Wondering How To Stop Cat From Eating Litter? Here are 5 ways to prevent your cat from eating the litter and, more importantly, why your cat eat litter in the first place.
We all know how obnoxious cats can be when it comes to certain habits. All cats have peculiar quirks, and probably that is why we love them so much.
However, there are some habits which can be indicative of some deeper problem. Eating litter is one of those habits which can happen for several reasons, and you need to address the situation as early as possible.
Before knowing the methods of stopping this behavior, we need to understand why some cats choose to eat litter.
Sometimes the cause can be as innocent as being bored. However, it can also happen due to malnutrition or some underlying disease.
Recommended read: You should consider taking notes on how much to give cat litter.
If your cat is behaving in such a manner, this article will be a great help. Let us start by figuring out the reasons behind this.
Why do cats eat litter?
The condition of cats eating non-edible objects is called Pica. In this condition, cats start eating objects like string, plastic, fabric, litter, paper, etc.
There can be several reasons behind this unnatural tendency to eat litter. Some of which are harmless, and you should not worry at all if that is the case.
However, you can take the cat to a veterinarian to get a proper checkup. It is always better to be safe than sorry. Let us look into the various possible reason that can make the cat eat litter –
1. Curiosity –
Curiosity is one of the prime reasons because of which kittens eat litter. They can not differentiate from edible objects to non-edible objects.
Kittens tend to try new objects to eat when the weaning process is complete.
Experts advise cat owners to start using natural cat-litter while introducing a litter box to the cat. In this way, the litter will not harm the cat or block the food tract if it eats it by mistake.
2. Stress –
Cats do not like any change in their schedule or environment. If you have gone through any sudden change in your lifestyle, and the cat has started eating litter, you have found the problem.
In this case, you need to be patient with the cat and let it get accustomed to the change. You can be attentive to the cat when it is using the litter box. This situation will be under your control with a little care.
3. Fast Transition –
If you change the litter type and switch to a natural litter, cats often confuse it with something edible. For example, changing from a clay litter to a grass litter abruptly can induce the habit of ingesting litter.
So, experts suggest that you gradually change the litter and give the cat enough time to adjust to the new changes.
4. Anaemia –
Like humans, Anaemia happens when the red blood cell or hemoglobin count in a cat’s body reaches an aberrant level. It signifies a deficiency in iron, vitamins, copper, and other minerals.
Eating litter is a significant symptom if the cat is suffering from this disease. In this ailment, the gum of the cat becomes white, bluish, or pale.
You should take your cat to the veterinarian and perform standard medical tests such as complete blood count (CBC) to be sure.
5. Nutritional Deficiency:
Another concerning reason can be the nutritional deficiencies of your cat. All living creatures need particular elements in their diet.
Some of the essential elements are vitamins, pyruvate kinase, magnesium, sodium, and many more minerals.
If the cat does not find these necessary components in their diet, they tend to the litter as it comprises certain minerals.
However, this habit can cause blockage in the dietary tract and other ailments. So, you must contact a nutrition expert or veterinarian to fix a complete diet.
How to stop cats from eating litter?
You must well-aware of all the possible reasons behind this unusual habit.
Now we can remove each of those causes and train the cat to discard this harmful habit. You can use the following techniques to deal with this problem –
1. Visit a veterinarian:
Visiting a veterinarian is probably the safest and best option for you.
If the cat has developed this habit at an unexpected point in time, you should be concerned about the cat’s health. The vet will perform the required tests to determine the cause and recommend the best solution.
2. Replacing harmful litter:
If your cat is eating clumping clay litter, you need to substitute the cat litter as soon as possible. The clumping nature of the litter can block their food tract.
So, you can replace the cat litter with a cat-friendly cat litter. It will reduce the chances of causing a deleterious effect on the cat.
3. Proper Diet:
If you have been to a veterinarian and there is nothing wrong with the cat, you can change the cat’s regime.
You can make sure that the cat is receiving all the necessary nutrients from its diet. Asking a cat nutrition expert should help you in fixing a complete diet.
If the kitten is eating litter because of its curiosity, you can invest in buying some chewy toys for the young feline.
You can distract the cat with the new toys whenever it starts to eat litter. In this way, they will stay distracted and keep from eating litter.
5. More Playtime:
Cats often abnormally react when they are bored. So you should engage more with the cat so that they do not feel lonely and lash out in unusual ways.
You can give them a catnip or treats every time you play with them. In this way, it will act as positive reinforcement.
In conclusion, we can say that you should always be very observant with cats. Some of the unusual behaviors can point towards underlying diseases, and you should attend to those as soon as possible.
If your cat is eating litter, the first thing that you should do is taking the cat to a veterinarian. If everything is sound with the cat, you can start working on behavioral solutions.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.