Why is My Cat Eating Litter?Reasons could be many for a cat eating cat litter. We can broadly classify them in terms of behavioral or medical reasons. While behavioral reasons are not so serious, medical reasons can be severe and demand professional help. Some of the reasons are listed as;
BoredomLike humans, when we get bored, we like to do weird things that we don’t normally do. The same happens with cats too. If Sitting for a long time in the litter box, your cat might like to eat litter just to kill time.
CuriosityPets are not less than babies. Naughtiness, cuteness, and even Curiosity are similar traits of a baby and a cat. Maybe, out of Curiosity, your Kitty can get the urge to taste, wondering, what does it taste like?
AnemiaYou must have heard about anemia in humans and how serious it could be if not treated on time. Well, your Kitty can be anemic too, and let us tell you, litter eating can be one of the symptoms of an anemic cat. Precisely this is not what an anemic feline does. However, the deficiency of iron, minerals, and vitamins, which happens because of the inability of the cat’s body to make enough RBC and hemoglobin, can tempt cats to eat litter to satisfy their nutritional requirement. You can check whether your cat is anemic or not by checking its gums and mouth. If your cat has bluish or pale gum, it must face blood deficiency, which could be because of anemia.
Feline pica/Pica in catsPets are not less than babies. Naughtiness, cuteness, and even Curiosity are similar traits of a baby and a cat. Maybe, out of Curiosity, your Kitty can get the urge to taste, wondering, what does it taste like?
Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP)Feline infectious peritonitis is a rare disorder caused by a virus that damages the cat’s immune system. The virus enters the cat’s white blood cells causing inflammation, abnormal eating, bloating, fever, sudden reduction in the cat’s weight, etc. Due to abnormal eating habits, cats might eat litter.
CoprophagiaCoprophagy is common in dogs, and did you know it can happen in cats too? No matter how unpleasant and weird it sounds, it is true. Some cats eat their feces, and for that very reason, you must have seen your cat eating litter along with the feces. It’s a severe medical condition on its own, so one should consult a vet if their cat does this.
Nutritional DeficiencyAnother possible reason your cat eats litter could be getting insufficient nutrients from its diet. You might think that is even possible if you give a good amount of food to your kitty. Well, the answer could be, are you giving nutrient-filled food to your cat? Lack of mineral vitamins in a cat’s body might compel them to eat other things like your garden plants, your food, and litter too. A healthy cat diet includes a high amount of protein and an appropriate quantity of fats and carbs. Along with this, their diet should also contain Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, L-Carnitine, Magnesium, Pyruvate Kinase, Sodium, and Taurine sources food.
Litter is TastyWe know this might sound weird, but some companies intentionally add ingredients that make cat litter tasty. Obviously, these litters are edible and made of paper, coconut husk, wheat, corn, seed shells, etc. If a cat eats this litter, it won’t harm its health. However, still, the litter-eating practice is not supportable.
Can cats eat Kitty litter? What happens if a cat eats kitty litter?As explained earlier, some companies especially add edible food-based and natural materials in the litter so that it won’t hurt your feline friend and it won’t create any blockage. However, most cat litters contain toxic substances like sodium bentonite, which, when mixed in the litter, can cause blockage in the cat’s intestine if they eat it. Other than this, litter containing deodorizing substances can harm your cat. Still, Natural or not, litter-eating habits are not suitable for cats. Natural materials won’t be toxic, but it’s not good for your cat to eat litter in the long term.
How to stop kittens from eating litter?So, you know that your cat should not eat litter as it might be bad for your cat’s health. Now comes the question of how to stop them from doing that. We have listed a few precautions that you can take if your Kitty eats litter; these are;
- If you think the reason behind cat eating litter is boredom, then the remedy is easy! Make sure to keep your cat busy. Play with your Feline, and buy them some toys and food puzzles. These are enough to keep your cat occupied.
- You can train your cat whenever you spot a cat eating litter and dragging its attention toward you. However, it will take time; slowly, your cat will understand that it shouldn’t eat litter.
- Have a look at your cat’s diet. Does your cat’s diet have all the necessary macro and micronutrients? A poor diet can also be why your cat eats litter; therefore, you must make sure that your cat’s diet is filled with the required nutrients.
The above ways can be helpful if you are sure that there is nothing serious with your cat and you can manage the situation with a little effort. However, reasons can be serious too, like anemia, Coprophagia, FIP, Pica in cats, etc.; for this, you must take professional help. It’s better to consult a vet as only they can tell the real reason behind cat eating litter, how serious it is, and how to overcome that.
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