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Why is my cat eating cat litter?
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Why is my cat eating cat litter?

Views: 0     Author: Olivia     Publish Time: 2022-04-01      Origin: Site


Wild guess, you’ve probably found your cat eating some peculiar things – perhaps plants and flowers, toilet paper, charging cables, wool blanket, socks, rubber bands, or even plastic, wall peels and their cat litter, things that they should not eat.

We call this behavior pica. Pica is rare in dogs, but some breeds of cats, such as oriental shorthair cat, are well-known to eat everything from sweaters to wires.

While sometimes there's nothing wrong with a little blind eating, if our cats eat too much, it may cause intestinal obstruction.

If you are wondering “Why is my cat eating cat litter?” This article will provide some common answers, ranging from harmless curiosity to potential illness. We will also take a look at some potential solutions to stop our feline from eating cat litter and back to their normal behavior.

#1 What might become potential food for our cat

Some cats eat almost anything we can think of, we can roughly divide it into categories:

l  Topping the list is cat litter.

l  Fabric items: carpet, curtain, tablecloth, sweaters, socks, etc. Cats seem especially gravitated to wool materials.

l  stuffed toys.

l  Green plants and flowers.

l  Paper products: toilet paper, photos, books, magazines, etc.

l  Cables: especially our charging cables, but it is risky sometimes.

l  Soft items: Rubber bands, strings, human hair.

l  Hard objects: coins, needles, rocks, window screens, radio antennas, hard edges of small appliances.

If our naughty cat eats coins, rubber bands, rocks, ropes, etc., it can be very dangerous because these things can damage or block the intestines, which usually requires surgery to remove. I vaguely remember going to the hospital, meeting a poor cat who swallowed a needle, and the image on the X-ray was creepy and pathetic.  


#2 Possible reasons why our cat eats cat litter

The specific cause of pica is still an open question in the academic community. But most veterinarians and experts tend to agree that a lack of certain vitamins or minerals is the most likely cause.

Other possible causes include: 

l  Pica can be caused by diseases such as neurological disorders, rabies, neurotoxin exposure, anemia, Hypothyroidism, etc. Certain liver, pancreas, and gastrointestinal disorders may also contribute to pica behavior.

l  Pica may be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder caused by stress, boredom, depression or anxiety. Pica can be an attention-seeking behavior. If eating something arouses your attention, it's likely to continue eating, reinforcing pica behavior.

l  Dietary deficiencies, such as a lack of fat or insoluble fiber, may also drive cats to search for missing nutrients in a mess of food.

l  Pica behavior probably starts with play for fun. When a cat is playing with a toy, picking it up, nibbling on it, eating it, then things happen. 

l  Some behaviorists believe that kittens start sucking on plush toys when they are weaned too early or too suddenly. Kittens soothe themselves with this behavior, and sucking gradually turns into chewing. 

l  Pica can be caused by two or more of these factors. Since pica is not well explained medically, it may take a variety of special behavior modification techniques to address the problem. 

In addition, some data have shown that a high percentage of pica cats tend to be anemic. 


#3 How to stop our cat from eating cat litter

If we find our cat eating cat litter, one thing we must do right away is change the cat litter to edible tofu cat litter. This is to avoid dangers (e.g.: intestinal obstruction, intestinal infection, constipation, suffocation, etc.) before addressing the root cause.

l  See if our cat has a bad habit of eating litter or just ate it once out of curiosity. Record this observation and present it when we visit the vet.

l  Then, note the cat's current state, which clinical symptoms it shows, and the timeline of their occurrence.

(Tip: Clinical symptoms can be recorded in terms of appetite, mental state, lethargy, claudication, neck flexion or neck curvature, diarrhea, conjunctival inflammation, watery eyes, salivation, etc.)

l  Regardless of whether there are clinical symptoms, our cat should be sent to the pet hospital for treatment, especially for pet families using bentonite cat litter, silica gel cat litter and other inedible cat litter. Be aware that it is very dangerous that our cat accidentally eats this kind of cat litter! 

The veterinarian may perform basic tests on our cat to find out the cause, including blood tests, serum biochemistry, urine tests, etc. If there is an underlying disease that causes our cat to eat cat litter, the behavior will usually stop once the underlying disease is cured.

If it is due to dietary deficiencies, there are a few ways we can change our cat's behavior when it is eating litter: 

l  Instead of feeding our cat the same food every day, replenish it with other nutrients and foods.

l  Replenish our cat with Lanolin.

l  Feed our cat regularly and train it to eat small and frequent meals.

chewy stick_副本

If it is purely behavioral, we may find our cat eating cat litter just to get our attention, out of curiosity or stress. There are a few ways worth trying:

l  put coins in a can and make noise. When our cat doesn't touch the thing, praise and reward it.

l  Use a children’s water gun to spray our cat while it is eating cat litter (be careful with this method and remember to dry and comfort our feline afterwards).  

l  Place slices of citrus peel in the litter box (most cats hate the smell).

l  Try to set aside extra time each day with our cat so it doesn't need to grab our attention by eating cat litter. Play with it morning and night. If it feels tired, it is less likely to mess around. Blind eating is for bored cats.

l  Switch to inedible toys - giant balls, track balls, etc. In addition, buy our cat more toys, the more the better, so that it will not be boring to eat leather or swallow iron needles.

l  Try chew stick or catnip.

l  If stress is the problem, identify the stressor and eliminate it. For cats with obsessive-compulsive disorder, medications such as amitriptyline and mirtazapine may be used as advised by the vet.

l  It would be nice to try to keep our cat's living environment quiet and comfortable.

These methods may need to be used in combination, or just one of them may work.


Tofu cat litter: safe and healthy for us and our feline

After reading the above, it should be easier to answer the question, “why is my cat eating cat litter?”

That said, sometimes it is a little difficult to find our cat eating cat litter, which is why we use edible tofu cat litter.

Tofu cat litter made from food-grade raw materials makes it safe and healthy for use. The antibacterial, antioxidant and deodorizing abilities protect us and our feline. It’s dust-free, highly absorbent, odor-trapping, easy to scoop, and also low tracking compared with edible corn cat litter. With tofu cat litter, we can rest easy knowing that our cat won’t be harmed in any way. You’ll love it if you try.




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