Have you ever looked over as youre unpacking the groceries to see your cat innocently chewing on a plastic bag? Whats up with that? The technical term for a cat eating a non-food item is pica, so in this case, were specifically looking at plastic pica.
Cat food should be high in protein , free from fillers like grains, and contain real meat, not by-products. Image Credit: PixabayWe know that cats can come across as independent and in control, but our little furry friends are actually easily affected by changes in their environment.
Some cats retain their playful, kitten-like tendencies well into adulthood, and they may not be able to resist chewing on a plastic item thats been left lying around. Indulging their hunting instincts during supervised playtime means theyre less likely to go looking for things to play with or chew on when youre not around.
Is it normal for cats to eat plastic?
Actually, plastic pica – a recurring behavior of eating or chewing on plastic – is quite common in cats. If your cat is nibbling on grocery bags, packing pillows, and shrink wrap, there may be an underlying reason – other than that your cat is just weird.
How do I get my cat to stop eating plastic?
Enrich Your Cat’s Environment. Remember: Enrichment is more than toys. ….Remove or Restrict Your Cat’s Access to Plastic. Pick up grocery bags, close doors to rooms with plastic-coated cords, and put away any stray items that might tempt your cat. ….Offer Chew Toy Alternatives.
Why does my cat keep chewing on plastic?
Cats that have aggression issues may begin chewing on plastic cords and other items around the house in an attempt to express their emotions. These aggressive behaviors can be a sign of pain, poor socialization, and stress, among other things.
What happens if a cat swallows plastic?
Plastic is indigestible and so could cause a blockage. If this is left untreated, your cat could become very unwell. The risks increase if he becomes dehydrated through vomiting or if he develops life-threatening peritonitis. This is why you should call your veterinarian for advice as soon as you can.
Questions that can come up when working with families that have cats in their households, are often about a cats predilection for chewing on odd items. While plastic bags may seem like a strange choice for cats; from a cats point of view, they are very attractive. However, chewing on these bags can be dangerous for your cat as they can suffocate or choke on bags and bag pieces.
You may also want to discuss with your veterinarian your cats diet , as chewing on odd objects can be a symptom of insufficiency in daily dietary needs.
Cats are enigmas. Why they do anything is a mystery cat-parents love to ponder, mostly because the majority of your cats quirks are ridiculously cute. But eating plastic?
Thats why, as a good cat mom or dad, its up to you to get to the root of the cause and help your fur baby choose healthier options. The best cat diet is one that is high in protein, moderate in fat, and super low in carbohydrates.
If you see the words grain, byproduct, or any other harmful pet food ingredients , toss it. Opt for cat food that lists healthy protein and fat sources – like chicken, fish, turkey, liver, and eggs – in the first 5 ingredients. This can lead your cat to seek out anything soothing, which may include hiding in dark, quiet places, scratching your favorite curtains, or eating things she shouldnt.
Rule out any possible stressors in your cats environment and do what you can to make your kitty feel at ease. Many cats will experience stress due to a health problem, even if they dont show any other signs of being ill. Cats suffering from anemia, dental problems, diabetes, brain tumors, hyperthyroidism, and immune system deficiencies can exhibit pica behaviors.
To see if this is whats driving your cats mad munchies, give her something else (read: safer) to chew on that crinkles. We like this crinkle stick that your cat can cuddle, carry, chase, or chew to satisfy that crazy craving.
1. Their diet is nutritionally deficient
If your cat’s regular food isn’t meeting their nutritional needs, they may be compelled to eat other items to make up the shortfall. Of course, plastic doesn’t contain any nutritional benefits for your cat at all, but if it’s plastic that’s contained meat or other tasty foodstuffs, then your cat might give it a nibble, anyway.Upgrade your cat’s food to something nutritionally balanced. Cat food should be high in protein, free from fillers like grains, and contain real meat, not by-products. Make sure any food is approved by the AAFCO for your cat’s specific life stage.
2. Your cat is stressed
We know that cats can come across as independent and in control, but our little furry friends are actually easily affected by changes in their environment. Something that you may not even consider stressful, like rearranging the furniture or inviting a friend over, can cause your cat to feel anxious and stressed out. This might lead them to indulge in self-soothing behavior, which in some cases, can include plastic pica.If you’ve changed anything around your house recently, this may be the cause of your cat’s stress. Consider booking a check-up with your cat’s vet so they can advise you on what to do next. You can also use pheromone diffusers to help your cat feel soothed and content.
3. Your cat is curious
Some cats, especially inquisitive kittens, love to investigate the world around them. This includes eating things that they really shouldn’t! Some cats retain their playful, kitten-like tendencies well into adulthood, and they may not be able to resist chewing on a plastic item that’s been left lying around.Make sure you provide your cat with plenty of distractions and safe items to chew and dedicate time to playing with your kitten or cat as often as possible. Indulging their hunting instincts during supervised playtime means they’re less likely to go looking for things to play with or chew on when you’re not around.
5. Your cat has a medical condition
Pica can be a sign of your cat trying to self-soothe themselves. If you catch your cat chewing on plastic or any other non-food item, this may be the first sign that they’re feeling unwell. Cats are masters of hiding pain, so keeping an eye out for subtle signs like this can give you a clue that your cat might not be feeling 100%.Make an appointment for your cat to see the vet, and explain that you’ve seen them chewing on plastic. Pica can be a sign of dental issues, anemia, diabetes, and immune deficiencies, so your vet will likely want to run a few tests.
Why Does My Cat Eat Plastic?
After all, plastic isn’t exactly a nutritious feline snack, right?Actually, plastic pica – a recurring behavior of eating or chewing on plastic – is quite common in cats.If your cat is nibbling on grocery bags, packing pillows, and shrink wrap, there may be an underlying reason – other than that your cat is just weird.Here’s what could be causing your cat’s odd plastic habit.
Why Cats Eat Plastic
Not so cute.In fact, it’s downright hazardous.That’s why, as a good cat mom or dad, it’s up to you to get to the root of the cause and help your fur baby choose healthier options.Cats are highly instinctual animals, which means if they’re not getting something important in their diet, they’ll track down ways to get it – even it it means munching on a Mervin’s bag.The best cat diet is one that is high in protein, moderate in fat, and super low in carbohydrates. Cats that are fed manufactured cat food that’s lacking the proper balance may seek out other sources of nutrition.As cool as they come off, cats really don’t handle stress well. Unfortunately, there’s a lot that can stress your cat out, too.Like too much attention from the kids, not enough attention from you, being bullied by another cat in the house, not having enough stimulation or play time, or hidden illnesses. This can lead your cat to seek out anything soothing, which may include hiding in dark, quiet places, scratching your favorite curtains, or eating things she shouldn’t.If you just started noticing your cat eating plastic, it may not be cause for concern yet. Cats are naturally curious and, like kids, they’ll lick, bite, and chew on just about anything.Also, give your cat toys and other places to explore in the house. Some cats have a strong predatory drive and just need that itch scratched with fun toys and laser beams that make them feel like they’re on the prowl.Cats are self-soothers. They prefer to try to make themselves feel better before letting anyone else know that they’re unwell.Nibbling on plastic may be your cat’s way of trying to make herself feel better when an underlying cat health problem has her feeling under the weather. Cats suffering from anemia, dental problems, diabetes, brain tumors, hyperthyroidism, and immune system deficiencies can exhibit pica behaviors.If you’re using PrettyLitter, make sure you’re checking the color of the litter every day. While PrettyLitter can’t detect every cat health problem under the sun, it can point out when something’s not quite right and is an excellent tool for keeping tabs on your kitty’s internal health.