Pica in Cats: This is a disorder that is not commonly talked about. Although the symptoms are known and the causes can be traced, it is not always easy to detect. It is often confused with stress, or something caused by a lack of stimulation, but the truth is that it is a much more serious problem than most. In fact, it can take their lives if action is not taken.
When to suspect that our beloved cat is suffering from it? Given this is a very serious disease, it is important to ask yourself this question. So below I hope to solve it for you.
What Is Pica In Cats?
Pica is a disorder characterized by the animal biting, chewing, and swallowing things that are not edible: plastic, cardboard, clothing, anything you find along the way. This can be very dangerous, because as we all know, none of these materials (paper, cardboard, etc.) are edible.
What’s more: In the event that they are swallowed, there is a risk of their being disrupted in some part of their body, and if this happens, the animal will have difficulty breathing, relieve itself and feel discomfort and / or there will be pain.
Pica in Cats Causes
There are many causes of pica in cats. Here’s all we need to know in order to understand the disorder and our beloved cat too:
Early Separation From Mother And Siblings
Kittens must remain with their biological family for at least the first three months of age. His mother is the one who teaches him how to control the bite force, behaves, and also protects him from potential enemies. When he plays with her and/or his siblings, he learns to respect the limits that are placed on him, to catch his “prey”, and to find out who he is can trust or not.
If you fall apart before that age, you stop having a feline figure, from which I would learn everything about what it means to be a cat.
Cat is a carnivorous animal that needs to obtain protein of animal origin. It is essential to give it food that respects its carnivorous nature, its predatory instincts, otherwise we can risk that it ends up being a sting.
You have to think that cheap is often expensive, and even more so if we talk about cat food. So, if you’re going to feed it, I recommend you read its composition and stick with those that don’t have grains, by-products, or flours of any kind.
Lack Of Motivation
Boredom is also another cause of pica in cats. The lack of activity leads them to seek some form of entertainment, and sometimes they resort to chewing things they shouldn’t. And that although these are animals that spend most of the day sleeping, this does not mean that the rest of the time they do not want to do anything.
If they live in an environment where there is a family that doesn’t play with them, they have nothing to do, then boredom, frustration and despair accumulate. Thus, not only can they end up with pica, but we also cannot rule out behavioral changes such as attacking the legs, urinating and/or defecating in inappropriate places, or scratching and/or scratching people. Cutting when they haven’t done so before.
Stress becomes a problem when it interferes with daily life, preventing us from following routines normally. Unfortunately, cats are very prone, dare I say, more than us to follow a routine as they need to. Always doing the same thing and doing more or less at the same time gives them security, and allows them to have control over the things around them.
But if we move continuously, or we are working at home and these go on for months, or if we subject them to situations of extreme stress, they will risk getting pica.
Also Read: How To Prevent Hairballs In Cats?
How To Treat Pica In Cats?
Pica is a disease that must be treated in different ways, and they are:
It should be rich in animal protein and without grains or by-products. For example, if we want to feed her, I recommend these brands: Applaws, True Instinct High Meat, Orijin, Cat’s Health Gourmet, Acana, Sanabelle Grain Free or Taste of the Wild.
In the event that we choose to give him homemade food, it is important to consult with a feline nutritionist or vet who understands cat food.
Dedicate Some Time Every Day To Play With Him
But be careful: You don’t have to buy any kind of toy. For a cat with pica to entertain safely, choose a medium-sized toy, like a stuffed animal that is only one piece so you can’t break it. Anything that won’t break or get swallowed easily will work.
Won’t Burden Cat
To understand cats, it is important to know their body language. This is something that we should start doing from day one, otherwise we may believe things which are not really true.
In addition, we need to know when they want us to have them and when they don’t, and what they try to tell us all the time so that coexistence is good.
I am now talking not just about playing with him, but also about trying to give visual stimulation to the cat. If we look at a colony of cats that live on the street or in the garden, they spend a lot of time just looking at the landscape. We can get it at home by putting it on YouTube and searching for “cat videos”. I assure you that you will keep watching the video he has put on it for a while.
In addition, we cannot forget about the mental stimuli. Interactive toys, such as Catites, will help distract her by forcing her to think about getting the treat.
Hide Everything You Can Swallow
This means that bags, ropes, ribbons, small toys, balls, anything that is dangerous should be hidden, for your own safety.
And if we do not find any improvement after a few months, or if we have doubts, the ideal is to contact a specialist in feline behavior. Anyway, keep in mind that this is a disease that can take a long, long time to heal. For this reason, it is important to be patient and, above all, to do everything possible so that the cat remains healthy and safe.