There is nothing adorable about a cat that eats litter. But apart from being disturbing behavior, ingesting litter also has medical implications for felines. For instance, felines that eat litter can suffer from intestinal blockages or bentonite toxicosis. Does your pet indulge in this habit a little too much? This article will explain why your cat is eating litter and how to stop this habit.
Reasons Why Cats Eat Litter
Firstly, if your cat is eating litter, you need to understand that your feline might be suffering from Pica. It is an eating disorder that causes cats to eat inedible substances. While this condition is common amongst cats, it is unhealthy, especially while they are kittens.
Here are some reasons felines eat non-food substances like cat litter:
DEFICIENCIES IN NUTRITION
Various research has connected the lack of sufficient iron with Pica amongst cats. Consequently, cats often eat or lick inedible materials such as metal, plastic, etc., when they are iron-deficient and lacking other minerals. Apart from iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency can also make your pet indulge in this habit.
STRESS AND ANXIETY
It is possible for cats to eat litter due to stress and anxiety. Thus, if your pet is going through stress, eating litter and other inedible substances might be their way of coping with stress. Several factors can cause a feline to feel anxious, including age, noise, having a new pet around, and so on.
CURIOSITY AND EXPLORATION
It may be due to curiosity that your cat is eating litter. Therefore, eating litter may indicate that your pet is exploring its surroundings. This behavior is typical among kittens. Consequently, it is crucial to get degradable litter for your kitten to reduce the risk of intestinal blockage.
In certain situations, if kept indoors for long periods of time, a cat may eat litter. They may also exhibit other destructive tendencies like eating cables, plants.
Apart from these, a change of environment and a compulsive disorder may be responsible for your cat eating litter. Sometimes, changes in the environment could make cats have anxiety or get stressed.
The compulsive disorder can sometimes be passed to kittens from their parents. It is possible that your cat may suffer from compulsive disorder if it eats litter.
What To Do If Your Cat Is Eating Cat Litter?
As soon as you notice that your cat is eating litter, you should immediately see a veterinarian who specializes in animal medicine. Then, a different test should be performed on your feline to discover the primary reason for the behavior.
Furthermore, you should give close supervision to your cat and change all litter when the cat is about to eat it. Also, ensure that you use nontoxic cat litter for your cat to avoid complications. Additionally, active playmates should be offered to reduce boredom and better the brain development of your cat.
How To Stop Your Cat From Eating Litter
Are any of these signs present in your cat? Keep reading to learn simple and practical six ways that you can completely stop your cat from eating litter:
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE VET
Consult your veterinarian if you suspect that your pet’s behavior is medically related. Your vet can help you stop the behavior by prescribing a medication. For example, an eating disorder can easily be treated when quickly diagnosed by medical personnel. Revaluation of diet should also be done periodically to enhance the content of the food.
CHANGE THE LITTER FREQUENTLY
Changing the litter in your cat’s house can also help reduce the litter consumption of your cat. You can also use an organic litter that is easily degradable to reduce litter consumption.
MAINTAIN A HEALTHY DIET
Besides, you can feed your cat a diet containing a high amount of nutrients that will provide essential minerals and vitamins. In addition, a mineral supplement should also be given to the cat regularly to enhance the cat’s immune system. Also, include grass materials in your cat food to increase the level of fiber in the food. The fiber will also aid the digestion of food and reduce the cat’s desire to chew on other materials.
Interactive materials, such as toys, should be introduced to the cat to reduce stress and boredom. It would be best if you chose hard and edible toys for your cat so that they can chew on them. In addition, the activity will stop your cat from eating litter.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PET
Another way to prevent your cat from eating litter is by providing enough attention to the cat at all times. Spending more time with your cat is critical by taking it on walks or engaging it in other activities.
SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP
Pica is sometimes a behavior problem that can be resolved by training your cat. Thus, if your pet eats litter a little too much, consult a cat behaviorist to help control and stop this problem.
Cats eat non-food substances, including litter, due to certain conditions. The condition can be one or a combination of nutrient deficiencies, boredom, curiosity, etc. Consumption of these non-food substances affects the body structure and feeding level of the cat. The solution to litter consumption by cats includes providing supplements, adequate supervision to the cat, etc.