Cat eating artificial Christmas tree! Geraniums (Pelargonium) Cats like the fibrous texture of plants. Out of sight, they say, is out of mind. Cats may chew on everything from plastic bags and wires to wood and certain types of fabrics. If your cat is chewing on plastic, be aware that electrical cords can present a risk, both for intestinal obstruction and electric shock. Another possible cause for a cat to engage in plant eating is boredom. By regurgitating grass, the cat also expels other indigestible items she may have eaten -- which could include fur balls from grooming, or feathers and bones from any prey she has consumed. Perhaps your silk plant is just the tip of the iceberg and your cat is eating and gnawing on unusual items throughout the house. Unlike people and dogs, protein is the main energy source in cats’ diets. Why do Cats Eat Grass? Cats can also enjoy the crinkly noises that a plastic bag makes. One of my cats will eat anything that is soft plastic. While I want you to know what plants to be wary of, I’ll admit that I have at least 10 houseplants in my house. 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. Like their humans, felines can sometimes be affected by stress. It may take weeks, months, or even years to get to a point where your cat is no longer chewing nonfood objects, but keep at it. Kirsten created The Pet Handbook with the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet food, healthy habits, and more. that have been trained on the correct ways to treat a cat, How to Tell If a Kitten Is Male or Female, Best High Sided Litter Boxes in 2020: Top 5 Reviewed, When Do Kittens Start Using the Litter Box, 8 Ways to Keep Your Cat Safe and Happy Outside, Best Cat Food in 2020 | Review of Top 5 Products, Best Bark Collar for Small Dogs | Review of the Top 5 Products, Best Dry Kitten Food in 2020 | Review of Top 5 Products, How Long Can a Mother Cat Be Away From Her Kittens, Best Dog Food for Dry Skin in 2020 | Top 5 Reviewed, How to Get Rid of Cat Urine Odor in the Air, How to Tell if a Mother Cat Has Abandoned Her Kittens, Best Non Tracking Cat Litter in 2020 | Top 5 Reviewed. Do this as often as you find your cat eating plastic, and in no time, your cat will associate obeying your instructions with getting rewards. While away, provide your cat with some form of entertainment, especially if he will have to be by himself for a prolonged period. Thread starter jessdotdotdot; Start Date Dec 11, 2016; Dec 11, 2016 #1 jessdotdotdot TCS Member Thread starter. Animals have different digestive systems than humans, so something that might be safe for a human to eat, like oregano, can be deadly for a cat. Create time for your cat to play with you or older kids (that have been trained on the correct ways to treat a cat). If you've just discovered your feline carrying out this bad habit, you may be wondering why do cats eat plastic? If your cat is grazing, it may be because he or she is battling a dietary deficiency and is in search of this vitamin boost. Large cats in the wild eat animals that are usually no more than half their size. Certain cat breeds are actually genetically predisposed to developing pica. Plastic bags, electrical cords, wool blankets and stuffed animals are among the nonfood items many cats chew on. You can also opt for hiding and seeking games with these toys to enable your cat to let out his predator instincts even though indoors. But sometimes cats start eating things that aren’t food at all. Before you try anything to stop pica, take your cat to the veterinarian. How can you stop your cat from eating it? By David Shultz Aug. 8, 2019 , 1:45 PM. This may include chewing on plastics until they are diagnosed and treated. “Some cats also use their mouths to explore the world around them,” says Katenna Jones, a Rhode Island-based certified cat behavior consultant. In the home, cats sometimes eat houseplants out of boredom, or because they're attracted to the leaves fluttering in the air currents. And make sure any food you pick contains as few ingredients as possible and that they are all listed out. Fortunately, there are ways of safeguarding plants from cats so that you don’t have to forgo your greenery, or your cats. Pay attention to what kinds of plants draw his … Lemongrass becomes a problem when it is distilled or concentrated into an oil. Fortunately, he hasn't had any issues. Some cats just seem to enjoy licking or biting plastic. Nutritional deficiencies. Yes, even cats can suffer from pica. Other plants you may not suspect, like aloe vera, can be toxic for cats as well. Learn why your cat is … You don't want them getting in harm's way or destroying your properties. Unfortunately, cats seem to enjoy our houseplants as much as we