Why Is My Cat Eating Litter and How to Stop It?
You cat owners may have seen your cats eating cat litter. Obviously you have prepared the best cat food for your cat, why do cats prefer cat litter that is not nutritious and may even be life-threatening?
Although cat litter is not all poisonous, when you see your cat eating cat litter, don't take it lightly.
If your cat is a kitten under three months old, then you don't have to worry too much. Kittens of this age are like little babies, probably out of curiosity, or they may be hungry and eat cat litter casually.
Once you see this behavior, you must stop and educate it, let it know the harm of cat litter, and don't let it develop the habit of eating cat litter from an early age.
If you find that your cat older than 4 months old or adult cat is eating cat litter, then you should pay attention to it, which may be caused by the following reasons:
Why does your cat eat litter?
1. Be attracted by the taste
In the tofu cat litter, soy fiber cat litter and other plant raw materials based on cat litter, in addition to the attraction of their own ingredients, some merchants will also add the same flavor essence, so that the cat litter smells like a milk fragrance.
This can also mistakenly arouse the appetite of cats, especially some kittens are prone to licking and eating by mistake.
In cases of human pica eating soil (mainly clay/bentonite), anemia, iron deficiency, and hypokalemia are the more common symptoms.
The same thing has been found in cats.
In a case published in 1996, a two-and-a-half-year-old cat who had eaten a large amount of bentonite was found to be accompanied by muscle weakness and dehydration, which are also more common in humans, in addition to anemia and hypokalemia.
3. Nutrient deficiencies
If a cat does not get enough nutrients from cat food, it may eat indiscriminately, which can trigger pica in cats.
Deficiency of vitamin A, vitamin B1 (thiamine), magnesium, sodium, and/or taurine can all cause cats to eat cat litter.
Cat litter (bentonite, mineral sand) contains minerals that may attract cats and make them mistakenly think that they can supplement nutrients.
4. Other diseases and health problems
In addition, the habit of eating cat litter can also be a sign of kidney disease and leukemia (which in itself can also cause anemia).
Some diseases may also cause cat pica and eat cat litter if they are accompanied by symptoms such as metabolic dysfunction, abnormal taste, improper diet management, and nutrient deficiency.
Of course, the diagnosis of pica requires repeated pica behaviors. If cats (especially kittens) only occasionally eat litter then it may just be boring.
How to stop this behavior?
When the first time you found that the cat eats cat litter, the simplest way is to replace the cat litter that is being used. Some cats will eat cat litter just because they have a preference for a certain kind of cat litter, which can be solved after replacement.
However, if your cat can still eat other types of cat litter, you can use the following other methods:
- If it is a cat that lacks trace elements, vitamins or minerals, it is recommended to eat a variety of diets. Do not only give the cat a single cat food, usually canned food, meat can be eaten, to ingest a variety of nutrients from different foods, which is the most fundamental and most practical.
It is also recommended that you can go to the animal hospital to check what kind of nutrition is mainly lacking, so you can supplement nutrition in a targeted manner.
- If you suspect that there is a problem with the health of your cat, you should go to the hospital in time to do a check and diagnosis, and supplement nutrition according to the doctor's advice.