There may be several reasons that your cat has the behavioral issue of pica, yet because it could be a signal for a concerning health problem, visiting the vet is necessary. If you notice a pattern of your cat gravitating toward inedible items, and attempting to eat them, then the first course of action is to find out if there is a medical issue to address. If the vet determines that there is no severe health concern, and that the pica is merely behavioral, below are some helpful steps you can take to discourage your cat from eating random objects
- Remove the temptations. Does your furry Persian like to peruse (and chew on) the papers strewn on your desk? Consider keeping the door of the office closed so that she won’t go in. By closing doors, or even using ultrasonic devices to create invisible barriers, your cat will simply be removed from things she could attempt to eat.
- Change up their diet. Oftentimes, pica occurs when a cat is craving the fiber that her regular diet does not provide. By increasing the fiber in your cat’s meals, or by adding supplements, minerals, and canned food with macrobiotics, and fruits and veggies, the problem of cat pica might be solved.
- Kick up the quality time. Have you ever had a nervous habit like biting the tip of your pencil during a long lecture in class, chewing your nails or biting your lip? Like humans, cats develop habits when they are bored or unable to explore new territories. Instead of leaving your kitty to her own devices, add some extra play time. Maybe it’s time to get a cat leash and go for daily walks. When you come home from work, play with her, or work on some new tricks. Some cat breeds (such as Ragdolls) enjoy playing fetch with their owners, while others just want to chase around the remote-control mouse, or the laser beam on the wall. Whatever interests your cat, increase the time you spend doing that hobby.
- Distract the cat with chew toys and new games. Does she love the furry fake mouse you bought her? What that rubber fish a popular toy when you first brought it home? Consider buying a feather toy that attaches to a wall, that she could bat away at for hours. The point here is to keep the cat occupied and entertained, so that she won’t be sniffing out strange objects to munch on. If your kitty doesn’t seem as interested in the new chewable toys you bought her, consider rubbing them in catnip to see if that will be sufficient enticement.
- Use a taste-deterrent. If the habit just seems too tough to break, and your kitty keeps nibbling on the wooden drum stick, shoe laces, or trash bags, it might be time to employ some sour or spicy taste deterrents. Spraying this liquid on the items your cat seems tantalized by, will help her learn to stay away, and who knows? This might even help her break the habit yet!