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Cat That Chew on Plastic
02-20-2015, 12:24 PM,
#1
Ribbon Offline
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Cat That Chew on Plastic
Have you ever had a kitty that is obsessed with chewing on plastic? I have one of those. Before we got him, I had never heard of a cat that would actually be addicted to eating something like this. And he won't stop either. I can try to get his attention or push him away from it and it's like he doesn't hear me.

He will also get into my plastic bags that I have put up high in the pantry and somehow he gets them down to chew on them. It's frustrating. I try to keep them up but he always seems to find them. They seem to magically appear out of nowhere.

Is this a normal thing with cats? None of my other cats have done this.
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02-23-2015, 08:46 AM,
#2
kfander Offline
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RE: Cat That Chew on Plastic
Apparently, it is fairly common because it comes up often on a web search. One of my twenty-four year-olds has taken to obsessively chewing on plastic. At her age, I am content with merely making a point of trying to keep plastic out of her reach, which isn't too hard, since she doesn't do a lot of climbing anymore.

As with people, the compulsion to chew on non-food items, such as dirt, electrical cords, and plastic, is known as pica. Some of the reasons suggested for this include dental disease or gastrointestinal disorders, so it wouldn't hurt to consult a veterinarian. Another reason is anxiety or the lack of stimulus in the environment, both of which I think may be at play in my cat. She has always been off her rocker. Despite the fact that she has been with me her whole life, she has always acted as if I was going to kill her if she encounters me anywhere other than in one of her cat beds. Sometimes, she acts like she doesn't even know who I am when she sees me in another room, and that's not just since she's gotten old.

As for chewing plastic though, while she used to be quite active, and a climber, at twenty-four, she has to consider whether she dares to jump down off of a chair, so I'm sure she misses the stimulus and security that she once got from being up high, and out of everyone's reach. I put shelves up on one wall of my office so that she could get up to the top of my bookcase by climbing from one shelf to another but, so far, she has considered it but hasn't ventured to do that yet. Of course, I had a large cat tree for six months before she would touch it.

Other sources of anxiety that could lead to pica might include a change in environment, a new cat, or other pet. One veterinarian compares chewing plastic to a person twirling their hair or biting their nails, as it's a coping mechanism. He also suggest that it might so simple as that it's just something that cat enjoys doing.
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02-23-2015, 02:04 PM,
#3
pandabear1991 Offline
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RE: Cat That Chew on Plastic
I had a similar problem. My kitties liked the plastic but if they could get away with cardboard, they did. I enjoyed watching them play in boxes, especially tiny ones they could barely fit in (but somehow managed to). There was ALWAYS A MESS from where they just chewed the cardboard. But, it didn't seem like they were eating it, just having fun.
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03-03-2015, 05:03 PM,
#4
advinrob15 Offline
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RE: Cat That Chew on Plastic
It is known as cat surviving with "pica" including dental disease or gastrointestinal disorders.
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03-20-2015, 06:57 AM,
#5
Happyflowerlady Offline
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RE: Cat That Chew on Plastic
I have never had a cat that chewed plastic, or even heard of this before. It seems like a very bad habit for a kitty cat to have, since plastic is so dangerous (especially the plastic bags) and they can easily choke on it. Even of they are just chewing it into chunks, I am sure that it is not good for their digestion to have plastic bits in the stomach.
Maybe , if you can grow some "cat grass", she would like that and chew it instead. I don't have a cat anymore, but what i do is take wheat berries and plant them in a shallow container, and then the cat or dog can chew on the wheatgrass, which is very healthy for them, and would not be harmful if the cat swallows some of the grass.
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03-29-2015, 02:18 AM,
#6
BobCat Offline
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RE: Cat That Chew on Plastic
(02-20-2015, 12:24 PM)Ribbon Wrote: Have you ever had a kitty that is obsessed with chewing on plastic? I have one of those. Before we got him, I had never heard of a cat that would actually be addicted to eating something like this. And he won't stop either. I can try to get his attention or push him away from it and it's like he doesn't hear me.

He will also get into my plastic bags that I have put up high in the pantry and somehow he gets them down to chew on them. It's frustrating. I try to keep them up but he always seems to find them. They seem to magically appear out of nowhere.

Is this a normal thing with cats? None of my other cats have done this.

From my experience, this quite normal; nevertheless, not healthy. We have two cats in our household. Herman, our older cat has no interest in plastic. Eddie, our younger cat, is obsessed with all things plastic. We, also try to "hide" our plastic bags. Another favorite is the plastic wrap around water bottles. again, we try to keep this out reach. Of course, she is an excellent jumper, which causes us to remain on high alert. I understand this "habit" can be frustrating and takes a lot of patience!
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04-17-2015, 01:19 PM,
#7
Shihtzufan Offline
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RE: Cat That Chew on Plastic
My cat does this all the time...if we have plastic shopping bags from groceries he chews them right up. We have to be really wary of leaving anything at all that's plastic and chewable around the house, because there's been times he has scurried off with plastic bags and chewed a chunk off one, eaten it and made himself sick.
When I read up about it online when he first was doing it most sites said it was an anxiety thing. I dont really know how to stop it apart from just eliminating the plastic from being around him.
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