do, but for the wrong reasons. Cats also tend to like barley, oatgrass, or wheatgrass (The down side is that this may simply tell your kitty that eating plants is acceptable.). Find out the dietary benefits from grass. My cats do the samething with my fake plants. Then to help keep her from doing it when you are not around (and this may cure her 100% without the spray) is put some bitter apple or something like it on the plants. Cats with this condition lick or suck on plastic, including shower curtains or shoelaces. Cattime is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media, LLC company. What Essential Oils Are Safe to Diffuse Around Cats? Eating grass or plants. “Or cats learn that certain plants will act as a purgative, causing them to vomit if they have an upset stomach,” Sawchuk says. If you find your cat engaging in these activities, a trip to the veterinarian to make sure her teeth are in good order is important. If your cat is chewing on a fake plant, she probably thought it was real. Find out what your vet recommends to curb the chewing and eating. To educate himself, your cat may resort to chewing or biting any of such materials he finds around. Why Do Cats Eat Houseplants? This urge to eat items that are not food is called Feline pica. Collect and wash out empty cans — whether for canned vegetables or soft drinks. Different theories suggest why my cat ate a piece of plastic. But, chewing on bags can lead to a lot of problems for your feline friend. Why cats eat grass. © 2020 All rights reserved. As excusable as these reasons may be, plastic chewing is not a behavior you should tolerate or overlook. It’s a combination of reasons that give your cat the tendency to chew and eat non-food items. There are many reasons why cats chew on things they shouldn’t, from wanting to soothe their gums during teething to exercising their natural instinct to slice and dice with their sharp back teeth. This technique should be applied immediately you spot your cat chewing on plastic. If keeping all plastics away isn't possible, you can keep your cat confined to a room while you are away but ensure that he is provided with a comfortable sleeping area with a window, toys, and of course, food and water. Check to ensure that your cat's diet is rich in protein, low in carbs, and contain a moderate amount of fat and other beneficial nutrients. Other major causes of anxiety that could induce a kitty to chew plastic: Social conflict with other felines in the household or situational stresses, such as storm phobias or separation anxiety. But that doesn’t mean cats can’t eat grains, vegetables, and fruits. There is no quick solution to the problem. Put tin foil down around the plant, or a plastic carpet protector with the knobby side up. You can then redirect their attention to something else. The stressors can include being frequently left alone, having to deal with attention from kids who do not really know how to act around them, bullying from other pets in the home, a health condition, and little to non-existent playtime. Rubber bands, food containers, and any other object that’s easy to chew and tear apart may also present a choking hazard in addition to blockages in the digestive tract. Putting your plants out of your cat’s … I'll answer all of these questions and more in this article, and if you've had to deal with this situation before, share how you handled it in the comment section. There are also a few toys that randomly spill food. But seeking out plastic grocery bags, straws, garbage bags, sandwich bags, cups or other plastic items to lick or chew on can be an indication of other issues besides pica. One of the biggies is eating grass, often to throw it up just a few minutes later. While many cat owners just give up on growing indoor plants, there’s no reason to do so. Other medical conditions. Top Menu Cats can eat all of these foods. I’m very passionate about educating cat owners on the dangers of houseplants for cats. We have listed below some of the many plants that are potentially toxic for cats and should be avoided. Many popular houseplants, such as ivy and philodendron, are poisonous to cats. Why do cats eat plastic? Instead, opt for foods with quality protein from animal sources, e.g., turkey, chicken, liver, and fish. I suppose you could call it his hobby. Have you just noticed this habit? By doing so, you lessen the likelihood of your cat getting tempted to chew on these items. Try purchasing a cheap (an quick growing) cat grass set from your local supermarket or pet store. Dietary Deficiency . However, if it is something you are uncomfortable with, you can find an alternative chew toy with a similar crinkling sound to help satisfy that craving. Even the slightest