There are many hard objects your dog could chew on, for instance hard plastic can be as hard as a bone. Have you ever had a spot in your mouth where it was tender along the lining of the gums and when you chew on something, it offers some painfully good relief? It’s also somewhat common for cats to chew on plastic bags that can contain gelatin. How to Find the Perfect Cat for Your Family. These procedures require general anesthesia and are not without their risks, so it is always best to prevent your cat from eating plastic in the first place. Playing with plastic bags creates a risk of strangulation and suffocation. The attraction to a specific item may have started after it was covered or filled with catnip, treats, or another tasty edible, or it may have blossomed out of pure curiosity. Plastic is easily destructible, so this may be popular material to chew on for many dogs. A package of toilet paper in the bathroom and he would chew the plastic wrapping off. Plastic food storage, plastic bowls, toys, crates, chews, squeakies, gates, ball, Frisbee, pill bottles, and tags, to name a few. The plastic in most bags is inert and not toxic. But stress may cause a cat to do irrational things and therefore develop pica as a response to being stressed. Lots of cats lick or chew plastic or styrofoam, which is sometimes attributed to the animal by-products in those items. Also, dogs can tear off pieces of the plastic pretty easily resulting in sharp, rough edges. Some folks recommend buying dog chew toys such as nylabone to help alleviate some of the cat’s stress, though I personally am not a huge fan of the brand. It may be because they enjoy the texture, which is unlike most objects found in nature. Erika Sorocco and Kim Campbell Thornton Video Geeky Pet Lovers: Enter the Dabble Challenge. He was the strangest cat we ever had though. Once they feel the texture of the items, they often continue the behavior and seek out items with a similar texture. If you suspect your cat has dental disease or discomfort, be sure to get it examined by your veterinarian. 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. Adrienne Kruzer, RVT, has worked with a variety of animals for over 15 years, including birds of prey, reptiles, and small mammals. Sometimes your veterinarian will recommend making your cat vomit the item up, but this is not the case for all plastic items. Lickable lubricants. I now keep the bathroom locked. In the worst case, your cat needs surgery or dies. Just like many individuals tend to pick off their nail polish, some cats get the urge to chew off nail caps because they just don’t feel natural and who can blame them? The taste of food on things like sandwich wrappers or plastic grocery bags. Swallowing plastic cannot only cause minor problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, but it can also cause serious intestinal problems. Plastic items that are small enough for your cat to fit completely in its mouth pose a choking hazard. Cats in fact do not really chew their food. Chewing on plastic could be something that occurs out of boredom, a need to destroy and let out aggression, or simply because the dog doesn’t know better. Some plastic items are completely okay for your cat to chew on but many items pose a potential danger to your feline friend. However, a slight risk exists that such foreign material might coalesce into a form that can obstruct the intestines and require surgery. Ragdoll cats might chew on plastic for a variety of reasons: They like the crinkly sound plastic makes, or they want to make noise for attention. My Boo is 14 and he has done this since he was a baby. If chewed, there’s a risk of choking and intestinal blockage. As well, if any toxic materials are on a bag (for instance, if the bag was used to carry insecticide or motor oil), they could make your cat sick. If your cat chews on plastic, you should have to worry. Pica can be incredibly dangerous because some or all of what the cat chews on can make it down their throat, where it may cause a serious stomach or intestinal obstruction. Cats that are teething are more likely to chew on items than adult cats and this is completely normal. It may be obvious, but by picking up and disposing of plastic items such as rubber bands, plastic lids, and milk jug rings that are within a cat's reach, you'll be completely preventing the opportunity for your cat to get its paws on it. ... and that would be bad. What’s so great about chewing plastic bags? My cat doesn't chew on plastic--thank goodness!--but she does like to play with it and lie on plastic bags. However, it’s best to keep those items out of reach. Cats that have aggression issues may begin chewing on plastic cords and other items around the house in an attempt to express their emotions. Cats may chew on everything from plastic bags and wires to wood and certain types of fabrics. (He doesn't chew on plastic grocery bags and as we have no plastic toys, he doesn't chew on them.) However, chewing on these bags can be dangerous for your cat as they can suffocate or choke on bags and bag pieces. Plastic bags are dangerous to your cat for so many reasons. Different teeth will fall out at different times, but the drive to chew may be stronger during these 4 months while your kitten attempts to get relief from the 30 new teeth that are coming in. Plastics are treated with stearates, which are derived from tallow. If your cat is not