Why Do Cats Eat Litter?

Want to know how to keep your cat going in the box every time? Learn how to fix your cats litter box problems and why it happens, then try these five tactics to help cure your cats litter box aversion.

Kittens especially are prone to consuming litter, as they often dont
understand its purpose and may be interested in eating more non-food items
after weaning. Some cats who suffer from anemia, pancreatitis, kidney disease or feline leukemia may be prone to ingesting litter to compensate for nutritional deficiencies.

Provide something else to munch on If your cat likes to chew or eat non-food items, try keeping rubber toys around that they can dig their teeth into. You can even get a rubber KONG toy and fill it with kibble or a pureed cat treat to keep them busy licking for the last bits. With these tips, you can help keep your fur baby safe by getting them away from the litter box when they dont need to go to the bathroom.

Is it bad for cats to eat cat litter?

Litter is not good for cats to eat, but some litter is more dangerous than others. Clumping litter contains sodium bentonite, and it is especially dangerous for cats. The sodium bentonite can clump inside of their intestines and cause a blockage. In extreme cases, it can even cause bentonite toxicosis when ingested.

Why do cats chew cat litter?

Most cat litters contain minerals that cats can smell. If they’re lacking a certain vitamin or mineral in their diet such as vitamin A, magnesium, taurine, etc., they may start chewing kitty litter to try to solve the problem themselves.

Cats eat litter for a variety of reasons, ranging from dietary problems to stress. If the behavior does not happen often, then the cat may just be tasting it because it is curious. Many cases of litter consumption indicate that your cat has a health problem and needs to be evaluated by a veterinarian. The most likely health-related reason for eating kitty litter is a vitamin or mineral deficiency, which the substances in the litter might help compensate for. Nutritional deficits are often caused by an underlying condition, such as anemia.

While cancer symptoms vary greatly, some additional warning signs include fatigue, appetite loss, bloody feces or urine, or noticeable changes in appearance. FIP is believed to be caused by a virus that invades the immune system’s white blood cells, leading to inflammation, abnormal eating behaviors, weight loss, fever, and bloating.

If the cat is adjusting to a major change, such as the sudden departure of a loved owner or another pet, it may be stressed and depressed, which can result in unusual behaviors.

Sometimes, cats display strange behaviors when it comes to their litter boxes. It can be rather unpredictable. Other cats lie in litter boxes, while some eat their litter. When your cat has the urge to eat things they shouldnt, its a common habit called pica, and unfortunately, eating litter is one form of this behavior that is a concern. However, there are some simple steps that can help you to stop your cat from doing this, and thereby normalize their behavior regarding litter. Generally, when cats or kittens are eating litter, it is either a sign of a physiological or behavioral problem.

Though it might also seem strange to you, your cats preference of bringing you pieces of animals that have been caught is actually not considered pica, but it can be unsettling. In most cases, only a medical professional can accurately diagnose whether or not the pica your cat is exhibiting is a sign of something serious or doing it simply out of boredom.

One of the main physiological reasons your cat is eating litter is because they are not able to produce enough red blood cells and hemoglobin. If your cat has very lightly colored, white, or bluish gums in their mouth, this is a strong indicator of anemia. There are many different types of cat litter, and you might find that switching from a clay-based variety to one made from corn, wheat, or paper could help.

If you notice your cat going back to the litter box to eat, try to direct it away gently with a piece of string or toy. By planting some fresh catnip in your yard or bringing some dried leaves to your cat, you can help your furball to be more relaxed and at peace.

Cats sometimes do mysterious things. And sometimes, to our shock, that includes eating cat litter. What in the world possesses a cat to eat cat litterand is it even safe for them to eat? As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons why a cat might show an unusual interest in their litter.

The scent of these types of litter may encourage your cat to take a bite, and the foodlike taste might keep them coming back for more. Pica is a texture-based compulsion to eat, lick, or suck on nonfood items, and this condition is fairly common in cats.

Here are some of the top causes that PetMD lists for unusual cravingsincluding craving cat litter. Since stress can lead to eating inedible substances, start with monitoring and reducing stressors in your cat. Ensuring that your cat gets plenty of exercise and interaction and has lots of fun toys to play with will help combat that.

