Have you ever wondered the reason why your cat is always fidgeting or biting on your jewellery or even with shiny metal objects? The licking, chewing and even the aggression. This could be a hazard waiting to happen if these objects are indigested and can cause internal damage.
Jewellery such as rings, watches and metal objects makes for a great toy to the cat’s eyes. Sometimes it’s completely normal since the cat is attracted to these objects because it’s very shiny and catches the cats attention. On the other hand, this could be pica, a medical issue that involves craving and chewing of objects that have no nutritional value.
Cats are very curious and inquisitive creatures and in such cases, the metal, jewellery or even any shiny object could catch the cats attention. Sometimes when the cat looks at certain shiny objects at a glance it may appear to sparkle. The cat will get distracted and will be fascinated by it.
In some cases the shiny objects like earrings, necklaces, watches or rings when left around the house will resemble the eyes of prey (rats) when glanced at due to it shine and glowy effect. This will trigger the predatory instincts in the cat and will therefore pursue it.
Ways to Stop Cats from Biting on jewelry ?
- Discourage biting and reward the cat with treats when they are obedient to your command. I highly recommend the SHEBA meaty treats which are conveniently available on Amazon.
- Store all valuable and jewelry in areas out of reach that are safely hidden.
- Reward good behavior and punish bad behavior.
- Correct the cat verbally using high pitch / Speaking loud.
- Ignore the cat by not showing interest.
- Get a good toy that will fulfil the cat’s curiosity and interests. The toy will act as a distraction, so pick a good interesting toy that will demand the cat’s attention. This interactive robot toy from amazon works amazingly well to keep the cat distracted since it has motion features exactly what cats love.
- Avoid physical punishment, this will make the cat angry and will fight back to protect itself.
Cats are very observant and they catch up on everything. It’s their instincts that drive them to the point of fidgeting and eventually biting. This soon leads to licking and biting to the point of ingestion. Sometimes the cat’s intention is innocent however in certain cases there could be an underlying health issue.
Medical reasons for cats biting problems.
Compulsive Behavioral Disorder
In certain cases your cat may be suffering from a compulsive disorder. This brings about unfamiliar and extreme behavior especially if not treated. With such a disorder anything could trigger rapid and compulsive behavior not specifically biting on metals or jewelry.
Some time ago when I used to live in an apartment. The next door neighbor had a cat that should forcefully scratch on surfaces and bite the metal legs of chairs. This such behavior was eventually diagnosed as a compulsive disorder followed by treatment.
Cat food normally contains all of the important food groups that is needed for your feline to live an healthy and well balanced diet, however in some cases the food may not be providing enough to maintain the intensity and lifestyle of certain cats.
Bengal cats for example require more protein since they are high intensity, active cats. A lack or insufficiency of this major food group means little to no iron, and other micronutrients. This could cause the cat to become deficient in which the cat may seek it in other things and objects. This could bring about weird cravings and behaviors.
Another possible reason to Nutrient Deficiencies could be the irregular formulas of commercial cat food. Cat owners depend on pet food companies to provide a well balanced meal for their cats, however you may not know the actual processing and ingredients that goes into the food.
Therefore when choosing a type of food make sure, the company is trustworthy and authentic with actual experts.
Pica is the urge, craving and eating of non edible things and objects. Your cat may crave plastics, wool, paper or metals. This pattern of behavior can be to soothe pain, relieve stress or anxiety, to entertain or to supplement a missing dietary essential.
A cat that is diagnosed with pica can consume alot of non edible things. Like wool, plastic, litter, cardboard, paper, synthetic material or even rubber. The cat will also chew on many different things like shoes and anything lying around.
Pica is most common in younger cats and kittens but may occur in older cats aswell. Siamese cats more predominantly suffer from pica as this breed of cats are more commonly affected.
Medical issues that are associated with pica includes:
- Behavioural disorders. This could be an habit that your cat picked up when bored or irritated.
- Feline disease such as hyperthyroidism, leukemia, anemia or diabetes.
- Dental issues, where the biting of hard objects could be to relieve pain on the gums.
- Genetics, this syndrome is normally common in certain breeds.
How to Diagnose if my Cat has Pica or Behavioural Issues ?
When trying to diagnose the cause of your cats weird cravings and behavior it’s important to be really critical and observant. Pica and other compulsive disorders may present with similar symptoms but there is a noticeable difference.
Pica symptoms in cats usually present itself as more intense or aggressive form of chewing and biting. Almost like someone really hungry gobbling food down. It will feel as if the cat is trying to satisfy a need that its lacking.
Your cat will not only be attracted to other objects and lick it but will go even further to chew and eat the non-edible substance. Some online cat parents even state that they can hear the intense force of their cats back teeth piercing on the objects.
