Why does my cat eat fabric or plastic?

Stress and curiosity are two completely opposite, but both valid reasons for cats chewing and sometimes eating things.

There is an eating disorder called pica which is present in humans and pets. This disorder is characterized by regularly eating things that are not food. In the case of cats, we can catch them eating fabric, plastic or other objects that do not have to be in the mouth. In this article learn Do Cats Eat Plastic?

The reasons why a cat eats fabric or plastic

If your cat is one of those felines with pica, be careful around plastic objects, as ingesting these objects can seriously damage their health. But there are other reasons why a cat can eat fabric or plastic… Let’s see now what these reasons are! 

Your cat eats fabric or plastic out of curiosity

This reason is not always the answer to everything. However, it is an option to consider due to the curiosity of cats, especially when presented with something for the first time. Cats find everything interesting and sometimes can’t resist chewing on new items.

Stress and anxiety

Just as humans sometimes bite their nails when nervous or stressed, something similar happens with cats: they can feel some relief from biting certain objects in their environment. If a change is likely to cause stress or anxiety in your pet, that’s probably why he eats these items. 

However, even if you are sure of your diagnosis, it is always a good idea to take the animal to the vet to rule out other reasons. Also, the change that is causing your cat so much discomfort needs to be gently eliminated.

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder ( OCD) may also be another reason your pet wants to eat plastic, fabric, or other objects. It’s actually another cause of stress, which can even cause your pet to forget other normal activities. In any case, this pathology should be treated with the help of an educator.

A lack of nutrients

If your cat is missing out on essential nutrients and has a deficiency, chances are she wants to chew on other things frequently to make up for the lack. It’s a kind of impulse caused by his body , which seeks to obtain what it lacks and what it needs to survive .

All the more reason to go to the vet and assess whether your cat needs a new diet. It is also important that you educate yourself on the feline diet : you must know what nutrients your cat needs. 

A cat can eat fabric and plastic out of boredom

It’s important that you make time to play with your cat on a daily basis, as boredom is one of the reasons they may feel the need to chew on foreign objects. To stimulate your pet, you can use cat toys that mimic prey to satisfy its predatory instincts . Providing him with items that he is able to use when you are away is also vital.

Predatory instinct

Sometimes this behavior is only due to your cat’s instinct , because certain objects seem like prey to him. You should be able to tell if he is approaching an object or not because he thinks it is prey. For example, if your cat sees a plastic bag moving, it will probably attack it and try to eat it.

An interesting smell

Your cat has probably smelled an interesting smell of food, so she is biting and licking an inedible material. The most important thing here is to keep these food-soaked items away from him or, failing that, to wash them well to avoid confusion.

A sickness

A health problem may explain why your cat is eating fabric or plastic. Among the most common diseases are diabetes, dental problems, anemia, hyperthyroidism and in some cases oral or brain tumors. The older the specimen, the more physical disease should be suspected. 

How to prevent your cat from eating fabric or plastic?

The most obvious solution would be to not leave anything that your cat usually chews on hand. However, there are also other steps you can take to prevent him from eating plastic . These are the following: 

  • Take the time to play with your feline and provide him with suitable toys. It will make him happy.
  • Provide places within the house where he can plant his claws. Marking territory is one of its ways to relieve stress in cats. If given the chance, the cat probably doesn’t want to chew on strange objects.
  • While you’re away, provide other forms of entertainment. To occupy it, you can provide it with toys. 

What if my cat eats fabric or plastic?

It is essential that cats do not swallow foreign bodies, as such ingestion can cause illness and be life-threatening. When cats eat plastic or other materials, their bodies are likely to react with these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

These signs are not necessarily due to the ingestion of foreign objects, but if you have seen yourself chewing foreign objects, it is highly likely that these signs indicate harmful ingestion. The important thing here is to react in time and take him to the vet as soon as possible so that he can determine the cause of the unusual behavior.

In sum, there is more than one explanation for this behavior. Whatever the trigger, identifying it is key to addressing the behavior.

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