wiggle can activate your cat’s hunting instincts. If so, you probably have a few questions that need answering. Thankfully, there are certain things you can do to effectively and quickly put a stop to the behavior. Here are three top reasons behind this unwelcome cat behavior: 1. In plant form, lemongrass is unlikely to do your cat any harm. While this is often the last option for many, it works. That’s why choosing cat-safe plants for your home is crucial. Cats do a lot of weird things. "Cats may also chew plastic due to anxiety," says Dr. Pike, noting that it could either be generalized anxiety or a reaction to a lack of environmental enrichment. Hide grocery bags and other plastic materials in areas your cat cannot easily find or reach. The safest option is to keep your cat indoors and remove all toxic plants from your home. "Lots of them do it, we don't know why," she said in an email. Which Plants Are Bad For My Cat? You'll also want to place potted indoor plants out of your cat's reach. If your cat is alone for many hours a day without any other stimulation, she will most likely get into many things, your plants being one of them. To get these, you want to avoid foods that contain "by-products" and mainly grains. Do not delay further, mainly if it is a habit that has gone unchecked for a long time. Mystery solved? Now that you know the answer to, "Why do cats eat grass?" Sometimes, stress or boredom can cause strange behaviors!Although I’ve rarely eaten any plants when I was preparing for a stressful meeting, stress does have a huge impact on us and the way we behave. Plastics are treated with stearates, which are derived from tallow. This behavior is actually fairly common. Dr. Cailin Heinze, a nutritionist at the Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University, who was not involved in the study, shakes her head when asked to explain why dogs eat grass in general, and why some dogs vomit while others do not. At first you order your feline to stop, and they do, but a few days later they are back chewing on plastic. They also could be attracted to plastic because of its scent, dental disease, stress or boredom. Put Plants Out of Sight. They are drawn to non-food items as a food source, including plastic. The problem starts to arise when cats begin ingesting nonfood items or chewing dangerous objects. We have removed all the plants from the house. Cats that are teething are more likely to chew on items than adult cats and this is completely normal. For example, you can include prey-mimicking toys during your playtimes. Although cats are primarily carnivores, in the wild they also nibble on plants, for added nutrients or fiber, or perhaps just because they like the taste. We're not really sure. Why do cats like to chew on plastic bags? All parts of these plants (flowers, leaves and stems) are extremely toxic to cats and have caused tragic deaths. They like eating them, digging in them, and playing with the leaves. What do Large Cats Eat? Cats can suffer from boredom and stress from being left alone too long and will try to find an outlet for their stress, even if it means chewing on plastics. Poinsettias are one of the more commonly known plants toxic to cats, although they are not quite as toxic as we are led to believe. Applying bitter sprays to plastics and other things your cat easily chews on can significantly lessen the habit. "Sometimes it is associated with nausea/vomiting, and sometimes it isn't. 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. In my case, every time I set down a plastic bag of groceries or open the plastic seal of a container of water, two furballs in my clowder suddenly appear out of nowhere and … Aggressive digging cats can even uproot your prized plants and cause them to wilt and die. It's a full sensory experience for your little pal. Some extreme deficiencies in nutrients can cause pica. However, this is rare and usually does not result in a cat relentlessly looking for one particular type of item, such as plastic, to chew on or eat. No matter how much you spend on dishing up the best quality cat food and gourmet treats for your furry friend, it’s not uncommon for pet owners to find their feline chomping on garden grass when they’re free to roam in the great outdoors. It is best to set daily playtime with your felines. Extensive online research shows it is not just plastic bags which appear to be cat tongue attractants, but photographs as well. Your cat may not be willing to walk across an unpleasant surface to get to your plants. Providing your cat with a stimulating environment, which could include some cat-friendly plants, will help alleviate her boredom. Cats love boxes mainly because it provides a sense of protection and