Some cats affected by pica will opt to wool and other smooth, soft materials. This is therefore ingested and taken as food.
Behavioral disorder symptoms is commonly present when the cat is bored stressed or depressed. This can be caused from several different situations.
To get a proper diagnosis you must examine,
- The cats environment, any dangers, lack or void that is forcing the cat to seek an alternative form of coping.
- Changes in the cats routine, such as the change of food, meal times, litterbox position or not enough food.
- Any new additions in the cats life, like new members to the family, relocation to a new home, new sleeping or play area.
- External stresses, the cat might be scared of something they have seen outdoors, neighbors could of spooked the cat out or by other external factors.
- No playtime or no way to burn energy, the cat will opt to other means of exertion. Like chewing, biting, fidgeting or other mischief.
- Depression could be the cause as well especially in pregnant cats or cats that have lost their kittens or maybe you have given the kittens away. The seperation could cause loneliness, sadness and lead to postnatal depression.
Dental issues can also be the cause of the biting problem. Dental disease is a very common problem in cats. The main dental problems associated are gingivitis, periodontitis, and tooth resorption. For this reason, cat owners must practice good dental hygiene with the right equipment. You will need
- A good feline toothbrush that is small yet resistant to remove plaque and leftover food from the teeth. You can use the professional H&H pet toothbrush or you can use the H&H finger brush for cats that don’t like to brush their teeth. Both products are in stock in Amazon
- You also need a cat-friendly toothpaste something that is mild yet effective, like the oxyfresh pet toothpaste from amazon which is safe on cats, free from additives and it promotes healthy teeth and gums.
without proper dental hygiene, these oral diseases can cause severe pain and discomfort on the teeth and gums of the cat. The cat may seek textured objects like jewellery, metal, cardboard etc which can soothe their gums in aid to bring relief.
However this form of biting and chewing isn’t constant, the cat will only seek to bite and chew things when in pain.
Depending on the kind of symptoms your feline is presenting with it’s good to observe for a few days and speak to your vet with the necessary information that you found out. This can help the vet find a possible diagnosis and start straight away with a treatment plan.
In some cases, the vet may refer you to a behaviourist expert if the cause isn’t medical.
When cats eat Non-edible items it can cause a variety of different problems that can be fatal. These objects are non-edible so therefore the cat wont be able to digest it causing alot of issues.
- Can cause obstruction in the gut. The cats digestive system will not be able to function properly.
- This could lead to constipation and straining of the anus muscles.
- If the cat ingest anything hazardous, this could damage internal organs.
- Vomiting, lack of appetite.
- Chewing on cords, cat could get electrocuted.
In more severe cases, surgery will be needed to remove the foreign objects from the cats intestine.
Solutions For Pica in Cats ?
While the cat is being treated by a veterinarian or by the behaviorist you also can do some adjusting to help the cat recover from this medical issue or habit, depending on the diagnosis.
The expert may have the cat on a recovery plan with specific therapy and treatments but the environment at home can make or break the recover process of your feline.
- Get some chewy toys for your cat. Even normal cats tend to bite and chew on things, it’s just who they are. Here are some top picks of soft chew toys for cats on Amazon
- When using jewellery you can spray a citrus scent like the Harbors cat repellent and trainer which will deter the cat from biting. This product can also help to prevent scratching on furniture and is useful for training purposes. Cats don’t like citrus smell and will rather shy away from interfering with your jewellery.
- Now that you know where your cat’s familiar biting spots, you can try to cover it up to make it less revealing. This will help the cat when temptation sets in.
- Remove all lose lying objects which used to look like food to your feline. Like plants, any decor, plastic wrappers, cardboard etc.
- Cords are a big one. I have no idea why but cats love chewing on cords, could be because its rubbery. Try and tidy the cords up or bundle it or tape it together. You can also remove all non-essential appliances. In some cases where cords are running across the room, you can cover it up with a rug.
- Involve play time into your cats routine. Spend time with your cat even if it’s just for a few minutes. A simply walk or jog can be great to prevent the cat from being idle.
- Reward you feline when doing something right. This will encourage good behavior.
- You might want to increase the portion of your cats meals so that kitty may not feel hungry and seek other objects for food. If the portions are good, you can just add snacks and treats to keep your cat going.
- Be patient and give your feline time to adjust, while doing so make you give your cat assurance.
1. Why do cats attack my hair ? Cats attack or bite their owners hair as a sign of showing affection or to get your attention. However this action could be a serious health, behavioral or diet issue.
2. How to stop a cat from biting your feet ? Cats bite on your feet to get your attention, or to play. Some of the ways to stop this is by wearing covered shoes and to not use your feet to wrestle or play with the cat as this will make the cat target your feet whenever they want to play.