For example, you can include prey-mimicking toys during your playtimes. For this reason, jumping to behavior-modifying drugs is not typically recommended for cats who seem to be strongly driven to explore and chew specific tastes and textures. Scientists aren't exactly sure why cats eat fresh plants, but they do know that several can be toxic to your cats. Poinsettias are one of the more commonly known plants toxic to cats, although they are not quite as toxic as we are led to believe. It is best to feed a food that is certified to meet your cat's nutritional needs based on AAFCO food trials. No matter how much you spend on dishing up the best quality cat food and gourmet treats for your furry friend, it’s not uncommon for pet owners to find their feline chomping on garden grass when they’re free to roam in the great outdoors. I suppose you could call it his hobby. Cats who eat grass may progress to eating outdoor plants, which can have weed killers or pesticides on them. While I want you to know what plants to be wary of, I’ll admit that I have at least 10 houseplants in my house. Yes, you may think it is just for fun and that may be true. It's fun and taste good! We have removed all the plants from the house. It’s a combination of reasons that give your cat the tendency to chew and eat non-food items. Why do cat foods have ingredients other than protein? But young, tender vegetation seems to be their favorite. 6. However, if it is something you are uncomfortable with, you can find an alternative chew toy with a similar crinkling sound to help satisfy that craving. Top Menu Here are some possible ways to reduce pica that you might want to discuss: Most of all, don’t give up. Then to help keep her from doing it when you are not around (and this may cure her 100% without the spray) is put some bitter apple or something like it on the plants. Finally, cats are a little bit like us humans. Large cats in the wild eat animals that are usually no more than half their size. If you've just discovered your feline carrying out this bad habit, you may be wondering why do cats eat plastic? Instead, opt for foods with quality protein from animal sources, e.g., turkey, chicken, liver, and fish. By David Shultz Aug. 8, 2019 , 1:45 PM. That’s why choosing cat-safe plants for your home is crucial. Eating grass or plants. While chewing and sucking on certain fabrics are common behaviors in cats, actually eating nonfood items is not. However, this is rare and usually does not result in a cat relentlessly looking for one particular type of item, such as plastic, to chew on or eat. The issue is twofold: The flowers themselves pose a threat and so do the materials used to make the flower arrangements. Many popular houseplants, such as ivy and philodendron, are poisonous to cats. But that doesn’t mean cats can’t eat grains, vegetables, and fruits. Why Do Cats Lick Plastic? She tries to sneak outside. Perhaps your silk plant is just the tip of the iceberg and your cat is eating and gnawing on unusual items throughout the house. It's a full sensory experience for your little pal. Before you try anything to stop pica, take your cat to the veterinarian. Keep the cat-friendly plants within easy reach of your cat and take care to keep the others out of bounds, such as at the top of bookcases or hanging from a basket. By David Shultz Aug. 8, 2019 , 1:45 PM. Bioplastics are made from vegetable fats and oils and some animal by-products and cats can pick up this scent. They are drawn to non-food items as a food source, including plastic. “Or cats learn that certain plants will act as a purgative, causing them to vomit if they have an upset stomach,” Sawchuk says. Nutritional deficiencies. I’m very passionate about educating cat owners on the dangers of houseplants for cats. Here’s what you should know about pica in cats, and why some cats might eat plastic. that have been trained on the correct ways to treat a cat, How to Tell If a Kitten Is Male or Female, Best High Sided Litter Boxes in 2020: Top 5 Reviewed, When Do Kittens Start Using the Litter Box, 8 Ways to Keep Your Cat Safe and Happy Outside, Best Cat Food in 2020 | Review of Top 5 Products, Best Bark Collar for Small Dogs | Review of the Top 5 Products, Best Dry Kitten Food in 2020 | Review of Top 5 Products, How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens, Best Dog Food for Dry Skin in 2020 | Top 5 Reviewed, How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Odor in the Air, How to Tell if a Mother Cat Has Abandoned Her Kittens, Best Non Tracking Cat Litter in 2020 | Top 5 Reviewed. Some cats have an eating disorder called pica that causes them to eat strange things. How can you stop your cat from eating it? If your cat is chewing on plastic, be aware that electrical cords can present a risk, both for intestinal obstruction and electric shock. While this is often the last option for many, it works. Possibly it is the crackling sound that plastic makes when chewed that cats find enticing. Extensive online research shows it is not just plastic bags which appear to be cat tongue attractants, but photographs as well. Some studies show that cats who are bored and left at home for long periods of time may resort to eating houseplants out of boredom. Another possible cause for a cat to engage in plant eating is boredom. To deal with any of these issues, your cat can take up eating or playing with plastics or engaging in activities he probably wouldn't naturally. Some cats just seem to like the way the plastic tastes or feels more than that it being a "need" to eat plastic, so it doesn’t automatically qualify as a compulsive behavior. Pica is a medical term that means having the propensity for chewing on or eating non-food items. One of such toys is the wand toys. In my case, every time I set down a plastic bag of groceries or open the plastic seal of a container of