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Cat Eating Objects?

If your cat is eating non-food items, such as rubber bands, towels, plastic, etc., it may result in life-threatening intestinal blockages. The eating of non-food items is called pica. The causes of pica are unknown but theories include attention-seeking behavior, attempt to obtain a nutrient lacking in the diet, or frustration and anxiety. Because these behaviors aren't well understood, stopping them might require assistance from a behavior professional.

Here are some things you can try:

  • Prevent access to the items your cat is eating

  • Change to a low-calorie or high-fiber diet to allow your cat to eat more food more often. Check with your veterinarian before changing your cat's diet.

  • If you think the cause might be anxiety, clicker training is a good behavior modification technique that mentally stimulates your cat.

  • If you think it is attention-seeking behavior, do not scold him or say his name your cat when you catch him ingesting an item. Instead try to startle him with a loud noise - be sure to try to avoid him knowing the loud noise came from you. Once he leaves the item alone, praise him and give him treats. Set aside 10-15 minutes 2 times a day so spend with your cat.

  • If you think it might be play behavior, be sure to keep a variety of toys on hand and be sure to play WITH your cat daily!


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