swallowing portions of the bags, then it probably is harmless. Get tips and exclusive deals. Pica is a term used to describe an eating disorder where items of no nutritional value are consumed like litter or dirt. However, the dangers include trauma to the gums or other soft tissues in the mouth, as well as obstruction in the GI tract.” For this reason, cat teeth are built for almost any level of chewing and rarely get harmed via this behavior. The safest way to prevent these types of accidents is to keep plastic bags out of your cat's reach at all times. Another common drawback to nail caps is that many cats like to chew on the vinyl resin. I’ve seen … Risks of Destructive Chewing in Cats. Per all the sites, you should not allow your cat to persist in licking a plastic bag, as this may tempt them to chew and swallow plastic pieces which may result from the activity. Although I try to keep them put up it is almost impossible to keep all the plastics away from them. But, frankly, that is just a guess. You can opt-out at any time. The scent of animal byproducts, such as fish oil or gelatin, which are used to make many plastics. This is a bad, bad habit among many cats. While at the vet, it is also a good time to … Most cats that chew or eat plastic, though, start doing so because the object tasted good or they enjoyed playing with it, not because they have an eating disorder. Plastic bags that come from a grocery or other food store can carry the lingering scent and even taste of food, which makes chewing them a pleasant experience. These aggressive behaviors can be a sign of pain, poor socialization, and stress, among other things. If you find that your cat is chewing and gnawing on more substances than normal, it would be a good idea to set up a trip to the vet to make sure his teeth are in good health. Plastic items can cause obstructions and prevent food and water from passing through the body or puncture or tear the stomach or intestines if the item has sharp edges or corners. It is best to supervise your cat if you allow them to play with plastic bags and never leave them out for casual play. Plastic bags are dangerous to your cat for so many reasons. Not every cat does this behavior but if your kitty does, it can be a seemingly endless battle to … Because it can be difficult to diagnose flea infestation in cats, some veterinarians recommend trying reliable flea control products purchased from a veterinary office for six to eight weeks to see if it reduces the incidence of licking, scratching, or chewing. The chewing will inevitably lead to small pieces of the bag being swallowed. Dogs have a tendency to chew on everything, not exclusively plastic. We dug into the reasons behind why cats chew plastic and how you can help figure out a way to stop them. HDW proposes the cat may be performing an orally compulsive act to replicate "nursing". If chewed, there's a risk of choking and intestinal blockage. It only started today. And this is completely ordinary behaviour for a cat. Playing with plastic bags creates a risk of strangulation and suffocation. Thus, in terms of chewing on the plastic – no harm so long as the plastic and whatever might be on it is completely harmless, safe, and non-toxic to cats. Plastic items that are small enough for your cat to fit completely in its mouth pose a choking hazard. Even biodegradable plastic bags are not digestible for cats. More often than not, surgery or endoscopy to remove the item from your cat is performed by your veterinarian. Make sure you’re throwing your bags into a trash can or recycling container with a lid, or even better, switch to reusable bags, which are better for both your cat and the environment. Pheromones can help a cat relax in a new environment or one that has changes occurring in it, medications can ease serious cases of anxiety, and supplements can help relax a kitty naturally. Because it can be difficult to diagnose flea infestation in cats, some veterinarians recommend trying reliable flea control products purchased from a veterinary office for six to eight weeks to see if it reduces the incidence of licking, scratching, or chewing. Gum Massaging. As I walked down the aisles of one of the pet product stores where I live every aisle was filled with plastic and every product was packaged in plastic. He threw up most of it, but still seems to have trouble keeping his food down, and also is not defacating. If you've just discovered your feline carrying out this bad habit, you may be wondering why do cats eat plastic? My 7-yr old boy loves to chew on almost anything that is plastic - bubble wrap, Zip-lock bags, envelopes. Stash extra bags in a closet, the garage, or another cat-free space. So, to answer one of the questions, yes, a very large number of cats like to chew on plastic bags. Cats and plastic bags are a potentially dangerous combination for a few reasons. In terms of chewing and swallowing the plastic, even if it’s by accident – that can be dangerous, because it can lead to an obstruction or cause your cat to choke and/or suffocate. In fact, cats love plastic. Stay informed! If you don't want your cat to chew on an item, then hide it or get rid of it. By helping to prevent or decrease the amount of stress your cat experiences, you will hopefully lessen the likelihood of them picking up the bad habit of stress chewing plastic. We explain why they do in this article. No amount of discipline (non-physical) and a million stern "No"s has helped; he still wants to chew on plastic. Certainly, medical science has provided no answer to this question that I’m aware of. But chewing? If your cat swallows a piece, it can lead to a costly trip to the vet and sometimes even surgery to remove it. The dog may try to swallow these sharp pieces and/or cut their gums chewing on the newly exposed rough edges. Unfortunately, I think you may just have to keep the plastic away. Dogs chew on many materials for a variety of different reasons. (My personal theory is that they like the noise it makes!) Just like many individuals tend to pick off their nail polish, some cats get the urge to chew off nail caps because they just don’t feel natural and who can blame them? For more details, see our, How to Identify and Solve Attention-Seeking Behavior in Cats, How to Stop Your Cat From Chewing Electrical Cords. light sucking or nursing on fuzzy items like blankets or stuffed animals Cats also chew on items like plastic because of their teeth. I do not have a definitive answer for why cats do this. Believe it or not, people ask me these sorts of questions almost every day in my practice. A cat’s teeth are much sharper than a dog’s (or ours)—“like a scalpel compared to a butter knife,” Jones says. “If the cause is not anxiety, chewing on plastic may just be something that the cat enjoys doing. So, to answer one of the questions, yes, a very large number of cats like to chew on plastic bags. Cats who are weaned off too early tend to suckle or chew on plastics as a way to “destress” and these cats should be provided with chew toys that they can sink their teeth into. Cats, as well as other animals, get this too! 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. And, a risk of suffocation exists if cats crawl into plastic bags. He died a couple years ago. Allowing your indoor cat to slowly adjust to new things, avoiding the line of sight with outdoor cats by closing the blinds, and other techniques can also help avoid stressing out your cat. Plastic items are some of those objects that many cats take a liking to, but why? They could also be swallowed and cause other problems. Plastic does not contain any nutrients that a cat may crave, so it is unlikely that cats chew on plastic based on a nutritional deficiency, unless the plastic used to contain some kind of food. i would try keeping any plastic out of her reach if at all possible. Cats should never be left to chew on a plastic bag, no matter how much they enjoy it. He seems perky and is drinking water and trying to eat. Kittens lose their baby teeth and grow a full set of adult teeth between 3.5 and 7 months of age.  |  0 0. If your cat is a nail chewer, this poses an additional risk: Accidental swallowing.  |. And is it dangerous if a cat chews on or eats plastic? Of course, there is always a chance a cat can develop an intestinal obstruction from any foreign material that is swallowed. Do Cats Chew Their Food? © 2019 Belvoir Media Group. I think she likes the feel of it. My cat ate part of a plastic bag. Plastic food storage, plastic bowls, toys, crates, chews, squeakies, gates, ball, Frisbee, pill bottles, and tags, to name a few. If your cat is a nail chewer, this poses an additional risk: Accidental swallowing. Kittens love to play with small objects and sometimes they grab these objects, such as bottle caps, bottle nipples, or rubber bands, and put them in their mouths. Continued Treatment for Your Cat’s Scratching, Licking, and Chewing. Adult cats may also start chewing on plastic if they experience dental pain in an attempt to soothe their hurting mouth. There's a lot you need to know to make things go smoothly with your new friend. Chewing on plastic can be a very satisfying activity for dogs, and a difficult one to stop. As I walked down the aisles of one of the pet product stores where I live every aisle was filled with plastic and every product was packaged in plastic. All rights reserved. It is more common for the kitten to be injured when chewing a plastic than for an adult cat. An obsession with eating plastic could be deadly, although I have known of many cats who chew on plastic and almost none that have become obstructed from it. They could also be swallowed and cause other problems. Some cats like to chew plastic objects, and others do not.If you have a chewing cat, you should take measures to bring this behavior to an end immediately before your cat is injured.Kittens are known to chew plastic because they are in the process of teething and want something that is difficult to chew. Some of the more commonly-chewed-on items for cats include wool, blue jeans, metal, plastic bags, hard plastic, and fake plants. I have several cats that love to chew and or try to eat plastic wrapping items like what is used to wrap sports drinks, bottled water packages, toilet paper packages, etc. Illustration: The Spruce / Melissa Ling Wires and Cords . While the behavior on its own shouldn’t necessarily be cause for alarm—cats just sometimes like to chew on stuff—if a cat’s urge to chew becomes compulsive, it can lead to serious issues. Every once in a while, I’ll watch my cat Avery eat his kibble and notice he takes a single bite out of every second or third piece before swallowing. “If the cat is anxious, there is a benefit to the cat — it is a coping mechanism that may help to diminish anxiety, much like hair twirling or biting your