, she is grateful to be insured with Nationwide.

“Having pet insurance is a necessity. Without Nationwide, I don’t know how we would have paid for everything,” said Jill. “With all the incidents he’s had, Charm is the epitome of why we have Nationwide for all of our pets, including our newest member of the family. Our pets are children to us and when they get sick or have an accident, it’s nice to know that Nationwide is there for us.”

Pet Health Spotlight

When Charm was in distress after swallowing packaging tape, the very first symptom she showed was vomiting. While cats may vomit for a variety of reasons, it can be dangerous to assume that behavior is normal.

Cat vomiting could be a sign of:

  • Organ dysfunction
  • Inflammation of the pancreas
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Gall bladder disorders
  • Cancer

Learn more about cats and vomiting


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