It may also help to give your cat toys they can safely chew, such as one in which you can hide an edible treat . A litter made out of wheat, corn, or a similar substance is less likely to form internal blockages and does not carry any risk of bentonite toxicosis. Your cat may be eating litter due to a medical or psychological reason that your vet will be able to help with navigating.

Whether your cat is eating litter out of boredom or due to a serious medical condition, taking steps to ensure your cat has plenty of stimulation, low stress levels, and the veterinary care they need will help them to break their unsavory habit.

Why is My Cat Eating Litter?

If your cat keeps eating their litter, it may be due to one of a few possible causes.Kittens especially are prone to consuming litter, as they often don’t understand its purpose and may be interested in eating more non-food items after weaning. Once kittens reach 8 weeks and it’s safe to begin using litter, choose a natural litter to prevent them from ingesting harmful chemicals. If the kitten is repeatedly eating litter, avoid clumping clay litter to prevent any intestinal blockages from occurring and opt for a natural formula that will pass through their digestive system regularly.Just like humans, cats can develop strange behaviors when they’re feeling increased stress. If you notice your cat suddenly starting to ingest litter, evaluate whether any changes have been made recently to their routine or to your household that could be causing your cat increased stress.

Physical Health Issues

Any health problem that prevents your cat’s body from absorbing all the vitamins and minerals it needs can lead to many different side effects, including kitty litter consumption. Many of these conditions are not limited to cats but can also cause similar behavior in other animals that use litter, like rabbits. In many cases, the underlying cause is anemia, a condition in which the body doesn’t make enough red blood cells or those cells don’t work as well as they should. Anemic animals also become deficient in iron.The most visible sign of anemia in a cat or kitten — other than eating kitty litter — is paleness. You can check for this by lifting the cat’s lips and looking at the gums and tongue, which should have a healthy pink color. Some cats have very dark pigment in their gums, which is normal, but you may still be able to tell if they are paler than usual. If your cat’s gums are white or bluish, you should consider a trip to the veterinarian as soon as possible.Anemia in cats is often, but not always, a symptom of a more serious illness such as cancer or kidney disease. While cancer symptoms vary greatly, some additional warning signs include fatigue, appetite loss, bloody feces or urine, or noticeable changes in appearance. When a cat’s kidneys are damaged, harmful substances can accumulate in the body; symptoms of this can include vomiting and loss of appetite.Two other fairly serious but rare conditions that can cause a cat to eat unusual things are feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) and feline pica. FIP is believed to be caused by a virus that invades the immune system’s white blood cells, leading to inflammation, abnormal eating behaviors, weight loss, fever, and bloating. Feline pica, on the other hand, is believed to result from mineral deficiencies, some diseases, or simply boredom. If your cat eats or chews on other non-food items in addition to kitty litter, this may be the problem.

Other Issues

Many cats occasionally eat litter just as an experiment. Animals have different temperaments and personalities, and sometimes your pet simply may be curious about the taste. If the behavior occurs once in a while but not often, then it may not be a cause for concern. Kittens in particular are very curious and will eat many things, much like a human child.Keep your pet’s diet in mind as well. Cats are natural meat-eaters, so felines who do not get enough meat may develop nutritional deficiencies that they attempt to correct by eating kitty litter. Make sure that the foods your cat eats contain lots of natural ingredients and nutrients like iron and potassium. It’s often best to avoid artificial ingredients and preservatives.Sometimes, cats may even develop psychological issues just like their human counterparts. Strange eating behaviors may indicate a compulsion, for example. If the cat is adjusting to a major change, such as the sudden departure of a loved owner or another pet, it may be stressed and depressed, which can result in unusual behaviors.

