How to Stop Your Cat From Eating Non-Food Items?
It’s natural for cats to explore and investigate their environment, and sometimes they investigate with their mouths. Unfortunately, cats have been known to try to eat non-food items, such as plastic and paper objects, or socks and clothing. This can be a dangerous and potentially life threatening behavior, so it’s important to takes steps to discourage it.
Steps to Discourage Non-Food Eating
- Recognize the signs: Pay attention to what items your cat is trying to eat, as different items will require different solutions. Are they attracted to chewable items like plastic or paper, or textiles like socks or clothing?
- Intervene and offer alternative: Remove the item from your cat’s reach and, when they are trying to get at it, distract them with a toy or other preferred activity or treat. This will help them to focus their curiosity in a safer direction.
- Enrich the environment: Enhance the amount of stimulation and activity your cat has, particularly if they are spending a lot of time alone while you’re away. This means adding more interactive toys and scratching posts, which will direct their curiosity in a less destructive manner.
- Test out bitter tasting deterrents: If presenting alternatives does not work, try using some inconspicuous bitter-tasting deterrents on items the cat may nibble on. This should help the cat to recognise that the chewing action brings an unpleasant sensation, and encourage them to stay away from those objects.
In most cases, a combination of the above suggestions should help to discourage non-food eating behavior in your cat. If you believe your cat is still continuing with this behavior after trying the above methods, consult with a qualified veterinarian for further help.