Why Is My Cat Chewing on Plastic and How to Stop It?
Some cat owners might find a strange phenomenon: cats like to chew or play with plastic bags very much. I know what you're wondering and worried about, today we're going to talk about it.
Why does my cat eat plastic bags?
The attraction of plastic bags to cats, each cat has a different degree, some like it very much, and some are not so fond of it. But why do some cats like to gnaw on plastic bags so much? The reasons may not be simple, and there may be the following:
Reason 1: "Delicious" plastic bags:
- Plastic bags contain lubricating chemicals known as "anti-slip agents." Anti-slip agents are used to prevent plastic bags from sticking together, and these chemicals contain stearic acid extracted from animal fat. Some cats may be attracted to the taste or smell of these chemicals.
- Now there are more and more degradable plastic bags, and degradable plastic bags are often made of products such as cornstarch, which may attract some cats (just as some cats like to eat tofu sand).
- The smell of food, especially meat and fish, may remain in the plastic bag, which will be very attractive to cats
- The texture of the plastic bag is also very attractive to cats, the surface is smooth and cool, and it is very chewy.
Reason 2: Cats may be under stress
For many animals, chewing is a stress-relieving behavior.
It is not surprising to cats, especially a cat living in a tense multi-cat family, which is more likely to bite the plastic bag, because this is a coping mechanism for stress.
Of course, there are many other stress triggers that can also affect the cat, such as chaotic environment, family changes, activity schedules, and so on.
Reason 3: Cats lack certain trace elements
When cats lack certain nutrients, they will instinctively want to eat other things to supplement, so when cats begin pica, such as eating plastic bags, it may indicate that the cat lacks certain nutrients, and we need to give the cat the right nutritious and comprehensive food.
Reason 4: Mouth pain or dental problems
When the cat has mouth pain or teeth are uncomfortable, chewing on the plastic bag may make the cat feel better, because the gums will be massaged by the plastic bag.
Reason 5: Cat tooth replacement period
Tooth itching during tooth replacement is a very normal thing, many animals will show a love of biting and chewing items during this period, and the plastic bags that can be seen everywhere in the home will become the cat's teeth grinding.
Why does my cat like to play with plastic bags?
1. The cat is bored:
The beginning of this behavior may be because the cat has no stimuli in the environment, and the plastic bag gives it a chance to amuse. Cats that do not have enough environmental stimulation and opportunities to play are more likely to engage in boring behavior.
2. The sound of plastic bags is very attractive to cats:
Your cat may not be able to resist the plastic bag, because the it is very fluttering, and it will make a crumpled sound, you can slap it away and run after it, which is fun for your cats...
3. The relatively confined space makes the cat feel very safe:
One of the cats' favorite things is to get into small plastic bags, which is the same reason that cats like cardboard boxes, because this provides the cat with a small space, a safe and comfortable feeling.
How to stop cats from chewing on plastic bags?
As we all know, accidentally eating plastic bags can endanger the health of cats, so how to stop cats from chewing on plastic bags, or playing with plastic bags?
- First of all, find cures for illness: the above lack of nutrients, stress, boredom, disease and other reasons are excluded? If not, rule them out one by one, perhaps, after improvement, cats are no longer interested in plastic bags
- Put away the plastic bag, put the bag out of reach of the cat, and use a paper bag or cloth bag to shop instead to reduce the risk of your cat touching the plastic bag.
- Interact and play with your cat every day to reduce boredom.
- Have an extra cat if you can, the cat actually also needs a playmate, or play with some toys that the cat can play with, so that the cat can relieve boredom when he/she is alone at home.
- Address stress triggers at home that may affect your cat. If there are multiple cat problems, try to help the cat form a more peaceful coexistence environment. The key is to ensure that every cat has safe and easy access to resources.
- Provide alternatives for cats to chew: such as cat grass, plush toys, etc. Cater to the nature of cats.