Results of Consumption

Whatever the cause, you should pay attention to what your cat is eating. Some of the ingredients in kitty litter can be dangerous for the cat, although it depends on what type of litter is used. Clumping litter, often made from sodium benotite clay, sticks together when mixed with urine or feces. If eaten, it can create clumps in the cat’s digestive system and create a potentially deadly intestinal blockage. The clay may also strip minerals such as iron and potassium from the cat’s body. Deodorizing substances like scented crystals also contain chemicals that could hurt the cat if eaten.Natural litters may be made from newspaper, pine, wheat, wood chips, or corn. It may be less dangerous if a cat eats one of these materials, since they may be less likely to create an internal blockage. In addition, if the pet is eating one of these substances, it’s probably less likely that it has a more serious underlying problem.

Pica

Pica refers to an animal’s desire to eat nonfood items such as plastic, paper, string, sand, litter, and other bizarre things. Though it might also seem strange to you, your cat’s preference of bringing you pieces of animals that have been caught is actually not considered pica, but it can be unsettling. In most cases, pica occurs as part of either a behavioral or physiological problem.In general, if you have noticed pica symptoms in your darling fur baby, make sure you contact a veterinarian as soon as possible. The pica may or may not be severe to be a sign of a problem. In most cases, only a medical professional can accurately diagnose whether or not the pica your cat is exhibiting is a sign of something serious or doing it simply out of boredom.

Anemia

One of the main physiological reasons your cat is eating litter is because they are not able to produce enough red blood cells and hemoglobin. This condition, known as anemia, can be serious in our feline friend. If this is the cause, your cat is eating litter to try to get the vitamins, minerals, or fatty acids that it are otherwise missing from their diet. If your cat has very lightly colored, white, or bluish gums in their mouth, this is a strong indicator of anemia. If you suspect your cat is anemic, be sure to take it to the vet as quickly as you can.

Nutritional deficiencies

Nutritional deficiencies are common in many cats. Eating litter is actually a response to these nutritional shortfalls. Many commercial cat litters are made from clay and contain a wealth of minerals. Your cat senses this and tries to eat the litter to make up for what it is missing from their diet.

Other medical issues

This behavior could also be a sign of leukemia or kidney disease. To determine these diagnoses, your vet will need to analyze your cat’s complete blood count. An MRI or other imaging technique may be necessary. Again, if you are noticing that your cat is eating litter, don’t wait to bring them to a vet.

Curiosity

This is especially true for kittens who eat litter. Often, they don’t understand yet what it’s for, which is why it’s so important to use non-toxic, non-clumping litter for kittens as this will help prevent intestinal blockages. If your kitten is under three months of age, it’s not odd for them to eat litter. Keep an eye on your kitten and remove them from the litter box if they’re treating it as a snack, but they should eventually drop this habit/

Boredom

In some cases, cats will eat their litter if they are not feeling stimulated enough. This could be a problem if your cat is not allowed to go outside. A bored cat will start to act out and do strange behaviors to amuse itself. This type of situation is possible in all pica cases, though only a veterinarian will be able to be absolutely sure about what is going on with your kitty.Want to find out how often you should feed your kitten? We’ve got you covered.

Why is My Cat Eating The Litter?

Cats sometimes do mysterious things. And sometimes, to our shock, that includes eating cat litter. What in the world possesses a cat to eat cat litter—and is it even safe for them to eat? As it turns out, there are a lot of reasons why a cat might show an unusual interest in their litter.Your cat’s craving for cat litter can be caused by a range of medical issues, by what the litter itself is made of, and can even be caused by genetic predisposition.

Some cat litter is naturally “tasty”

While most litter is made from clay or crystals, some litter is made from more edible, and possibly more enticing, sources. This includes litter made from corn, walnut shells, coconut husks, grass, wheat, or paper. The scent of these types of litter may encourage your cat to take a bite, and the foodlike taste might keep them coming back for more.

What is pica?

Your cat could be eating litter for reasons that have nothing to do with the smell or taste of it, though. Pica is a texture-based compulsion to eat, lick, or suck on nonfood items, and this condition is fairly common in cats. Some cats lick plastic. Others fixate on fabric. And some are drawn, inexplicably, to litter.Pica isn’t the only reason that your cat might develop a taste for cat litter, though. Here are some of the top causes that PetMD lists for unusual cravings—including craving cat litter.