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Why does my cat eat non-food items?

My cat is a little over a year old, male, and fixed. We found him at about 5 weeks old in a storm drain and bottle fed him back to health. Ive always noticed he sort of had this problem but just figured he'd grow out of it. As he gets older I notice it more often and in larger quantities. Today I caught him eating, not just chewing but eating, a piece of clear plastic. God only knows where he found it. Ive seen him eat cardboard, paper, bits of aluminum foil, basically whatever he can get his paws on. I haven't seen him eat cat litter though. My hair ties are always going missing so it makes me wonder if hes just stockpiling them or if hes eating those too. He always acts like hes starving even though I feed him the best brand of food that money can buy and I feed him a little more than half a cup of food (he's 10 pounds and chubby). If he thinks he hears a bag or a can, if I walk into the study (the "cat room"), or if I'm standing over the counter he loses his mind. I havent seen him eat cloth but he will bite down on a chunk of blanket and sort of sleep with it in his mouth, as if it soothes him. Its cute but also concerning. What is wrong with this cat?? Ive heard of Pica, but people always say its when they eat wool or large amounts of it but he doesn't eat wool or cloth. Theres bits of cotton always available from when my dog chews on his (very expensive) bed while we're at work and he doesn't eat those. Could this still be Pica? Thanks.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
I want to also add that I'm realmy broke right now I just got a new job after months of pop utting in apps. And being rejected so if theres an alternative to going to the vet please let me know
506791 tn?1439842983
It is a condition called pica.
Here's a good article about it.
https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/unusual-cat-cravings#1
2 Comments
Is there anything I can do until I can afford to take him to the vet? Ive already put up anything I think he'll eat and i feed him, like I said, a little more than a half a cup of kibble a day. Should I try to feed him more until he couldnt possibly want anymore food?
I don't think it's hunger per se, more psychological, maybe. But one thing you could try is to give the cat some kitty vitamins that contain all the necessary minerals. A craving might be helping to trigger things.
874521 tn?1424116797
COMMUNITY LEADER
Pip is right PICA is the name of this condition, google it and read through many sites that will give you as much info as any Vet can. I’m not sure if any treatments are available for this or not. Are you on Facebook or other social media sites...do a search and see if there are any groups dedicated to that ...than you’d find tons of help.
I will mention to you though 1/2 cup of kibble per day isn’t anywhere near enough for a 10 pound cat, I’d at least double that perhaps even triple....I’d also try a different food, when cats aren’t getting enough actual protein they’ll always be craving more. Try some different brands look for a protein such as chicken listed as the FIRST ingredient...if you can afford it I’d also add at least one meal a day of canned food....fancy feast ‘pate’ varieties are high in protein and not very expensive, try a can a day plus 2 feedings of at least 1/2 cup( or more)of kibble
Good luck
1 Comments
Thank you!
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