water, two furballs in my clowder suddenly appear out of nowhere and … Even if you are a cat lover, you don’t want stray cats wandering in your yard and you certainly need to know what to do for keeping cats from pooping in the garden. Some are just easier for them to digest than others. Cats love boxes mainly because it provides a sense of protection and a hiding place from predators. Some cats get in the habit of eating non-food items. That’s because my own sister’s cat (that I gave her) died of acute kidney failure secondary to getting into dangerous Asiatic lilies from a bouquet several years ago. 1 decade ago. This behavior is actually fairly common. "Cats may also chew plastic due to anxiety," says Dr. Pike, noting that it could either be generalized anxiety or a reaction to a lack of environmental enrichment. Provide an enriched environment: Make sure your cat has plenty of activities and places to go so it stays occupied, engaged, and can find stress relief when needed. If purchasing greens seems a little unorthodox to you, try digging up a clump of grass and planting it in a small pot. If your cat is alone for many hours a day without any other stimulation, she will most likely get into many things, your plants being one of them. Unfortunately, cats seem to enjoy our houseplants as much as we do, but for the wrong reasons. One of the biggies is eating grass, often to throw it up just a few minutes later. How did you correct your cat’s behavior? You may have noticed that your cat is starting to eat houseplants, things made of wool, paper, rubber bands, or even plastic. But sometimes cats start eating things that aren’t food at all. But, chewing on bags can lead to a lot of problems for your feline friend. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® provides a comprehensive list of toxic and non-toxic plants to cats. Why do you think your cat eats plastic? For this reason, jumping to behavior-modifying drugs is not typically recommended for cats who seem to be strongly driven to explore and chew specific tastes and textures. Remove sources of dirt from your cat's life: If you allow your cat to go outside, try keeping it indoors instead. All of her advice is based on years of her own experience with her pets, and feedback that she has received from grateful readers about her tips. Your cat may be eating plastic or other types of things made of plastic because of a condition is known as feline Pica. The activity of bag licking varies among cats; not all cats lick bags and not all bags get licked. Even though many cat trees come designed with scratching posts, you can get separate scratching posts to provide your cat with enough spots to let out stress, exercise, and mark his territory. Take care to remove any toxic plants from your home while you teach your cats to stop eating the indoor plants. Fortunately, he hasn't had any issues. Sometimes it’s simply that many cats really enjoy plants. Pay attention to what kinds of plants draw his … Kittens lose their baby teeth and grow a full set of adult teeth between the ages of 3 and a half and 7 months of age. Why does my cat try to eat plastic bags? You’ll need to work with your vet to rule out any medical causes that need to be addressed. Cat eating artificial Christmas tree! Why does your cat try to eat plastic? The most common side effects of ingestion are mild vomiting and drooling, and occasionally, diarrhea. Why Do Cats Eat Houseplants? At first you order your feline to stop, and they do, but a few days later they are back chewing on plastic. Because of this, cats with upset tummies may eat plants as … Applying bitter sprays to plastics and other things your cat easily chews on can significantly lessen the habit. Blockages can cause a lot of problems and can even be deadly if they aren’t treated. Dr. Cailin Heinze, a nutritionist at the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, who was not involved in the study, shakes her head when asked to explain why dogs eat grass in general, and why some dogs vomit while others do not. Find out the dietary benefits from grass. The safest option is to keep your cat indoors and remove all toxic plants from your home. Well, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to eat meat to survive. Play with your kitty every day. March 13, 2017 . Your cat may not be willing to walk across an unpleasant surface to get to your plants. This will keep him active and engaged enough to forget about eating plastics. Because cats sometimes chew plastics out of boredom, you want to offer a safer item but with the same plastic feel to it if possible. Animals instinctively chew on plants when they're lacking something in their diet. Learn why your cat is … For a cat that spends most of his time inside, a plant = grass.He may eat those plants for the same reason that he eats grass.. The noise plastic makes, the smell from the plastic's content, the smooth feel on your feline's paws, anxiety, a poor diet, and even pica (consumption of non-food items). And make sure any food you pick contains as few ingredients as possible and that they are all listed out. How to Keep Dog Entertained While at Work. By regurgitating grass, the cat also expels other indigestible items she may have eaten -- which could include fur balls from grooming, or feathers and bones from any prey she has consumed. Why do cats like to chew on plastic bags? They also could be attracted to plastic because of its scent, dental disease, stress or boredom. If your cat does explore the great outdoors, provide her with a secure collar with an ID tag. Why Do Cats Eat Plants? Cats do a lot of weird things. These are often lacking in essential quality protein and fats. Sometimes, when cats chew, lick, or even eat plastic, it is merely out of curiosity and boredom. Your Plastic-Loving Cat Is Demonstrating Pica. It may take weeks, months, or even years