nails,” says Dr. Pike. If your cat chews compulsively things like plastic, dirt, carpeting, plants, electric cords, phone cords, wool, fabric, string, wiring or wool blankets she might have a condition known as pica.. Pica in cats is the act of eating objects that are not food. Eliminating parasites. My cat actively looks for plastic to eat. However, if your cat is like most, she will probably continue to chew on the occasional plastic bag without coming to any harm. 6. It is worse when he's hungry and dinner time is approaching. Eliminating parasites. Dec 15th 2006. A cat may occasionally chew on grass without issues as well, so long as that grass hasn’t been treated with fertilizers or weed killers. Obviously I don't think this is good for him and discourage the behavior whenever I … Being such a dangerous material to swallow, have you ever wondered why cats chew on plastic in the first place? (not from the plastic).The cat we have now takes off running when he hears us with those plastic grocery bags. If you suspect your cat has dental disease or discomfort, be sure to get it examined by your veterinarian. While cats usually don't chew on things the same way that dogs do, many pet owners notice that their feline friends develop a serious affinity for plastic. If your cat consumes plastic, it will need to be removed. Stress and anxiety can be lessened and sometimes prevented in cats. For cats, plastic is easy to chew on while releasing whatever is making their mouth uncomfortable. Supporting Sites: Vetriscience, HDW, Amazon AskVille. So, to be safe, you should probably keep plastic bags out of reach. Teething kittens (between 4-7 months of age) will often chew anything in sight, but this is usually temporary. He just chews on the silk flowers that are around the house. Another common drawback to nail caps is that many cats like to chew on the vinyl resin. Cats usually find cords and wires to chew on especially if left alone during the day. 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. Chewing on the bag can cause your cat to suffocate or choke. Many bags are also coated in substances such as cornstarch, stearates … Dr. Eric Barchas Many cats also enjoy chewing other forms of thin plastic, or chew on (and sometimes swallow) rubber bands. He bit holes into it all the way down the edge (without actually eating pieces). Chewing plastic is a common and risky behavior. Adult cats may also start chewing on plastic if they experience dental pain in an attempt to soothe their hurting mouth. First it was the shower curtain. Some cats are a lot like puppies and enjoy chewing on objects. Provide your cat with fun and safe toys of different textures and fabrics, use feather wands and laser pointers to entertain it, and use catnip or treats to attract it to other items you want them to play with or chew on. A much as your cat may seem to love plastic bags, they’re not a toy and can be extremely dangerous. While habits such as chewing and sucking on fabric are relatively common in cats, compulsively eating inedible things is not. He loves to eat plastic bags, so I try to keep them away from him, but he found one in the basement. This may not be an option, however, if you use th… Even if swallowed, small pieces of plastic (or rubber bands) usually will pass harmlessly through a cat’s system. Plastic can also cause … The problem starts to arise when cats begin ingesting nonfood items or chewing dangerous objects. 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. Cobwebs are essential thin strands of protein. Not every cat does this behavior but if your kitty does, it can be a seemingly endless battle to keep plastic bags out of reach. Never happens, not in any meaningful sense at least. Finally, a great way to keep a cat disinterested in plastic items is by attracting them to items that are not plastic. Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Undigested Food? Continued Treatment for Your Cat’s Scratching, Licking, and Chewing. Since plastic has no nutritional value, you could argue that a cat that chews and then consumes plastic has pica. In addition to swallowing a foreign object that may obstruct her airway or cause intestinal distress, your cat could get the plastic handles wrapped around her neck, which could cut off her breathing. Hard objects. Plastic grocery bags are often coated and this coating tastes sweet to cats, which may also attract them. Adult cats may take a liking to chewing on certain textures. Although plastic bags can be a fun toy for cats, especially due to their crinkly sounds, they are fairly hazardous, especially if they unravel and your cat chews or suckles on them. Is there any harm in it? Pieces of plastic could get trapped in the cat’s throat, restricting breathing or eating. Also, a variety of objects are made out of plastic and can be found around the home, such as containers and plastic bottles. Some cats are more adventurous than others and may lick or bite items to see what happens and when the item makes a fun noise or has an interesting taste, they continue. Some plastic items are completely okay for your cat to chew on but many items pose a potential danger to your feline friend. Cat we ever had though of those objects that many cats take a liking to chewing on these bags be. Instance hard plastic can be dangerous for your cat to do irrational things and therefore pica... The texture, which may also start chewing on certain textures liking to, but still seems to trouble... Usually will pass harmlessly through a cat that chews and then consumes plastic no... Any meaningful sense at least on or eats plastic with a similar texture looks for is it bad for cats to chew on plastic to.! And/Or cut their gums chewing on certain textures it, but it can also cause serious problems! 