Cats and compulsive eating
Sweaters. Bags. Electrical cords. Cats who regularly try to gobble these or other items may have “pica,” a condition in which cats compulsively eat things that are not edible.
Pica (which is also found in some humans) seems strange, but the condition isn’t uncommon among cats. Some researchers believe pica has a genetic component, as it is more common in certain breeds, including Siamese and Burmese cats. Pica is associated with some serious diseases, including feline leukemia, so if your concerned about what your kitty is eating, a vet visit is in order
Cats do sometimes eat inedible things for reasons other than pica, including boredom or anxiety. But if your cat noshes on anything unusual,check in with your vet. Eating non-edible stuff can be toxic or pose a choking hazard to your pet.
To encourage your cat to stick to eating their food, take these steps:
- Keep anything you don’t want your cat eating out of reach. Common temptations include wool, fabric, plastic, tinsel, string, phone cords and electrical cords.
- Keep some cat-safe grass available for your pet to nibble on and hide chewy and crunchy treats around the house, to increase the odds of your little forager finding something nutritious.
- Give your cat at least 30 minutes of play and attention a day.
- Keep cats feeling full longer by adding fiber to their regular food. Try a little bran or plain, canned pumpkin.