to get to a point where your cat is no longer chewing nonfood objects, but keep at it. I’ve seen … Cats can also enjoy the crinkly noises that a plastic bag makes. Do this as often as you find your cat eating plastic, and in no time, your cat will associate obeying your instructions with getting rewards. And although it’s normal for cats to eat a little grass, eating a lot of plant material may indicate something’s missing from the cat’s diet. If you have a cat that loves to lick, chew on, or eat plastic, you're not alone. It’s a behavior that will take time to work with. And while they manage many other conditions well, stress is something cats, like most other pets, cannot tolerate so well. Many cats enjoy boxes and put them to many uses. Because boredom can make your cat chew non-food items like plastic, they must get sufficient playtime with you. When she makes it out she only goes to the edge o … read more He will eat shopping bags, cellophane wrappers, anything. But plants can also be poisonous. Cats also tend to like barley, oatgrass, or wheatgrass (The down side is that this may simply tell your kitty that eating plants is acceptable.). Deficiencies in essential nutrients can cause your feline to find other ways to make up for it. While away, provide your cat with some form of entertainment, especially if he will have to be by himself for a prolonged period. Cattime is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. What you can do is try to eliminate these stressors and, in their place, engage your cat in activities they truly enjoy. What Plants Repel Cats? If your cat is grazing, it may be because he or she is battling a dietary deficiency and is in search of this vitamin boost. Could it be connected to any of the reasons below? As mentioned earlier, several factors could cause your cat to become anxious and stressed and lead to behaviors like eating plastics/pica. Essentially, because she likes it. Don't they all? Plastic bags appeal to your cat's senses for a variety of reasons: the crinkle of the plastic, the smell of the food that was contained in it wafting through the air, the smooth surface under her paws. One of my cats will eat anything that is soft plastic. Young Cat. So why would a cat eat plastic? Some are just easier for them to digest than others. “Some cats also use their mouths to explore the world around them,” says Katenna Jones, a Rhode Island-based certified cat behavior consultant. Place Your Plants Strategically. Use noise to deter your cat. Why do cats eat plastic? Sucking or nursing might not lead to full-blown eating of materials like plastic, but it is a precursor. Why cats eat grass. Growing plants indoors that cats dislike is a great way to distract them. If your cat is chewing on a fake plant, she probably thought it was real. 7. Cats can eat all of these foods. You may not know the exact reason, but usually they do it to cleanse their systems or because they like the taste of particular plants and flowers. To supplement their diet. Some people do report their cats eating a lot of plants, so I think it would be a gamble if you got a new cat when you already have a lot of plants, if the cat did try to eat the test plant, you would probably have to sacrifice any toxic plants that couldn't be kept safely away from the cat. Prevent the behavior by spraying or startling your cats. Another thing you can do for your cat's entertainment is set up cat perches or trees so your cat can easily view the outdoors whenever he wants until you return. As excusable as these reasons may be, plastic chewing is not a behavior you should tolerate or overlook. Pica is still a bit of a mystery to most veterinarians, and it doesn’t exactly have one specific cause. This may include chewing on plastics until they are diagnosed and treated. And for good reasons because it can become hazardous to your cat, and incur you expenses from replacing the destroyed materials. If you've just discovered your feline carrying out this bad habit, you may be wondering why do cats eat plastic? Eating green matter often causes cats to vomit. The cat may be so delighted that it will leave your other plants alone. Cats need to eat protein. If keeping all plastics away isn't possible, you can keep your cat confined to a room while you are away but ensure that he is provided with a comfortable sleeping area with a window, toys, and of course, food and water. Dietary Deficiency . Mental short-circuit. Big cats can eat anything from deer and boar to fish and insects. Some extreme deficiencies in nutrients can cause pica. Some feline experts suspect that cats may be drawn to plastic because of the temperature of the plastic. If your cat starts chewing your houseplants, make sure you are aware of which plants are poisonous to cats. All parts of these plants (flowers, leaves and stems) are extremely toxic to cats and have caused tragic deaths. Pica can be caused by a variety of things, including: I'll discuss some of them here. When a cat starts to swallow wool, plastic, or any indigestible material, an intestinal blockage can occur. While cats enjoy their alone time, they also cherish any opportunity they get to play with their humans. Your cat's urge to chew on artificial plants stems from it's natural urge to eat real greenery. For natural laxative benefits . There are also a few toys that randomly spill food. Fortunately, there are ways of safeguarding plants from cats so that you don’t have to forgo your greenery, or your cats. Daffodils, azaleas, geraniums, and tomato plants are all toxic to cats, as well as many other plant varieties. A bag of groceries can have a residual scent of food items placed inside so cats try to eat them. When choosing games, pick interactive ones to keep your feline engaged. Now that you know the answer to, "Why do cats eat grass?" 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