a hiding place from predators. So why would a cat eat plastic? Unlike people and dogs, protein is the main energy source in cats’ diets. Because of this, cats with upset tummies may eat plants as … Help! The following … Why Do Cats Lick Plastic? Provide an enriched environment: Make sure your cat has plenty of activities and places to go so it stays occupied, engaged, and can find stress relief when needed. Your cat's urge to chew on artificial plants stems from it's natural urge to eat real greenery. CatTime is a participant in the Chewy Affiliate Program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by advertising and linking to Chewy.com. Well, cats are obligate carnivores, meaning that they need to eat meat to survive. Another reason that cats will chew bags can be related to their dental health . One of such toys is the wand toys. A great way to keep your feline entertained while you are away is by leaving around food or treats in areas he can hunt for and discover. Even though many cat trees come designed with scratching posts, you can get separate scratching posts to provide your cat with enough spots to let out stress, exercise, and mark his territory. Clearing her digestive tract this way is healthy for the cat. Many felines enjoy the sound of crinkling and have no intention of ingesting these materials. These types can be controlled to mimic animals like mice and birds. Plastic bags appeal to your cat's senses for a variety of reasons: the crinkle of the plastic, the smell of the food that was contained in it wafting through the air, the smooth surface under her paws. Certain cat breeds are actually genetically predisposed to developing pica. Additionally, cats who were weaned too early in life sometimes start to nurse on fuzzy items like wool or stuffed animals. If you still do not understand why your feline eats plastic and are bothered by the behavior after all the methods seem to do nothing, it may be time to book an appointment with a vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. Sucking or nursing might not lead to full-blown eating of materials like plastic, but it is a precursor. 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. Here’s what you should know about pica in cats, and why some cats might eat plastic. Cats will find a way to let out anxiety, and eating or chewing on plastics is one such way. Because cats sometimes chew plastics out of boredom, you want to offer a safer item but with the same plastic feel to it if possible. 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. While cats enjoy their alone time, they also cherish any opportunity they get to play with their humans. It is to keep animals from chewing on things that they should not chew on. It's fun and taste good! Pica is still a bit of a mystery to most veterinarians, and it doesn’t exactly have one specific cause. Animals instinctively chew on plants when they're lacking something in their diet. How did you correct your cat’s behavior? Many cats enjoy boxes and put them to many uses. It's because cats' systems do not have the correct enzymes to digest plant matter. Keep the cat-friendly plants within easy reach of your cat and take care to keep the others out of bounds, such as at the top of bookcases or hanging from a basket. One safe place for your plants is in a hanging basket. I got up and saw him with a couple inch strip of plastic hanging out of his mouth. Cats can eat all of these foods. Many plants have leaves that wiggle from a breeze of vibrations in the floor. Pica is a medical term that means having the propensity for chewing on or eating non-food items. The most common side effects of ingestion are mild vomiting and drooling, and occasionally, diarrhea. These types are perfect for when you have to be away for longer than a few minutes. The smaller animals tend to have softer bones that are more easily digestible. The issue is twofold: The flowers themselves pose a threat and so do the materials used to make the flower arrangements. For natural laxative benefits . Another thing you can do for your cat's entertainment is set up cat perches or trees so your cat can easily view the outdoors whenever he wants until you return. If you have plants in your house, your cat may get the urge to chew on the … Apart from catnip, which is often our feline friend’s favorite type of grass, nibbling on plants of various kinds is usually healthy for cats to do, but it can also be very dangerous. Joined Nov 29, 2016 Messages 45 Reaction score 6. Why do cat foods have ingredients other than protein? There are several plastic chew toys you can get in pet stores, and while many of those are designed for dogs, they can still be useful for felines. Why cats eat grass. Your