Dear Christopher Cat
When I knit, my cat, Argyle, likes to play with and chew on my yarn. Is it safe for him to eat dyed acrylic yarn?
No. We cats should not eat any kind of yarn -– or string, ribbon or tinsel, either.
I help Mom wrap gifts by chewing on the curling ribbon. She doesn’t like my work, so she sends me out of the room saying, “I don’t want to have to open your belly to retrieve that ribbon!”
That’s because yarn, ribbon and string are what veterinarians call linear foreign bodies. When we swallow them, one end sometimes wraps around the base of the tongue or gets stuck in the stomach, while the remainder moves through the intestines.
The result is that the yarn acts like a saw, cutting into the walls of the esophagus, stomach and intestines. Unless the veterinarian operates immediately, the result is death.
To prevent this problem, add one extra step to your knitting pattern: Distract Argyle with safe cat toys or catnip, so he’ll keep his paws off your yarn.