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Cat eating plastic?

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  • Cat eating plastic?

    My cat is obsessed with plastic, completely obsessed. She loves to play with crinkly wrappers, and chew on it and sometimes eat them so she throws up all over the house

    I have been trying to prevent it by throwing any type of packaging or wrappers out immediately but she is pretty good at raiding the trash, and my stepson is not exactly tidy.

    She is my first cat and it's freaking me out, is this just a cat thing? or is she got something weird going on?
    for more Joy then you can handle

  • #2
    Our somewhat-new-to-us cat does this (well, she'd like to); it's like a fetish for her.

    None of my prior cats ever showed interest in plastic so it was mystifying. I've since read that some cats love the stuff.

    We try to keep all plastic out of our cat's reach, period.

    I don't want her to get an obstruction - so much easier to prevent one than to have one treated surgically.

    Were I in your shoes, I'd make a huge effort to keep plastic out of her reach. Cover your garbage container, throw or stow plastic bags away as they come in to your home, etc.

    If she's throwing up the plastic, she's telling you that she's going to keep eating it...


    • #3
      Some cats love the taste of plastic. Go figure. My sister's cat is one of them. Just try to keep it out of reach, and that's all you can do...


      • #4
        I have a friend who's got a cat with pica. She'll eat plastic, fabric...anything. It is the oddest thing. She lived here for awhile, and I really thought I had some sort of vermin problem, because she would chew holes in my clothing. She'll eat the covers off toy mice.

        She's been cleared by the vet, and is on a high quality wet diet. She's--thankfully-- never had an obstruction. It's really very odd.


        • #5
          I've had 3-cats in my life. The past 2 never got into a thing but our current cat is obsessed with plastic. Thankfully he has never suffered an obstruction but I can never leave anything "plastic" laying around any where (trash bags, shopping bags, wrappers etc.) because he'll find it in a matter of seconds and start chewing it.

          My husband is the worst culprit. No, he doesn't chew plastic it's training him to never leave anything plastic laying around. 8-years later it's been a rather futile attempt so whenever I find our cat chewing plastic I know exactly where it came from and quickly take it away from him and then begin yelling at my husband... in that order... ugh!

          Edited to add: Our cat also likes to chew paper (copy paper, envelopes, magazines etc.). He's such a loveable guy but really has some strange obsessions.
          Last edited by TexasRose; Feb. 3, 2012, 05:39 PM.
          Life is short. Hug your horse!


          • #6
            Mine eats tape. Any tape not just licking the sticky side .. eats it
            "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"


            • #7
              Yep. My old kitty Batty was obsessed with plastic - any kind. He used to drag the trash can liners out of the trash cans and chew on them. Which made him then barf.

              I am curious - is this similar to pica in humans?

              Piglet - one of my current horde, is obsessed with her water dish. She likes to try and swim in it. Cute, but irritating as it makes a big mess.


              • #8
                One of my cats was obsessed with chewing plastic. Not wool, not cardboard or crinkly paper, just plastic. I suspect some of the chemicals which plastic outgasses smell similar to some kind of kitty pheromone.

                Watch out for repeated vomiting with dry heaves or only fluid coming up. Non-stop vomiting can be an indication of a bowel obstruction. You might want to look into pet insurance. One of the joys of plastic is that it doesn't show up on x-rays. When you take your dry heaving kitty to the after hours emergency clinic (because no cat does this stuff during normal business hours,) they may want to give kitty a barium swallow to figure out where the blockage is. Diagnostics and subsequent surgery can get spendy.


                • #9
                  *sigh* yep, had various forms of plastic loving kitties

                  One LOVED to lick the plastic parts of the vacuum cleaner

                  One loved licking plastic wrap.

                  2 love/loved chewing on and eating the plastic top pieces you peel off milk containers.
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                  • #10
                    Yep, it's fairly normal (well as normal as cats get )
                    I have one who loves, loves, loves plastic grocery store bags and any type of plastic packaging. Best we can do is try to keep it away from her, but she just chews on it anyway, I've never seen her actually ingest any.
                    "As soon as you're born you start dyin'
                    So you might as well have a good time"


                    • Original Poster

                      Silly kitties, she doesn't like the soft plastic, just the stuff that crinkles. I'll keep an eye on her for obstructions, I guess she took down the winter rodent population and now is bored.
                      for more Joy then you can handle


                      • #12
                        Ok, mine doesn't do plastic, but does love rubber! Electric cords (ack) are another thing to nom. She destroyed three pair of flip-flops! She doesn't eat it, just gnaws on it.

                        Maybe it's a "sensation" thing? Go figure. Silly kitty.
                        <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


                        • #13
                          We had one who chewed on cords
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                          • #14
                            I have a cat that loves plastic. He just licks it. He doesn't eat it, but anything plastic like water cases or ziplock bags are fair game. He will lick incessently, and it's really annoying, especially when you can hear him ratting the plastic - at night... lol.

                            I guess you gotta be a kind of weird cat to appreciate the finer points of being a plastic conniseur.

