Why Do Cats Eat Plastic?

Cats are the most pampered of animals, with entrepreneurs catering to their eating plan, wellbeing and amusement.

As a end result, it might arrive as a shock how usually pet felines are drawn to plastic bottles, baggage and other things from the trash, in a phenomenon identified as “pica”.

So, why do cats try to eat plastic? Experts describe your feline’s penchant for pica and steps you can choose to snap them out of this pattern.

Why Cats Take in Plastic

Pam Johnson-Bennett, of the Cat Actions Associates (CBA), believes cats may perhaps chew on plastic goods for a number of causes and informed Newsweek: “it really is important to decide the fundamental trigger.”

The Intercontinental Cat Association (TICA) President Vicki Jo Harrison implies most cats that chew or eat plastic, begin executing so “for the reason that the item tasted fantastic or they enjoyed playing with it”, but there are inherent dangers to the behavior.

She instructed Newsweek: “Some plastic things are fully all right for your cat to chew on, but plastic items that are tiny adequate to entirely suit in a cat’s mouth pose a choking hazard and induce obstructions that prevent foods and drinking water from passing as a result of the entire body or puncture or tear the stomach or intestines if the product has sharp edges or corners,” warned Harrison.

“Ingested plastic can turn into lodged in the intestine involve unexpected emergency operation or endoscopy to remove the merchandise from your cat.

“These techniques have to have standard anesthesia and are not without their challenges, so it is always very best to prevent your cat from feeding on plastic in the to start with put.”

“When letting your cat chew on plastic may well appear to be harmless, this can be a serious health chance for your cat.”

She additional: “Discuss to your veterinarian about whether your cat is accomplishing this mainly because of a health care issue, dietary imbalance, or just uncomplicated boredom and fascination with bags.”

Why Do Cats Eat Plastic
Pica is when cats chew or eat non-food stuff objects, these kinds of as plastic.
ramustagram/Getty Pictures


If your cat is having, chewing, or licking plastic or plastic luggage, the initially move is a journey to the veterinarian to make absolutely sure your cat is not unwell.

Harrison mentioned: “There are several overall health situations that can be the result in of your cat biting plastic, the most regular getting diabetic issues, dental difficulties, anemia, hyperthyroidism, and feline leukemia virus (FeLV).”

Dental Sickness

At times a cat will chew on plastic because it helps make their enamel and gums come to feel far better.

Harrison thinks this is “similar to dental complications such as periodontitis, gingivitis, and tooth resorption, which are popular in cats.”

The TICA President said: “If your cat has other signs, this sort of as negative breath, hassle eating, or drooling, and their gums seem pink and irritated, it truly is time for a journey to the veterinarian for a dental exam.”

Boredom or Strain

Sarah-Jane White, Animal Behaviorist and Trainer for Great Pet Insurance policies, implies this clarification “could be difficult to hear for some pet house owners.”

She told Newsweek: “Nonetheless, it could be accurate and is a person of the most common motives. Our cats are hugely clever and inquisitive in equal measures.

“If your furry buddy is not extremely stimulated, then this can guide them to acquire an unhealthy interest in plastic.

“The remedy? Spend in toys and assure that your cat has accessibility to a variety of cat-helpful toys in distinct colors, textures, and types.”

Why Do Cats Eat Plastic
Cats licking plastic can be due to a wide range of different reasons.
ysbrandcosijn/Getty Illustrations or photos

Nutritional Deficiency

Chris Socratous, Manufacturer Supervisor at pet health care professionals Bob Martin, believes hoping to consume plastic can be a indication of nutritional deficiencies.

He instructed Newsweek: “Set simply, this usually means your feline is not getting enough vitamins from their meal and are searching in other places to uncover the nutritional vitamins and minerals they need to have.

“Lots of cat house owners like to give their pet’s diet a raise with health supplements and nutritional vitamins, which could help place a end to any nibbly conduct.

Just for Fun

Harrison thinks a further chance is that cats merely lick plastic purchasing baggage “because it smells like foodstuff or has genuine meals residue on it.”

She included: “They can also be attracted to the substances applied to make bags, this kind of as corn starch or lanolin oil.”

Why Do Cats Eat Plastic
There are numerous matters owners can do to end their cat consuming plastic.
Nektarstock/Getty Illustrations or photos

Ideas to Prevent Your Cat from Chewing on Plastic

Johnson-Bennett, of the Cat Actions Associates, stresses the value of putting an instant prevent to this routine.

She explained to Newsweek: “Plastic bags are dangerous for cats for various causes, such as the chance of suffocation, so it really is very important that they be stored wholly out of a cat’s access.”

Harrison implies there are many strategies of reducing your pet cat’s make contact with with plastic. She claimed: “Be careful to clear away plastic objects and instantly dispose of plastic grocery baggage.

“This is significant as chewing or enjoying with plastic bags puts them at hazard of choking or suffocating. Or use reusable canvas grocery luggage and do away with plastic baggage altogether.”

“Appeal to your cat to exciting and risk-free objects that are not plastic, such as toys of various textures and materials, feather wands and laser pointers, catnip treats or other objects you want them to engage in with or chew on.

“Also deliver interactive toys, cat trees and perches, or boost their physical exercise, provide your cat safe and sound objects for chewing these kinds of as Nylabones, smooth animal chews, or cat grass to aid your cat with his will need to chew.”

Cat plastic
Cats who consume plastic are exhibiting a dangerous behavioral urge referred to as pica.
Denis Valakhanovich/Getty Images
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