Recognize pica in house cats – Cats can have some strange eating habits, preferring dog kibble to their own canned food or munching on a blade of grass here and there. However, when culinary choices are especially strange, and particularly when cats have the urge to eat nonfood items, a condition called pica may be to blame.
Recognize pica in house cats
Pica can be quite common in cats. While certain cats may be predisposed to pica, others, particularly cats that may have been weaned too young, can suck or consume many items. These include wool, fleece, stuffed animals, or even hair. Asian breeds are known to do this more often than other breeds.
Other suspected causes of pica stem from mineral deficiencies, and cats may be eating abnormal items to provide for sustenance they’re lacking. However, pica also may be linked to feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, according to the Canidae pet food company. Other suspected causes of pica concern diabetes and brain tumors.
Cats also may feed on items due to behavioral compulsive disorders. Boredom and lack of stimulation may drive cats to seek entertainment elsewhere, which may lead to compulsive grooming or eating weird things.
Pica tends to show up most frequently in young cats, but that does not rule out problems in older cats. Concerns about eating strange things should be addressed with a veterinarian, who may ask if there are any stressful or environmental changes that may have instigated this sort of behavior. Testing may be done as well to rule out underlying medical conditions.
Removing targeted items and giving cats something else to divert attention may help alleviate pica. Eating non-food items, and even some natural items, such as plants or potting material, can lead to intestinal distress. That is why it is key for owners to help their cats get the help they need as soon as symptoms are noticed. PE184867
Pica can be quite common in cats. While certain cats may be predisposed to pica, others, particularly cats that may have been weaned too young, can suck or consume many items.
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