Have you ever wondered why cats happen to eat litter from a tray? It’s worth knowing that this kind of behavior is by no means appropriate for cats and is often a sign of illness or a deteriorating condition. While kittens may eat litter out of sheer curiosity, adult cats are rather worried about their appetite for litter. So let’s see why your cat eats litter and how this can be remedied.
Why do kittens eat litter?
Kittens eat litter and there is nothing to worry about. The little ones get to know the world, learn new things and explore their surroundings with their muzzle. When they eat litter, they just want to see how it tastes and whether it is suitable for eating. With this in mind, it is worth buying completely natural and non-toxic grit, for example, pellets. Bentonite grit, on the other hand, which gets clumped and hardens under the influence of moisture, is a great danger for the lives of toddlers. Eating such a “snack” can lead to jamming of the digestive tract and, consequently, the death of the animal.
Why does an adult cat eat litter?
If an adult cat eats litter, it can be much more serious. One of the most common causes of this behavior is anemia, which is a sharp drop in red blood cells in a cat’s body. A shortage of the blood cells needed to transport oxygen will cause weakness, energy loss, and disorientation in your cat.
They also eat cats, which is lacking vitamins and minerals. A diet that’s poor in essentials often forces cats to make up for these deficiencies on their own paws, by eating things that are available. Compounds that are usually found to cause abnormal behavior in cats are mostly vitamins A and B1, as well as substances such as L-carnitine, magnesium, and taurine.
Kidney disease is another possible cause of a cat eating litter. Kidney failure or weakness is quite common in cats over 7 years old. Eating litter is only one of the symptoms and cats also experience vomiting, weakness, weight loss, apathy, and dementia.
Furs eating litter may also suffer from cat leukemia. This dangerous virus is one of the most common causes of death among these animals. The disease attacks the bone marrow and slows down blood production, leading to anemia and serious appetite disorders. Other symptoms of cat leukemia are diarrhea, weight loss, pale gums, fever, and dementia.
Pica is a twisted appetite
Each of the above-mentioned ailments is caused by the so-called pica syndrome, i.e. a distorted appetite in four-legged animals. It’s a fairly common disorder in domestic cats, especially non-eating cats, where they show an appetite for things not meant to eat. The substances most commonly eaten by cats are litter and also earth, rubber or plastic objects, paper, wood, cardboard, electrical cables or toilet paper rolls.
Excessive stress and behavioral disorders are also mentioned as possible causes of pica syndrome. Factors such as boredom, failure to meet the basic needs of the pet or a desire to attract the attention of the caregiver may lead to such abnormal behavior.
Your cat’s pica – what to do?
Consult your cat’s doctor, check-ups and observation of the four-legged cat to determine the possible cause of an appetite disorder, and then introduce the appropriate treatment. If the cause of the appetite disorder is ruled out, it’s important to make sure your cat’s environment is varied and feels better. Take care of your pet’s diet, eliminate all stress factors from his environment and provide him with stimuli for proper behavior. To combat boredom, all kinds of toys will be useful, whether they’re for your cat to play on her own or for playing with her carer. A sense of safety, a varied environment, and interest on our part will certainly help your cat get back to normal.
What should I do when my cat eats litter?
Eating litter, especially bentonite or silicone litter, can be deadly for your cat. However, it is true that cats, especially younger cats, do occasionally eat litter. If this happens occasionally, let’s just make sure that the filling of your cat’s litter tray is made from natural substances, without the use of any toxic chemicals. Wooden litter, for example in the pellet type, will work well here.
However, if our cat shows an excessive appetite for litter or other products not intended for food, we should contact the vet as soon as possible. The intervention of a specialist will be necessary, especially when our pet has been overfilled with bentonite litter. Remember that blocking the intestines can even lead to the death of your pet.