“Why does my cat eat Paper and Plastic?” is a question many people ask and are stressing on at this very moment, but it is not REALLY a big thing and the problem has easy solutions. Unless of course, you are unknowingly helping your cat do it – I know that must sound absurd, we will elaborate on it in just a second!
The most common reason for your cat to eat paper and plastic is “Pica” – which is a medical condition that may cause your pets to eat non-edibles due to stress. However, hunger, instinct, smell, and teething can also make a cat eat paper and plastic items.
So, why does a cat eat plastic, paper, or something else… and how can you help your cat save his tummy from getting upset?
Well, the first thing you should do is to chill out. As much as cats are sensitive little fluffs, they have one of nature’s strongest digestive systems.
However, that does not qualify as a ticket to eat plastic, paper, and anything your cat can get his hands on.
Let us dive in deep into this conversation,
For starters, cats are curious and the “stuff-he’s-eating” might smell very good – not litter though! Whatever the case may be, the first step is to figure out why your cat is doing it.
Most of the time, it will be either for fun or because of an underlying issue.
Well, you came here to know about that, right! – Let me show you…
Naturally, cats are very playful and they constantly need something to keep their interest. You might have noticed that cats can be very meticulous when it comes to cherry-picking something to eat or even something to play with.
Therefore, it is not easy to keep a cat interested in a single object for quite a while.
Subsequently, what do cats do…?
If you are thinking “try new things”, you guessed it right! Cats will always find new things to try to satisfy their ever-increasing demand for “interest.”
Now, it is up to you to provide them with such things. It does not mean that you need to buy new toys and expensive food every other day.
What it does mean is that you have to give them proper time and keep a check on what they are doing so they do not develop any interests that might harm them in the future. Same as you would do with children.
Just like humans, stress can devastate a healthy cat. It is one of the basic factors behind “Pica” as well.
Therefore, it is equally important to check for symptoms of stress in your cat.
Stress and cats do not go along very well and sensitive as a cat is, they require help from their owners to get better.
Cats develop stress rather easily and most of it is because of their surroundings. Simple day-to-day activities like construction or home decoration can leave your cat stressed. Additionally, the presence of guests or a new baby, other pets, and lack of attention can also contribute to your cat’s stressed attitude.
Stress might not only make your cat eat paper and plastic but also change the way he behaves. It can also destroy the cat’s friendliness and make him more aggressive.
All these things make stress one of the main culprits behind a cat’s habit to eat not edible things.
While you are getting worried about reading this text, a cat eating or chewing on plastics and papers can be perfectly normal and can be doing it for fun.
Here iswhen cats chewing on plastics or toilet paper is normal, but keep in mind that chewing on plastics can be harmful. Thus, you should stop it while it still has not caused any damage.
For cats that are 3.5 months to 7 months of age, the urge to chew on things can be a lot stronger. Additionally, they can chew on different things while their baby teeth are still falling out and they need to relieve the pain of a newly growing set of 30 adult teeth.
If your cat played a lot with plastic items or newspapers when he was a kitten, he will continue to seek and explore similar items.
Normally, plastic caps and toilet papers are the best targets for most cats but they can try to chew on different things they can lay their paws on to search for a completely new item to add to their “try-list.”
Adult cats usually take a liking to chew or eat stuff with a certain texture. Hence, textures like that may attract your cat and make him play with it or chew it using his teeth just for pleasure.
They may also lick or bite items to see what happens when they do it – you know, out of curiosity.
Chewing plastic is nothing wrong until you notice your cat eating pieces of it.
The containers or boxes that you normally use to give food to your cat are also the center of attention for your cat. He can be attracted to similarly colored, sized, or textured boxes thinking its food and chew/eat it.
Therefore, it is wise to use a transparent feeding bowl for your cats.
Cats can also chew on plastic or other items because of dental pain. If you notice your cat doing it often and not eating properly or any other symptoms of pain, you should take him to a vet.
