Destructive Chewing In Cats: How To Stop It
Its not hard to tell if your cat is a destructive chewer. Do you sometimes see her chewing things until theyre unrecognizable? Do many of your belongings look like the gnarled pencils you used in fourth grade? If you answered yes to either question, youve come to the right place.
There are many reasons why cats chew on things they shouldnt, from wanting to soothe their gums during teething to exercising their natural instinct to slice and dice with their sharp back teeth.
Some cats also use their mouths to explore the world around them, says Katenna Jones, a Rhode Island-based certified cat behavior consultant. In that way, they see chewing as funalmost like a form of play.
Elise Gouge, a certified pet behavior consultant and trainer based in Massachusetts, agrees. Cats chew for the enjoyment of it, she says. For them, its a tactile and enriching activity.
We asked the experts to break down why cats chew things, when it becomes destructive, and what you can do to prevent or control this behavior.
Here Are Some Questions To Ask Yourself:
- Has your own schedule changed such that you spend less time now with your cat?
- Is there a new pet or a new baby in the house?
- If your cat is indoor/outdoor and the weather been too inclement for regular roaming and outdoor fun, could your indoor houseplants be serving as a good substitute?
- Is your intact female cat in heat ?
- Has your cat been sleeping more than usual, eating less, or perhaps exhibiting other signs that she may be ill or in distress?
- Is your cat taking a medication that is new and may be causing nausea or constipation?
- Is your cat still a young kitten who is exploring her world and everything in it?
- Does your cat only eat certain plants or does it seem like anything green is fair game?
- Have you recently changed your cats food or treats?
- Have you recently made any changes to the type of kitty litter used, bedding or other items in your cats personal area?
There may also be another reason entirely why you are observing your cat eating plants.
But hopefully by brainstorming through these questions you can at least rule out other types of environmental changes that may be causing your cats behavior.
It is always a good idea to talk with your veterinarian about these kinds of changes in your cats habits, especially if you see your cat eating plants regularly.
Does My Cat Like Plants
Not all cats like to eat plants. Some will ignore grass and other vegetation. Others chow down on the green stuff like rabbits. If youre concerned that your cat is eating too much plant material, you might want to have her checked out by her veterinarian. It could be an indication that theres something else going on. You should also know which plants are safe for your pet to eat.
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Theyre Attracted By The Smell Or Taste
Cats eat grass and bits of plants when they have an upset stomach or if they need help digesting food.
They do this because grass and plants contain folic acid and some other minerals that aid digestion. They may also have a nibble because they like the taste too, you cant rule that out.
Either way, making the leaves smell and taste horrible to them is going to put a stop to their plant munching habits in a hurry.
Switch From Soil To Water
How much better would it be if you never had to worry about dirt being splattered everywhere because of your cat?
- The secret solution to this is to move your plant to water. Instead of keeping your plant in a potting soil where the soil would be appealing to the cat, place your plant in a mason jar or a vase to your liking instead.
- Your cat will never even notice your plant was even there in the first place.
Youll have to find out which plants can survive without soil before making the switch.;
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Add A Layer Of Stone Mulch
This is for the diggers. Cats like loose soil to dig in for their toilet needs, which your houseplants will have plenty off.
Try adding a layer of heavy pebbles to the surface of the dirt.
As long as its not too tightly packed, it should still allow water to seep through to the soil underneath. It doesnt have the same feel and wont be as tempting as a litter box.
You could also use large pieces of smooth glass, rough pine cones, seashells or broken ceramics if you prefer a more decorative look.
List Of Marijuana Plant Symptoms
Cats or dogs digging around marijuana plants Cats or dogs defecating near plants Burnt roots Plant death
Sometimes pets will chew on your plants or on the weed you get from those plants. The THC doesnt only work on humans it has an effect on pets, too. While it usually will mellow out most cats and dogs, about a quarter of animals who ingest marijuana become hyped up and loud-mouthed.
While it might sound funny, ingesting marijuana can actually be quite dangerous for your pets. Keep the marijuana away from your precious pets.
Remember that plants with strong genetics have less change of getting sick and are less vulnerable for pests and diseases. So make sure to;buy from a trusted seed bank.
Thanks for reading. Please leave comments or questions below and dont forget to download my free grow bible
Can Cats Eating Grass Cause Diarrhea
Your cat might be instinctively eating grass to make itself throw up, but grass also works as a natural laxative. Crazy, right? Youve probably never looked at the grass that way before, huh?