                            Life in 2012
                            eBook on Amazon - The Beginner's Guide to Buying a Horse
                            My Blog - Life in 2014; Horses, Life, Photography


                            • #15
                              Out of our current three current cats, only one is an absolute plastic addict. Luckily, he never tries to eat it, just licks it. All. the. time. if given a chance. We have to be uber quick not to leave any plastic bags out in the open. He's also a terror with all indoor plant life, so that's pretty much a luxury I've had to give up.

                              Funny, but the other two cats aren't at all interested in plastic or houseplants.


                              • #16
                                My cat Bagheera does as well, has since he was a kitten (now 4 I think?). Normally he just chews on it a bit, but I have found evidence that he eats some sometimes. My ex was terrible about leaving bags around after grocery shopping and Bagheera would always be into them.

                                I like to keep plastic bags around both to recycle them later and to clean up the occasional small animal mess in the house. I solved the problem by getting two different-colored bag sleeves at the dollar store. They're basically these tubes of fabric with a loop to hang them in a convenient place, and a large hole on one end to stuff bags into and a smaller one at the other to pull them out as you need them. I keep one for messes and the other I just take into Walmart to recycle whenever it is full. That way it's easy not to leave bags lying around for the most part.
                                exploring the relationship between horse and human


                                • #17
                                  This doesn't involve licking or consuming plastics bags, but concerns them nonetheless. At the time it happened (early in our residence here on our farm), we were torn between being horrified & laughing ourselves sick.

                                  Our house is relatively small, but looks very spacious thanks to it being what I think they call a "story & a half"? Anyway, the upper floor consists of a bathroom & the rest of the floor is a HUGE open bedroom. Then there's a landing overlooking the downstairs "great room" & cathedral ceiling. It's hard to explain, but hopefully you'll know what I'm talking about.

                                  Anyway, on the day in question, we'd been out all day shopping for new bed linens, etc., & arrived back home with pillows, etc., stuffed into those HUGE white plastic bags that bedding stores use. We were exhausted, & I took the pillows out & put them away, leaving the bags on the floor.

                                  "Benny", one of our NY-barn-adopted kitties who'd made the move with us, was lying upstairs on the landing next to the railings, on his back, playing with his toes; while "Chumley", our recently new-VAneighbor-adopted cat (who recently passed away on 1-28 - RIP dear Chumley) felt the need to investigate the bag. She got her head thru the bag handle & then spooked herself. Due to the size of the bag we can only assume that she considered herself being chased by a monster! She raced across the room - bag in full pursuit - ran up the stairs, & scared poor Benny so out of his wits that he managed to squeeze his fat body through the railings & plummet to the floor below. You could almost hear him screaming "Now you tell me this place is haunted!!!!". To make matters worse? Chumley FOLLOWED HIM!!!! Plummeted - or should I say "PARACHUTED", since the bag was still around her neck - down onto the floor next to Benny (although by this time he was long gone). Chumley is probably trying to figure out why she can't outrun this "ghost". Managed to pin her down to the floor & remove the bag before she could take off again. How the 2 of them managed this without breaking bones, I'll never ever know.

                                  Oh, & at that time we had EIGHT housecats. But if you'd walked into our house at that moment, you wouldn't have thought we'd had any cats at all. All of our cats scattered during that incident, & we didn't see hide nor hair of them for over 2 hours.

                                  I know it's awful, but we still laugh about that incident. When we buried dear Chumley last weekend, I almost wanted to add a big white plastic bag to the gravesite.


                                  • #18
                                    My cats are plastic lovers too. Luckily, they don't really eat it, they just sort of chew it without swallowing. My fat cat is worse when he's hungry, it's like he needs to feel like he's eating because mom is so mean and has had him on a strict diet for years.

                                    Mine also LOOOOVE paper. They just shred it though. I can't leave any paper around ever. Magazines are fair game too, and cardboard boxes are hours of fun.

                                    My little kitty also is sometimes a rubber chewer (cords, ack!) or things that feel like that (flip flops, sometimes leather, etc).

                                    I've tried to get them cat appropriate chews, but they haven't helped much.

                                    I just try to minimize the dangerous things they can get into and keep my fingers crossed.


                                    • #19
                                      I have one! Peapod, our 9 year old female, drives me crazy in the middle of the night chewing or licking the plastic trashc an liner in our bedroom trash can. If I have a garbage bag out for any reason, she will chew that too!


                                      • #20
                                        So glad I'm not the only one. Both my yr old orange male cats lick/chew plastic, esp. if it's been near food, but also those pieces that go around jars. They break in to cabinets and have destroyed bags of rice, chips, etc. They steal food off our plates if we walk away, so we lock them up when we eat meals. Theyve trained us to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher right away.

                                        They utterly and completely destroy rolls of toilet tissue, so that gets stored in containers. They swallow rubber bands and hair bands, and elastic on coats.

                                        They lap up soaked beet pulp, so that has to stay behind closed doors.

                                        I thought they were like this cause I got them at 6 weeks of age and maybe the mother cat didn't have enough milk and they weren't eating the dry food the owner had out, and they were starved. Now they get 1/2 can each premium wet food twice a day and some premium dry food in a slow feeder plastic ball (they love this, they won't share, each has his own).

                                        But, they don't pee outside the box!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                        There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.