Cat Q&A

How do I get my cat to stop eating non-food items?

How to Stop Your Cat from Eating Non-Food Items

Pica is a condition in which an animal, like a cat, craves and compulsively eats things that are not food. Cats are particularly drawn to kneadable objects like couch cushions, clothes and other fabrics. While this can be a harmless activity for most cats, for some, it can be a destructive and even dangerous behavior.

What Causes Pica?

Pica can be caused by boredom, anxiety or low-nutrient diets. Unspayed female cats may be more prone to this kind of behavior as they have an increased need for calcium, which they may have difficulty getting from their food.

How Can I Stop My Cat From Eating Non-Food Items?

  • Provide Healthy Alternatives: Ensure your cat has access to safe and enriching alternatives. This includes a variety of toys, as well as special pet-safe objects, like large plastic bottles with a few dry treats inside.
  • Provide Adequate Nutrition: Give your cat a balanced and complete diet to meet their nutritional needs. A diet high in protein, moderate in fat and low in carbohydrates is preferable to manufacture-processed diets.
  • Provide Stimulation and Activity: Make sure your cat has enough stimulation and activity throughout the day. This includes interactive toys like puzzle bowls and stimulating activities like hide and seek.
  • Check for Illness: Visit the vet if your cat’s pica is frequent, excessive or concerning. Underlying health problems can contribute to the behavior and should be ruled out as a potential cause.

In conclusion, you can help stop your cat from eating non-food items by providing healthy alternatives and adequate nutrition, as well as stimulating activities and toys. Furthermore, if your cat’s pica is concerning, a vet visit is recommended to rule out any potential illnesses.

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