I am going to discuss cats eating nonfood items. Pica ingestion is a very harmful behavior that your cat can exhibit. Exactly why your cat eats nonfood items is unknown. There are theories however but none of them have been proven or disproved. Some experts think that pica eating is breed linked. For example: Siamese, Himalayan and Burmese cats tend to eat wool, cashmere, and will even eat entire afghans. They are also known to chew on upholstery.
Anxiety driven behavior could be the reason for eating nonfood items. Dangerous outcomes can be the result in blockage of the intestines from eating string or fabric as well as electrocution from eating power cords. In addition, eating certain houseplants can cause cats to drool or die from the poison. Excessive drooling or extreme tiredness are red flags that your cat should be taken to a veterinarian.
This type of eating can occur when a cat is playing. The cat will look at the object and then chew it. After a while it will start eating it. Other possible causes are: Hyperthyroidism, mouth or tooth pain, iron-deficiency or anemia. This type of behavior could be considered obsessive-compulsive disorder.
What can you do to prevent this type of behavior?
1. Your cat should have access to plenty of toys, so that they do not try to find other items to play with. Cats enjoy playing as well as ingesting tinsel and rubber bands My cat Chester has a tendency to do this. In fact one day he found ribbons from my closet and started eating them. Some types of toys you might want or around the house would be squeaky toys, balls, and climbing trees. My cat Chester loves both of these types of toys. One morning, Chester found a ball and sat near it. This expression on his face saying “Please play with me.” My little guy loves scratching posts. We have one in the kitchen and one downstairs. Also buy a laser pointer, this can be found in pet stores. Cats love to chase the light.
2. Play with your cat everyday so he will want to play with the toys and not eat non-food items.
3. Put a bad-tasting solution on certain items. This will stop your cat from eating non-food items. A substance that could be used is hot sauce.
4. Make your cats meal time more frequent and in smaller portions.
5. Conceal food behind furniture or under blankets. So your cat can hunt the food down. This will help your cat not become bored and eat non-food items.
6. Feed your cat more roughage in its diet. Such as vegetables, bran. Psyillium powder, canned pumpkin (plain or high fiber).
7. Add a fish tank into your cats surroundings. Cats love to look at fish. Make sure you cover the top, so that the fish do not disappear.
8, Treat balls, found at pet stores, can be filled with dry food. The cat will bat it around and the food will come out.
Pica eating can be stopped if you use methods to deter it. Stopping Pica eating can help maintain a happy and healthy cat.