Dental Pain is not a very serious issue and can be because of several different things. For example, the food might be stuck in the teeth or gums might have developed an infection.
Therefore, the most suitable thing to do in this situation would be to visit a dentist.
Keep in mind that consuming plastic and paper can be dangerous for your cat’s health. Therefore, the plastic pieces that your cat chews on should be large-sized to prevent your cat from swallowing them.
Plastic pieces can have sharp edges that may puncture the stomach or intestines if swallowed vets will need to remove the plastic or paper piece surgically.
The procedure will include general anesthesia and obviously involves all the health issues associated with surgery.
As much as eating or chewing has a normal side, the abnormal aspect of these seemingly simple things can be quite ugly.
Normally, cats who do not follow a well-outlined diet schedule develop abnormal eating habits. They may even try to find some other food sources to get those “extra bites” that you may have missed.
However, here is what you can do to stop your cat from developing any abnormal eating habits.
The very first thing for you to do when you are trying to figure out what is wrong with your cat’s belly would be to start if you are lacking something, somewhere.
What could be the biggest suspect than his existing diet schedule? Maybe you are feeding him less often, or vice versa.
Anyway, the best you should do is to write down what you have been feeding your cat and how often were you doing that. This should give you a better view of things.
Once you have everything written down, it is time to move to the next step.
Sometimes, there will not be any issues with your cat’s diet schedule at all but with the “diet” itself.
This “not-so-tasty” food not only makes your cat least interested in the food you offer but also contribute to loss of appetite.
So, how is petting a cat going for you so far?
Figuring out what is wrong with the Cat Food is easy,
- The cat won’t eat it
- He will lose all interest
- Stomach problems
Cheap or mediocre pet foods are more likely to cause this as they use inferior quality ingredients with even worse processing. That is why it is experts recommend buying tried and tested quality cat foods from well-known sellers so you do not jeopardize your cat’s health over a few dollars.
Perhaps now is a good time to consider that expensive option in the supermarket?
All things aside, the best way to judge a pet food is to see whether your pet enjoys it.
The signs for this would be rather obvious, like your cat waiting by the feeding bowl or him getting excited as soon as you take the pet food out.
Remember, there is no perfect pet food, the best you can do is by trial and error. It should not take long for you to find a specific brand that suits your cat.
Most of the time, cats develop Pica because of being improperly fed. Therefore, it falls on you to keep a check on how much food is available to your cat at the time of feeding.
You should keep in mind that the food proportions could be different for your cat during different times of the day. Normally, cats like to eat during colder times of the day and they are the most active during that time as well.
Therefore, keep the cat’s eating habits in check and you will be able to figure out the appropriate schedules/quantities.
Besides, if the cat has gone through a sudden trauma, medical condition, change of environment, or anything like that: he may be reluctant to eat or develop a habit of eating non-edibles like plastic and paper.
If consumed in less quantities, they are not dangerous and small pieces of chewed plastic can pass through the cat’s intestines. However, larger pieces can pose a serious issue.
Cotton and paper can get stuck in stomach and rubber can also block food passages. It is recommended to get vet help to remove these items if your cat has consumed them. Try to discourage and punish your pets from eating stuff like the ones we mentioned as much as you can though.
The thing is, you never know why a cat would act weird and by the time you figure it out, it would have gotten out of hands. Therefore, timing is very important especially when it comes to cats eating paper and plastic.
The sooner you try digging things deeper, the better it is for your cat’s health, and the faster you can get things back to normal.
Medical Help might only be required if you see your cat running a fever or ail – as it can be indicative of the start of a medical condition.
Pica does not fully go away on its own and your cat will need your help to fight it, which is why maintaining a good owner-pet relationship is crucial.
Staying close to your cat can give you the answer to “why does my cat eat paper and plastic?” and petting him more often will not only help your cat feel safe but also help you figure out what is wrong 😊
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