My little cat Katty has started eating all types of fabric in my house recently, from big chunks of knitted wool sweaters and cotton woven placemats to nitrile gardening gloves. That was so strange! I asked many of my friends, but they couldn’t help me at all.

Therefore, I decided to ask for advice from Dr. Michael W. Fox, a well-known vet in London. Here is what I got. 

According to Dr. Fox, the cat’s compulsive eating of fabric is called pica, a common behavior in Siamese cats. Generally, that behavior is considered to be vice or obsessive-compulsive. Nevertheless, we should not dismiss it as purely psychological. The inflammation in the digestive system and oral cavity can cause discomfort that triggers pica in cats or even dogs. 

Pica may be caused by the following things.

Why do cats fabric

Dietary deficiencies

You will not imagine that cats with an anemic problem can eat their cat litter. We may see it as a normal behavior if cats eat a little grass, but lots of plant material show that cats’ diet is unnormal. 

Genetic predisposition

Pica is also genetic in some cats. For instance, wool sucking appears in Siamese more frequently than other cats. 

Medical problems

Dr. Fox supposes that feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus have an association with pica in cats. Also, some conditions such as brain tumors and diabetes may trigger pica.

Environmental factors

This depends. Some cats need more mental stimulation, and some need more physical ones. Some require the environmental one. As a cat owner, we should pay more attention to those things. 

Even though pica seems quite strange and dangerous, it can still be improved by changing cats’ diet. For example, you can provide your little cats with probiotics, more fiber, and digestive enzymes.

Specifically, you can mix a half teaspoon of soaked psyllium husks with canned food to feed your cats every day. In some other instances, you can also change cats’ diets into raw food that contains fibrous muscle or organ tissues. If those two ways do not work, you can try feeding your cats a thin strip of gristly beef or scalded chicken wing. 

More importantly, several detectives work and a veterinary checkup of cats’ mouth and gums are necessary. 

In conclusion

We should pay more attention to our feline friends. Especially, if you see them eat fabric, consider carefully the above-mentioned details. In case what I have mentioned does not work, take your cats to the vet as soon as possible. Cat pica may be very dangerous if it is not realized earlier. 

Sources: 

[1] https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/unusual-cat-cravings#1

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/advice/animal-doctor-cat-develops-an-appetite-for-every-kind-of-fabric/2016/12/29/3867e786-c710-11e6-8bee-54e800ef2a63_story.html

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