Can Cats Eat Plastic? Cats eating plastic is a symptom of a dangerous compulsive disorder known as pica.
Whether it’s chewing on plastic bags, flip flops, or wire sheaths, consuming plastic can endanger your cat’s life.
Here’s everything you need to know about pica, including how to turn this bad cat habit into a good one.
Why would a healthy, well-fed cat eat plastic every day? Of course not because it’s tasty.
Perhaps they eat plastic because they are concerned about climate change? After all, eating plastic is preferable to landfilling it, right?
While it’s unlikely that your cat is attempting to recycle plastic for the sake of the environment, some cats will eat plastic, whether it’s wire sheaths, plastic bags, or flip-flops. This behavior perplexes their owners, regardless of whether they are enticed by more appropriate items.
It may appear to be a silly habit, but cats who eat plastic are engaging in a dangerous impulsive behavior known as pica, and the consequences can be fatal.
Plastic ingested may become lodged in the intestine, necessitating emergency surgery. Cats that bite on wires may also be burned or electrocuted.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to break your cat’s bad habit.
The Top 3 Reasons Cats Eat Plastic
It is permissible for cats to consume plastic, but why do cats consume plastic?
This bad behavior is caused by three major factors: the cat’s DNA, their health, and their life history.
Pica is more common in certain cat breeds, such as Burmese and Siamese.
If you have purebred cats or Burmese or Siamese crossbreds, you should take precautions to avoid pica.
Let’s move on to cat health. Cats are excellent secret keepers. They are cautious and independent animals, so they may not always express their true feelings.
Cats with pica can experience a variety of gastrointestinal problems, including enteritis, intestinal obstruction, malnutrition, and intestinal parasites, and you won’t even notice they’re in pain and discomfort until the problem is severe.
In other words, your cat could be eating plastic to address a larger health issue.
Finally, cats’ life experiences can influence their behavior.
If your cat is irritable, undernourished, or stressed, he or she may be eating things they shouldn’t.
Pica, if left untreated, can develop into a compulsive behavior that often necessitates lifelong treatment, including medication.
How to Keep Cats From Consuming Plastic
Take precautions early on if your cat is a Siamese, Burmese, or a hybrid of these breeds; otherwise, your cat may exhibit this behavior before his first birthday.
Keeping your cat busy is one of the most effective ways to prevent pica.
Most cats spend their days at home, eating, playing with their friends, and chasing sparkly balls.
Cats, on the other hand, are very intelligent and curious creatures, and boredom can be dangerous when your four-legged friend is trying to keep himself occupied by exploring everything around him.
To enrich your cat’s life, provide three different toys each day.
Keep an eye on what your baby is playing with, and then buy toys in a variety of designs or colors.
Finding out what your baby’s interests are and then purchasing that type of toy will keep him entertained.
If you don’t want your cat to chew on certain items, remove them from his or her reach by picking them up and putting them away.
How can I get my cats to stop eating plastic?
Is there anything that can be done to prevent cats from eating plastic?
If your cat is showing signs of pica, the first thing you should do is take him to the vet.
Discuss your baby’s eating and urination with the doctor, and be sure to mention any other unusual symptoms, such as vomiting or coughing.
A stool test and a physical exam will be performed by your doctor. They may also suggest laboratory testing to help them make a more accurate diagnosis.
If your veterinarian says your cat is healthy, try the following pica-reduction strategies.
Consult a veterinary behaviorist if neither of these suggestions nor a trip to the veterinarian help.
Enriching the Cat’s Environment
Remember: getting rich is not just a toy. It includes resting spaces, hiding spaces, training, sensory stimulation, chews and hunting toys.
Another way to keep cats busy is to teach them new tricks. By teaching your cat to approach you when you call, you can help them stay away from negative behavior.
Remove or limit your cat’s exposure to plastic
Keep plastic bags secure, close up rooms with plastic wrap, and hide any items that might lure stray cats.
You may even have to keep your cats locked up in a room when you can’t supervise them.
If you choose to give your cat a separate room, make sure it has food, water, a comfortable bed, windows, and plenty of toys.
Offer chewy toy alternatives
You’ll also need to get creative and design safe items that make them feel like plastic in the mouth.
You can refer to dog chews, chew bones, or make other homemade items that serve the same purpose.
Try dehydrated or freeze-dried meat, or even dog chews. If not, give your baby something you know she can chew safely.
Catnip or catnip are both good options as long as the catnip doesn’t upset the cat.
You can also use food toys to satisfy your baby’s need to use his mouth.
The world of food toys is limitless. Remember to introduce these treats to your cat slowly, keep the toys simple at first, and use their favorite treats.
Use bitter spray
If all else fails, use a bitter spray on plastic treats that your cat chews often or is at risk of chewing.
This may deter your cat, but it won’t stop her from chewing on other untreated items she finds.
Trying to spray everything you have isn’t very effective, so this tactic is best combined with at least one other tactic.
Hopefully, with this article, you not only understand whether cats can swallow plastic, but also figure out how to prevent this behavior in cats.