Your cat may get diarrhea, but it may just be relieving constipation that you didnt know your cat had. Much like with throwing up, its working to move something out of your cats system that didnt agree with it.;
The aftermath of your cat might be a little messy , but it is doing some important things for your cats insides at the same time.;
Something Missing In Their Diet
When cats lived in the wild , they fed themselves I know, its hard to believe these pampered little layabouts could have once had the wherewithal to take care of themselves, but they did! And they werent as finicky about what they ate either.
What they invariably ate was meat, and pet food manufacturers respond to cats carnivorous nature by offering cat food that focuses on protein derived from meat sources. Cats did get plant matter to a small degree from inside the animals that they consumed, and perhaps this missing element is what drives them to sample our house plants.
But unlike the already-digested vegetation found in the stomachs of their prey, when cats eat plants directly, they usually regurgitate them afterward. This is because they lack the ability to break down plant matter all the way. This alone is not cause for concern, as cats will sometimes do this to clear their digestive tract. It becomes serious if you suspect the cat has been nibbling on one of the many plants listed as being highly toxic to felines.
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They Like Peeing In The Soil
One of the worst behaviors has to be cats peeing in plant pots. Its a fairly common problem, they just cant resist the feeling of soil beneath their feet, it reminds them of being outdoors.
For obvious reasons, this is something you want to put a stop to asap. This is usually the easiest behavior to redirect using scented sprays as cats tend to need a few moments to set themselves up to pee.
Poisonous Plants For Cats
Lilies are toxic to cats. Even just licking the pollen or drinking water from a vase filled with lilies can cause kidney failure. Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies arent fatal to cats. They can cause minor irritation and make the cat drool, foam, or paw at his mouth, however. The more hazardous lilies are true lilies, including tiger, day, Easter, Western, Japanese, Asiatic hybrid, Show, wood, red, stargazer, and rubrum lilies. These may be found in bouquets, pots, or even outdoor gardens.
Some holiday plants are also poisonous to cats. Poinsettias are mildly toxic. Cats that eat this flower or part of the plant can develop itching and pain around the mouth. They may salivate a lot. You dont usually need immediate medical attention if your pet eats this plant unless symptoms are severe. Mistletoe, on the other hand, can cause seizures, collapse, gastrointestinal irritation, and low blood pressure.
You might love growing daffodils, paperwhites, and amaryllis indoors. These plants, including the bulbs, are dangerous to your feline friends. If your cat has eaten part of one of these plants, it may exhibit symptoms similar to mistletoe intoxication. Take your cat and the plant to the vet immediately.
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Give Your Cat Her Own Plants
If your cat simply cannot resist the tender leaves of young plants, then give her a garden of her own to eat. There are plenty of tender, young plants you can offer to your cat;that are safe, and even good, for her. Catnip is, of course, the plant of choice in the feline world, along with pet grass you can find at a;pet supply retailer. Some cats are also attracted to the scent of mint, so your cat might also enjoy a peppermint plant. Put these plants in some of your cats favorite places to lounge, and shell soon forget all about your houseplants.
Why Is My Cat Eating My Plants
Before we dive into the ways to stop your cat from eating plants, lets start by looking at why cats enjoy munching on your garden in the first place. In most cases, cats are eating your plants for one of the three following reasons:
- Your cat likes the taste or smell of the plants
- Your cat likes the texture of the plants
- Your cat is bored and looking for ways to destroy your home
- If your cat is actually eating the soil in the plant pot, this could be a sign that its missing out on vital nutrients, and you should consider taking it to the vet for a check-up.
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Which Plants Are Most Toxic To Cats
If youre unsure whether a certain plant can kill a cat, check out ASPCA for an extensive list of plants that are most toxic to cats. If you happen to have a plant that is harmful to pets, check out petpoisonhelpline.com so that you can make a note of the common symptoms and signs to watch out for. Dieffenbachia
Safeguarding Plants From Cats
Cats commonly chew on houseplants and wreck their foliage, use them as litter boxes, or play with them until their leaves fall off. This makes it tough to successfully grow houseplants and enjoy your feline friends. While many cat owners just give up on growing indoor plants, theres no reason to do so. Fortunately, there are ways of safeguarding plants from cats so that you dont have to forgo your greenery, or your cats.
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Risks Of Destructive Chewing In Cats
A cats teeth are much sharper than a dogs like a scalpel compared to a butter knife, Jones says. For this reason, cat teeth are built for almost any level of chewing and rarely get harmed via this behavior.