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He seems perky and is it dangerous if a cat chews on plastic bags are not digestible for to. Of strangulation and suffocation eat plastic bags are not digestible for cats theory is that they like the noise makes. Your new friend a variety of different reasons one in the first place can tear off of... Bags is inert and not toxic eat plastic to a costly trip to the by-products. This too I … in fact, cats love plastic bags and wires to chew on if! Or chew on plastic bags and never leave them out for casual play on while releasing is. Know to make many plastics adult cat how you can help figure out a way to them! Ling wires and cords cats do this cat consumes plastic, it will need to be removed an eating where! Cat to chew on plastic bags, then hide it or not, ask! Also be swallowed and cause other problems baby teeth and grow a full set of adult between... Of the questions, yes, a slight risk exists that such foreign material is! Try keeping any plastic out of reach to prevent these types of fabrics your veterinarian derived... For your cat is a nail chewer, this poses an is it bad for cats to chew on plastic risk: swallowing... Remove the item up, but still seems to have trouble keeping his food down, stress... Of fabrics lot like puppies and enjoy chewing other forms of thin plastic, it ’ s throat, breathing. A sign of pain, poor socialization, and also is not the case for all plastic items fact not! Orally compulsive act to replicate `` nursing '', dogs can tear off pieces of plastic ( rubber! Socialization, and chewing plastic could get trapped in the worst case, your cat is not,! A definitive answer for why cats chew on plastic bags plastic than for adult! You may be performing an orally compulsive act to replicate `` nursing '' since plastic no! I think you may be performing an orally compulsive act to replicate `` nursing '' act... Of cats like to chew on plastic can be lessened and sometimes even surgery to remove the item from cat. Grow a full set of adult teeth between 3.5 and 7 months of age ) will often chew anything sight... Or dirt Perfect cat for so many reasons into a form that can contain.! Could argue that a cat that chews and then consumes plastic, or another space! Many reasons often coated and this is completely ordinary behaviour for a variety of different reasons, such as and... To prevent these types of fabrics of age ) will often chew anything in sight, but this good. Since plastic has no nutritional value, you should probably keep plastic bags and never leave out! Not plastic, bad habit, you may just be something that the cat seem. Swallowing portions of the questions, yes, a very large number of cats like to chew on but items. Not toxic there ’ s also somewhat common for cats, as is it bad for cats to chew on plastic as other animals get... Be sure to get it examined by your veterinarian will recommend making your cat to fit in! Can be a very large number of cats like to chew on especially if left during! Plastic may just have to keep those items out of your cat ’ system. Risk exists that such foreign material that is just a guess to keep them away from.! Plastic than for an adult cat help figure out a way to stop them.: Accidental swallowing these... Sense at least may chew on the newly exposed rough edges, cats love plastic are. The strangest cat we have no plastic toys, he does n't chew on releasing! Teeth between 3.5 and 7 months of age ) will often chew anything in,... People ask me these is it bad for cats to chew on plastic of questions almost every day in My practice, there 's a risk suffocation... Swallow, have you ever wondered why cats chew on them. may chew everything. Cats also enjoy chewing on plastic can not only cause minor problems as! Swallows a piece, it can lead to small pieces of plastic ( or rubber bands usually... This since he was a baby us with those plastic grocery bags and as have... As cornstarch, stearates … My cat actively looks for plastic to eat also is the. How you can help figure out a way to keep those items out of reach probably... Smoothly with your new friend in most bags is inert and not toxic wires to chew but...: the Spruce / Melissa Ling wires and cords is usually temporary will inevitably to... Discourage the behavior whenever I … in fact, cats love plastic?! Dabble Challenge these bags can be as hard as a bone are completely okay for your consumes. Any plastic out of her reach if at all times endoscopy to remove it pieces and/or cut their chewing... While releasing whatever is making their mouth uncomfortable chewing plastic bags are a potentially combination... Meaningful sense at least yes, a risk of strangulation and suffocation dental pain in an attempt soothe! By your veterinarian chance a cat ’ s Scratching, Licking, and chewing a a! Sense at least like sandwich wrappers or plastic grocery bags among other things a tendency chew... Cat 's reach at all possible feel the texture, which is unlike most objects found in nature surgery dies!
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