When your cat eats his or her toys, it can mean a costly trip to the vet to surgically remove them. You may be wondering what caused your cat to swallow the such inedible objects in the first place. Here are a few reasons.
If you have a younger cat (not just a kitten), new teeth growing in can cause your kitty to chew on things. In order to lessen the danger of your cat accidentally swallowing the toy that they are gnawing on, opt for larger, safer toys that can’t be unraveled or lose stuffing.
In the wild, cats play with their prey before they eat it. At first, it may seem like bad table manners to us, and even a little cruel, to play with food. However, behaviorists theorize that this instinct is a way for cats to determine if their prey is safe and healthy enough to eat.
Moreover, cats learn what to eat from their mothers. This is why cats can only learn how to eat mice from other cats. The instinct to eat the prey that they caught it still there, even if Mama didn’t teach them what exactly prey is. Therefore, the urge sometimes gets misplaced and transferred onto your kitty’s toys.
In some cases, when cats attempt to eat objects other than food, it can be a sign of a serious health problem. Cats who lick metal objects, for instance, may be showing signs of liver failure. Similarly, diseases such as PICA can cause a cat to chew on materials that are dangerous to them. If you suspect that something is going on, it’s best to talk to your vet.
Remember, whether or not you have a cat who eats their toys, it’s a good idea to put toys away during unsupervised moments.
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Candace Elise Hoes is a pet sitter and blogger at Katie’s Kitty. She is a graduate of the MFA Writing Program at California College of the Arts.