A SIAMESE cat in Northwich had a brush with death after swallowing 16 hair bobbles.

Olaf's owners didn’t know he'd been secretly eating the bands until he fell ill.

X-rays revealed the four-year-old feline had something metal inside his stomach.

A veterinary team at Willows Veterinary Hospital in Hartford feared it could be sharp wire and so decided the best thing to do was to operate.

Northwich Guardian:

Olaf is recovering well after swallowing 16 hair bobbles

But they were shocked to find a mound of hair bobbles inside Olaf’s stomach, suspected to have been there for 'quite some time'.

Olaf’s owner, Morgan Warwick-Bower said the accessories belonging to the household’s four ladies, have since been put 'on lockdown', when previously they would let him 'play fetch' with them.

She said: “Olaf started being sick and stopped eating and we took him to the vets to find out what was going on.

“They sedated and X-rayed him and they thought he’d eaten something mesh-like or with metal in.

“He liked to play with my sister’s Barbie doll dresses so they all went on lockdown in case they had anything to do with it.

“We were really shocked when the vet called to say they’d removed 16 bobbles from his stomach.

Northwich Guardian:

The 16 hair bobbles swallowed by Olaf

“We’d always let him play fetch with them but have never seen him eat one, we still can’t believe it so the bobbles are on lockdown now too.”

Vet of 23 years, Bruce Waddell, is one of the head vets at Willows Vet Hospital, which is part of Willows Veterinary Group.

Bruce said: “Olaf had not been eating well and had been sick a few days before and was quiet in himself.

“Initially, we were concerned that he'd eaten some electrical wire tape, we did blood tests and gave him fluids because he was dehydrated.

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“He improved slightly overnight but was still not eating, he was lethargic and not acting very Siamese. They are generally very lively and playful cats.

“We decided to sedate him and took X-rays where we could see something with metal was present in the stomach area.

“We had a couple of options, we could've gone in with the endoscope, but because there was metal, we worried it might have been something sharp like wire and so didn't want to pull it out through the throat.

Northwich Guardian:

The pieces of metal from the hair bobbles show up in Olaf’s stomach area on x-rays taken by vet Bruce Waddell of Willows Veterinary Hospital

“We thought surgery would be the best option so opened up the abdomen and stomach and there was what seemed like an almost continuous production of hair bobbles.”

Bruce checked Olaf’s intestines to make sure none had moved through his body, adding: “I suspect the bobbles have been there for quite some time, one of them had a metal clasp which made it easy to spot a foreign body on the X-ray.

“Olaf was kept in for a few days for fluids, antibiotics and pain relief but was stressed at being in the hospital and so we thought he would cope better being at home.

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“He has since gone on to make a full recovery and we are very pleased with his progress.”

Bruce added: “We see animals that swallow things all the time, it’s more common in dogs and quite unusual in cats, cats are normally more sensible, but 16 bobbles is certainly a new one on me.

“I’ve not had that before.

“I know Olaf’s owners, who are very caring, will be extremely vigilant in future to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Northwich Guardian:

Morgan’s sister Ella is pictured with vet Bruce Waddell of Willows Veterinary Hospital

Morgan, 20, who lives with mum Lesley, and sisters Olivia and Ella, in Northwich added: “Olaf was very poorly. At one point we thought we were going to lose him but now he’s back to his annoying playful self.

“He’s put weight back on now, you wouldn't know there was ever anything wrong.

“He’s not like a normal cat, he’s more like a miniature dog but more high maintenance, but he’s our world and the thought of losing him made us absolutely devastated, it was a really scary time.

“It would be good to raise awareness that this kind of thing can happen.

Northwich Guardian:

Olaf is pictured with vet Bruce Waddell of Willows Veterinary Hospital

“We all felt really irresponsible but we would never have let him play with bobbles if we thought for one second he’d eaten any.

“We’ve stopped letting him play with bobbles now but he’ll tap his paw on your head as if to say he wants the bobble so I don’t think he’s learned his lesson.”

Morgan added: “We can’t thank Bruce enough for what he did, he was fantastic.

“Everyone at the vets nicknamed Olaf ‘Bobble Boy’ and they gave us so much reassurance whenever we rang to check how he was and kept us updated. The team were fantastic.”