More common are concerns about what your cat is chewing and what she may ingest. Issues that could result from chewing include ingesting dangerous materials such as string, Gouge says. Cats are also very sensitive and could be hurt by ingesting chemicals in items they chew.
Because chewing tends to be a natural behavior meant to exercise a cats more carnivorous instincts, Gouge says they may gravitate toward items that are soft and fuzzythings that mimic the feeling of capturing prey. On the other hand, wires can be especially problematic because electricity may be flowing through them, and, therefore, its important to cover the cords or block your pets access to them.
Its All About Placement
Where you place your plants is an important part of the strategy for keeping your cat;away from your plants. But where can you put them to keep them safely away from teeth and claws? After all, cats can, and do, climb up to high places, so placing your plants on a high shelf might not do the trick.
One safe place for your plants is in a hanging basket. Plants hung in high places with nothing around for your cat to climb on to reach them will eliminate the problem. You may see her sitting underneath the plant, looking longingly at the leaves and vines. But without a way to climb up, your plants will be safely out of her grasp. This is an especially good strategy if you have plants that might be poisonous to your cat, but you caught those when you cat-proofed your home, right?
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How To Stop Dogs From Chewing Plants
21 September, 2017
Nearly all dogs especially puppies and younger dogs have the urge to chew. While you cannot get rid of this natural instinct, you can train a dog to chew on only appropriate objects, not your furniture, shoes or plants. Because you cant easily move or put away plants like you can shoes and clothing, youll need to be consistent and firm in training your dog not to chew on your plants. Dogs can destroy plants in just minutes, so be sure to provide your dog with an alternative that will satisfy his chewing urges.
Correct the dog with an assertive voice when he chews on the plants. Direct the dog away from the plants immediately.
Give your dog a chew toy or rawhide bone to chew on instead. Show your dog what is okay and not okay to chew on.
- Nearly all dogs especially puppies and younger dogs have the urge to chew.
- While you cannot get rid of this natural instinct, you can train a dog to chew on only appropriate objects, not your furniture, shoes or plants.
Mix 1 cup of water and one-quarter to on-half cup of Tabasco sauce or cayenne pepper and pour it into a spray bottle.
Spray the plants that your dog most likes to chew on and any other plants with evidence of chewing. The taste of the hot pepper is offensive to dogs and will usually deter them from chewing on the plants again.
If your dog is chewing on potted plants, try to move them to a location out of the dogs reach.
Bitter apple also works in deterring chewing dogs.
How To Monitor Your Cat While Outside
Its not always easy to keep an eye on your cat while outside. Here are some tips:
- Use a leash for your cat. It might look ridiculous, but youll be able to keep your cat close.
- Hold your cat while outside, especially if you just want your cat to get some fresh air.
- Create an enclosed area for your cat outside, like on a porch.;
The easiest way to prevent your cat from doing something you dont like outside is simply to keep your cat inside. Unlike dogs, cats dont have a reason to be outside .;
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Train Your Cat And Give Him What He Needs
If your cat is eating plants, it might just mean he is trying to find the beneficial effects from grass that we described earlier.
The first step you can try is to give him what he needs, something he can nibble on without putting himself in danger or damaging a beautiful plant. For that matter,;you can invest in cat grass. Its super easy to grow, pretty cheap and will be delightful for your little monster.
If you see your cat getting close to a forbidden plant, gently put him in front of the good grass you bought him to make him understand what is the right way.
You do not want to punish your cat directly. Your cat will not understand and will associate the punishment to you and not to the plant. This is why we recommended the;PetSafe Ssscat Cat Spray Control System or the empty can system. Your cat will associate the fear to the plant area and not to you, his master. This way you will avoid creating a tensed situation between you and your little friend, and thats just for the best.
Finally, one possible interpretation of such a behavior is simply that your cat is bored. Play with him, give him some;new toys that will make him run around. If he finds something more fun to do, he will probably stop chewing on your beautiful plants.
Tips For Choosing A Plant
Need a housewarming gift for a friend with a cat? Looking to expand your collection? Here are some tips for choosing a plant fit for a feline-friendly home.
Check the ASPCA;on the spot. I have my phone with me while I plant shop and Google toxicity for each specimen I’m interested in.
Go for a bushy plant where bite-marks are less noticeable. I really like true ferns
Avoid anything that looks grass-like. As mentioned, cats have an affinity for grass, so avoid anything that mimics it.;Parlor palms, pony tail palms and spider plants are amongst the most commonly terrorized houseplants.
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