Cats eat litter and other unpleasant items for a variety of reasons. Pica, or consuming non-food items, is the name used to describe this behavior.
Pica can result from a variety of factors, including as a mother abandoning her kittens, which may manifest as nursing behavior. Cats with pica may concentrate on a variety of objects, including plastic, fabric, string, paper, dirt, and even litter.
While some forms of pica, such licking plastic bags, could be uncomfortable or reasonably harmless, ingesting nonfood things could cause intestinal blockages. Especially if it’s dry food from the grocery store, up the quality of the food you’re feeding your pet.
Why do cats consume cat litter?
If your cat or kitten is eating the litter, there may be a health issue or a behavioral issue. If you suspect a health issue with your cat, take it right away to the veterinarian, especially if the behavior has just begun.
While some kittens might eat litter purely out of curiosity, with close observation, you can gradually get them to stop.
Eating litter could be a sign of illness in your cat; anemia is one condition where this symptom may appear. Anemia is caused by a lack of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Cat owners should watch out for gums that are pale, white, or bluish. Minerals present in clay-based litters could make up the deficiency.
Additionally, if your cat is consuming litter, you should consider leukemia (which in and of itself results in anemia) or kidney issues.
Your veterinarian will perform a regular checkup in addition to a complete blood count (CBC) and urinalysis. A blood count will determine whether the cat genuinely has anemia, and a urinalysis will reveal the urine’s level of concentration. A indication of renal disease is urine that is too dilute. If your cat displays blockage symptoms, your veterinarian will do a radiograph or an MRI.
Lack of access to food
Your cat may start eating litter if its food isn’t providing it with adequate nutrition. The vitamins A, B1 (thiamine), L-carnitine, magnesium, pyruvate kinase, salt, and/or taurine may also be deficient in cats who eat litter. Anemia can be brought on by a deficiency in essential fatty acids, iron, or trace minerals. Your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist may recommend food changes or nutritional supplements.
Kittens with Interest
It is recommended to wait until kittens are older before using clumping litter on them since young animals may consume the litter out of curiosity. Consuming clumping litter could cause an intestinal obstruction. Keep an eye on usage and use a non-toxic litter. Take your kitten out of the litter box if you notice that it is eating the litter, but only after it has urinated.
Adult cats may also graze on the litter if the kind has recently changed, such as to a wheat- or corn-based litter.
A Guide to Stopping Your Cat From Eating Litter
You can concentrate on getting your cat to stop eating the litter once he has been given the all-clear. Clay, clumping (scented and unscented), corn, wheat, and paper-based litter are just a few of the several types of litter available. If your cat exclusively eats one kind, try another.
- Your cat can become agitated. If you see it eating trash, play with it to get it to behave differently. Throw a crinkle ball, a toy mouse, or dangle a fishing pole toy to tempt him away from the box.
- Review your cat’s diet once more. It may also be a sign of a disease. There are other high-quality food selections that are more nutrient-complete.
- Enhance your cat’s natural propensity towards hunting. Consider food-themed puzzle toys, which not only lengthen playtime but also encourage natural foraging behavior. Both versions sold in pet supply stores as well as several ways to make your own from common household items are available. Puzzle toys provide your cat with a fun method to earn its food while diverting it from undesirable behavior.
- Think about offering a pot of cat grass. This again draws attention away from the litter and gives your cat another toy to gnaw on. Also remember to use the tried-and-true catnip. Catnip can be added to toys, fresh catnip can be offered, or scratchers can be sprinkled with it.
READ NEXT: How to Stop Your Cat From Biting