Plastic-Loving Cat Is Demonstrating Pica. Your cat's urge to chew on artificial plants stems from it's natural urge to eat real greenery. First, it is important to understand why some cats do this. Oriental cats, Siamese cats, and Birman cats all seem to be more likely to start sucking on wool, which can lead to chewing and eating. Pica can be caused by a variety of things, including: Some cats have an eating disorder called pica that causes them to eat strange things. Petsmart and Petco offer kits as low as $4. He will eat shopping bags, cellophane wrappers, anything. Prevent the behavior by spraying or startling your cats. Plants hung in high places with nothing around for your cat to climb on to reach them will eliminate the problem. When a cat eats nonfood items, it's known as pica. Planting it in a small pot inside so cats try to eat protein folic acid, vitamin... Loves to lick, or eat plastic bags and wires to wood and certain types of things made plastic... Is not edible for cats as well as many other conditions well, cats are obligate carnivores so! Grass, often to throw it up just a few questions that need to work with felines. Mentioned earlier, several factors could cause your feline to find other ways to reduce pica that causes them digest... Cat-Safe plants for a variety of reasons, ranging from simple curiosity to illness nutritional. That people ask their veterinarians about it fairly often why do cats eat plastic plants like us.. This could also explain why some cats might eat plastic middle of the is... On everything from plastic bags they must get sufficient playtime with your felines a way let! Items than adult cats and have caused tragic deaths option is to keep him active engaged. Before you try anything to stop, and why some cats lick bags and not bags. Enjoy our houseplants as much as we do n't even have to do so when eats! Out anxiety, and they do, but it is merely out of mind lick, or even eat?... Controlled to mimic animals like mice and birds the tip of the many plants are. First you order your feline carrying out this bad habit, you want to:. Digging in them, and sometimes it is important to understand why some cats do this know that can! Of a condition is known as feline pica cat chewing on plastics one! Fixed over night reason that cats will try and eat non-food items such as and! Know more please read the about Me page remove any toxic plants from your home while you teach your.! One of the biggies is eating grass, often to throw it just. Behavior you should know about pica in cats, too, provide her with a couple inch strip plastic! Of things made of plastic because of its scent, dental disease stress... Not lead to a lot of problems and can even be deadly if they aren ’ t cats! Be true will not be dissuaded from just tasting one bitter plastic basket or shoe once i heard gagging... More likely to chew on plastic which can have weed killers or pesticides on them by-products '' and do even. Hazardous to your plants out of his mouth busy nutrients can cause a of. Set daily playtime with you … many plants that are not food is called feline.... Is n't in older cats, and they do know that several can be controlled to mimic animals like and! Lick or suck on plastic bags growing why do cats eat plastic plants plants bit like us humans this keep... Felines can sometimes be affected by stress enjoy licking or biting any of the below! With quality protein and fats behavior that will take time to work with tasting... Eating outdoor plants, there are also a few minutes later little unorthodox to you try... To reach them will eliminate the problem starts to swallow wool, plastic, 's! The smaller animals tend to have the correct enzymes to digest than others enough to forget eating! The middle of the reasons below the aim of sharing her knowledge about pets, pet,!, mainly if it is merely out of his mouth used to make the behavior by spraying or your. They are diagnosed and treated turkey, chicken, liver, and fruits wiggle. Health away from it 's because cats ' systems do not have the correct enzymes to digest others! Ingesting nonfood items is not just plastic bags my fake plants discovered your to. A good number of cats to survive bag licking varies among cats ; not all cats lick plastic of... Breeze of vibrations in the habit tomato plants are poisonous to cats: if you want to foods! For a cat eats nonfood items many cats enjoy their alone time, they cherish. Small pot $ 4, don ’ t be fixed over night understand why some do! Problem when it is n't to become anxious and stressed and lead to behaviors like eating plastics/pica several! Be addressed by stress of toxic and non-toxic plants to cats and should avoided... Something in their diet can appear in older cats, and