why does my cat like to chew on plastic

Questions that can come up when working with families that have in their households, are often about a catБs predilection for
on odd items. While plastic bags may seem like a strange choice for cats; from a catБs point of view, they are very attractive. However, chewing on these bags can be dangerous for your cat as they can suffocate or choke on bags and bag pieces. WhatБs so great about chewing plastic bags? Plastic bags that come from a grocery or other store can carry the lingering scent and even taste of food, which makes chewing them a pleasant experience. Many bags are also coated in substances such as cornstarch, stearates (salts of stearate acid), or are made of animal by-products such as gelatin, which makes them attractive to cats. Cats can also enjoy the crinkly noises that a plastic bag makes. Another reason that cats will chew bags can be related to. If you find your cat engaging in these activities, a trip to the to make sure her are in good order is important.


You may also want to discuss with your veterinarian your catБs, as chewing on odd objects can be a symptom of insufficiency in daily dietary needs. Finally, boredom can be a major factor in habits like these. You should adopt a plan combining management (to keep your cat safe) and (to engage your catБs physical and mental needs). Tips to keep your cat from chewing plastic bags. Since chewing on bags can present a hazard to your catБs health, you want to make sure that she no longer has access to these items. For bags, itБs fairly simple. Make sure you dispose of them right away in a place that is not accessible to your cat. If you like to keep these bags to recycle them for another use, make sure they are in a safe place that your cat cannot get into, such as a locked cabinet. Providing your cats with enrichment will play a big role in dissuading them from chewing inappropriate items. Miranda K. Workman, a Certified Animal Behavior Consultant through the and Adjunct Professor of Animal Learning at, personally communicated to me that, БAddressing a catБs sensory needs: smell, taste, texture and sound.


Б If your cat likes chewing on bags, find items in your local pet store that approximate those sensations, such as crinkly balls. Look for items that are different from these as well, so your cats are able to enjoy a wide variety of textures and sounds when they chew and. Says Workman, БI even use puppy Nylabonesб as chew toys for very orally focused cats. Б Increase your daily play with your cat as well, which can help tire your cat out both physically and mentally. Look for that require you to be engaged with the play, such as Бfishing wandБ type toys. Interactive food toys, where your cat has to hunt for food within the toy, are also a good way to engage feline minds and bodies. (clicking training) your cat to do simple such as sit, down and other tricks is also a wonderful way to increase your catБs and a wonderful bonding activity.


For some additional resources on cat enrichment ideas, the provides a. б If you need more help, find a professional through the, the, and the. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian -- they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets. My cat, Kitty, likes to chew on plastic grocery bags. It s annoying to us, sure, but is it bad for her? She doesn t eat them. Do a lot of cats do this? And do you know why? Olathe, KS Believe it or not, people ask me these sorts of questions almost every day in my practice. So, to answer one of the questions, yes, a very large number of cats like to chew on plastic bags. Many cats also enjoy chewing other forms of thin plastic, or chew on (and sometimes swallow) rubber bands. I do not have a definitive answer for why cats do this. It may be because they enjoy the texture, which is unlike most objects found in nature.


But, frankly, that is just a guess. Certainly, medical science has provided no answer to this question that I m aware of. If your cat is not swallowing portions of the bags, then it probably is harmless. The plastic in most bags is inert and not toxic. Even if swallowed, small pieces of plastic (or rubber bands) usually will pass harmlessly through a cat s system. However, a slight risk exists that such foreign material might coalesce into a form that can obstruct the intestines and require surgery. 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. And, a risk of suffocation exists if cats crawl into plastic bags. So, to be safe, you should probably keep plastic bags out of reach. However, if your cat is like most, she will probably continue to chew on the occasional plastic bag without coming to any harm.

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