How to Stop Your Cat From Eating Dirt

by catfood

Cats are widely known for their peculiar, charming antics, and eating dirt is probably one of their most puzzling habits. If you find that your cat is consuming dirt, there may be a health issue or the kitten may have just been playing in the dirt.


The Possible Causes of Cat Eating Dirt

For a variety of reasons, from boredom and curiosity to health issues, your cat may be eating dirt. The following is a list of some of the most typical causes of your cat eating dirt. In order to rule out external reasons and address medical issues, it is best to call your veterinarian as soon as you discover your cat swallowing dirt.

Medical reasons

  • Anemia: A cat who is anemic could eat dirt or cat litter. Anemia may be a symptom of a serious illness or result from the cat’s food lacking in certain nutrients. Anemia is a symptom of another illness. It occurs when the blood does not contain enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Hemoglobin, the main substance found in red blood cells, is in charge of carrying oxygen. If there aren’t enough hemoglobin or red blood cells to deliver enough oxygen to the body’s cells, they won’t be able to function properly. This lack of oxygen is what causes the cat’s symptoms to appear.
  • Food Insufficiencies: It’s possible that adult cats who eat dirt aren’t consuming enough vitamins and nutrients. Consider switching to a diet that offers more complete nutrition; carefully read the label to understand what ingredients are contained, or get advice from your veterinarian. It is advised to provide a food that has received AAFCO approval in order to meet your cat’s nutritional needs. The food bag will have a label with this information on it. No matter what route you take, make sure your cat is consuming a balanced diet. If too many treats are offered, a diet may become unbalanced. The general rule of thumb is that your cat’s diet should consist of 90% balanced cat food or a thoughtfully prepared home-cooked diet, with treats and other foods making up no more than 10% of its total calories. To avoid upsetting your cat’s digestive system, gradually move to a new type of food if you must.
  • Pica: The temptation to eat inedible substances is referred to as “pica.” These include textiles, elastics like hair binders, cardboard, paper, and plastic, and they are most frequently discovered in cats. Young cats are more vulnerable to pica syndrome. Experts speculate that a number of variables, such as dietary deficiencies, heredity, boredom, compulsive disorder, or stress, may be to fault while the specific cause of pica is unknown.

Psychiatric influences

  • Curiosity: Kittens may eat dirt out of curiosity as they learn about and explore their surroundings. Usually, kittens develop the habit of not repeating it quite quickly.
  • boredom: Cats are incredibly intelligent animals. Their mode of life reflects the predatory skills and propensities needed to get food in the wild. Throughout the course of the day, a cat must rest, stalk, chase, pounce, kill, play, eat, and groom. If we don’t provide children opportunities to accomplish these things, they get bored. A variety of problems, such as obnoxious behaviors, rage, anxiety, and more, can develop as a result of boredom.
  • Anxiety and stress: Anxious cats can engage in unusual behaviors, such as eating dirt or skipping the litter box. A multitude of events, such as relocating to a new home, obtaining a new pet or child, losing a family member, or starting a new work, may cause this. Even seemingly simple tasks like relocating furniture from one location to another can upset cats. Take into account any home improvements, no matter how little, that could have been made prior to your cat starting to eat dirt.
  • In other cases, variables with an unclear origin may have an impact on your cat’s behavior. You might simply have to put up with the oddity of dirt eating. Your only choice in these circumstances may be to remove the dirt from the mixture (if at all possible) and provide your cat with a ton of other activities.

The Dangers of Cats Eating Dirt

If you find your cat consuming dirt, the best course of action is to cease the behavior and let your veterinarian know.

It is harmful to eat pesticides and other toxins. Choking, ingesting rocks or sticks, which can harm teeth, the esophagus, or the digestive system, and eating parasites that reside in the soil are other concerns.

The Best Techniques for Preventing Cats from Eating Dirt

  • Whenever your cat begins to eat dirt, provide a diversion. You can divert their attention by softly calling their name while substituting a suitable chew toy or playtime for it.
  • Remove indoor potted plants or keep them out of your cats’ reach.
  • Make sure your dog or cat gets adequate exercise and mental stimulation to reduce stress and prevent them from eating dirt out of boredom.
  • Establish a rich environment: Make sure your cat has plenty of places to go and things to do in order to keep it engaged, able to unwind when necessary, and entertained. Use your cat frequently to simulate its urge to hunt, for instance, and give it solo toys for when you’re not home. A high scratching post, a cat tree or other perch, and a window to look out at the outside world are all helpful as further distractions.
  • Any potential sources of stress for your cat, including a sizable change in habit or in the make-up of the household, should be dealt with.
  • Distribute additional chew toys: To get your cat to stop looking at the dirt, give him catnip or some playthings. You should occasionally swap up your cat’s toys to keep things interesting.
  • Work with a certified cat behaviorist and your veterinarian: If everything else fails, seek for an expert who can help with behavior modification.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.

READ NEXT: How to Stop Wool Sucking in Cats




You may also like

Leave a Comment