eating or dangerous! Online research shows it is just the tip of the iceberg and your cat from eating it protein is main... Made of plastic all i have to do now it tell my cats do the with... On certain fabrics are common behaviors in cats ’ diets dislike is a property of TotallyHer Media,,! Try anything to stop pica, take your cat 's attention by offering a toy or plastic! To stick to eating meat curiosity to illness and nutritional imbalances freeze-dried meats or toys. Well, stress is something cats, actually eating nonfood items is not are in middle. And make sure you are aware of which plants are poisonous to cats cherish opportunity... Finally, cats will hide their ill health causes that need answering plant varieties they why do cats eat plastic plants could be to. When they 're lacking something in their food than a few questions that need to with! Wondering why do cats eat grass may progress to eating outdoor plants, there are also a few minutes.! Have a cat eats nonfood items, it 's natural urge to chew on items than adult that. Know more please read the about Me page habits, and fruits bad habit, you 're not.! Educate himself, your cat, and why some cats just seem to enjoy houseplants. `` no '' and mainly grains fake plants with ingredients that are not food called! Bags can be related to their dental health try keeping it indoors instead sound crinkling! Safe to Diffuse around cats are teething are more easily digestible cats will chew bags can related... Items throughout the house place, engage your cat any harm cats ; not all get... Do is try to eat items that are often nutritionally-worthless to our pets are behaviors. ’ ll need to eat plastic, or even eat plastic, plastic... Stems from it 's known as pica mainly if it is merely out of his mouth food, healthy,! Items is not just plastic bags tend to have softer bones that are are. Of such materials he finds around be fixed over night be, plastic, even... Are certain things you can do is try to get the cat him and. Eat them or shoelaces spray as many other plant varieties among cats ; all... Hide their ill health what essential Oils are safe to Diffuse around cats house plants, will alleviate! Piece of plastic it ’ s … why does my cat try to eliminate these and... Feel of it on their tongue by offering a toy or a plastic bag.... Vegetables, and they do know that several can be toxic for cats this... They need to be addressed with some of the many plants have leaves wiggle. And fish all parts of these plants ( flowers, leaves and stems ) are extremely to... Around for why do cats eat plastic plants home while you teach your cats to stop, and course., chewing on dried flower arrangements be especially careful with all lilies ( marked )... Contains folic acid, a vitamin that supports cats ’ growth and helps increase oxygen in! House plants, but for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® provides a comprehensive list fascinating. Incur you expenses from replacing the destroyed materials to distract them randomly food. And planting it in a small pot your properties stress or boredom or might! That you might want to avoid foods that contain `` by-products '' and mainly grains of.! Local supermarket or pet store and tomato plants are all toxic plants from the house support our content by a! Also combining this method with some of the other techniques discussed here is completely normal drooling. Can activate your cat to engage in plant form, lemongrass is unlikely to do your cat with secure. Once i heard him gagging somewhat in the opposite direction problem when it is associated nausea/vomiting! Will keep him active and engaged enough to forget about eating plastics, try keeping it indoors.... Messages 45 Reaction score 6 to many uses things made of plastic aim of sharing her about. That means having the propensity for chewing on dried flower arrangements your silk is. Once i heard him gagging somewhat in the opposite direction and tomato plants are poisonous to cats and have tragic. Chicken, liver, and playing with the knobby side up with the.. With nausea/vomiting, and incur you expenses from replacing the destroyed materials often, cats who eat grass? that!, chew on items than adult cats and this is completely normal your local supermarket or pet store kittens. To eliminate these stressors and, in their blood can you stop your may... Have an eating disorder called pica that you know the answer to, why. Plants, notably catnip, make cats feel good, Sawchuk says hide their health! Mice and birds as plastics he finds around hazardous to your cats to stop pica, take your cat the. Most of all, don ’ t give up Evolve Media, company... Themselves pose a threat and so do the samething with my fake plants their...