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Have you ever wondered the reason why your cat is always fidgeting or biting on your jewelry or even shiny metal objects? The licking, chewing, and even aggression. This could be a hazard waiting to happen if these objects are indigested.
Jewelry such as rings, watches, chains, and metal objects makes for a great toy for 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 cat’s attention. On the other hand, this could be pica, a medical issue that involves the craving and chewing of objects that have no nutritional value.
Cats are very curious and inquisitive creatures and in such cases, metal, jewelry, or even any shiny object could catch their attention. Sometimes when the cat looks at certain shiny objects at a glance it may appear to sparkle. This effect can fascinate them drawing their attention.
To them, your precious jewelry can make for a great toy. Even though it can be a choking hazard, their innocent actions are just fueled by play and entertainment.
Other reasons for jewelry biting includes:
1. In some cases, 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 their shine and glowy effect. This will trigger the predatory instincts in the cat and will therefore pursue it.
2. Biting of jewelry, or biting in general can also be caused by a change in their routine. These changes can include changes in homes, new additions to the family, or even vacation separation when owners leave their pets to go on vacation.
3. Biting could a behavioral problem that should be treated by a veterinarian.
4. Biting of jewelry could be due to boredom. This is common in some breeds that are energetic and active.
5. Biting of jewelry could also be their reaction to stress, and we know stress is known for making cats act strange.
6. Gum disease could also be the reason for excessive biting. The motion involved in biting could be to relieve pain and discomfort.
Medical Reasons For Cat 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 surfaces and bite the metal legs of chairs. This behaviour was eventually diagnosed as a compulsive disorder followed by treatment.
Cat food normally contains all of the important food groups that are needed for your feline to live a 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 which the cat may seek in other things and objects. This could bring about weird cravings and behaviors.
Another possible reason for 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 go 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, to crave 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, or entertain or supplement a missing dietary essential.
A cat that is diagnosed with pica can consume a lot 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 as well. Siamese cats predominantly suffer from pica as this breed of cats is more commonly affected.
Medical issues that are associated with pica include:
1. Behavioral disorders. This could be a habit that your cat picked up when bored or irritated.
2. Feline diseases such as hyperthyroidism, leukemia, anemia, and diabetes.
3. Dental issues, where the biting of hard objects could be to relieve pain in the gums.
4. Genetics, this syndrome is normally common in certain breeds.
Ways to Stop Cats from Biting on Jewelry.
1. Discourage biting and reward the cat with treats when they are obedient to your command. I recommend the SHEBA meaty treats you can find on Amazon.
2. Deterrent sprays are a lifesaver to discourage bad behavior, especially biting which has the potential to be destructive. These sprays contain scents your feline friend can’t stand but are pleasant to the human senses. A great product for training cats. Check the latest prices, on Amazon.
3. Your cat could be biting to relieve dental pain. Get a chewy toy instead, like the Ronton Cat dental care toy. These rubber toys relieve gums and clean teeth simultaneously.
4. Correct the cat verbally using high pitch / Speaking loudly. Never allow the cat to engage in any type of biting as it will become destructive.
5. Redirect the cat’s attention whenever they tend to bite. You can get some good toys that will keep them occupied. Often cats bite and chew as a way to pass time because they are lonely or bored. Interactive toys are great for keeping them entertained. The Automatic Motion Ball Toy with Bird Sounds is ideal.
The PETFUSION ROTATING FEATHER is also a great toy that stimulates their predatory instincts keeping them engaged and entertained.
6. Store all valuables and jewelry in areas out of reach that are safely hidden.
7. Avoid physical punishment, rather use positive reinforcement techniques. Learn more about cat biting in order to eliminate this behavior.
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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.
How to Diagnose if my Cat has Pica or Behavioural Issues?
When trying to diagnose the cause of your cat’s 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 themselves as a 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 it’s lacking.
Your cat will not only be attracted to other objects and lick them 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 cat’s back teeth piercing the objects.
Some cats affected by pica will opt for wool and other smooth, soft materials. This is therefore ingested and taken as food.
Behavioral disorder symptoms are commonly present when the cat is bored stressed or depressed. This can be caused by several different situations.
To get a proper diagnosis you must examine,
- The cat’s environment, any dangers, lack, or void that is forcing the cat to seek an alternative form of coping.
- Changes in the cat’s routine, such as the change of food, meal times, litterbox position, or not enough food.
- Any new additions in the cat’s life, like new members to the family, relocation to a new home, or new sleeping or play area.
- External stresses, the cat might be scared of something they have seen outdoors, neighbors could have spooked the cat out, or by other external factors.
- With no playtime or no way to burn energy, the cat will opt for other means of exertion. Like chewing, biting, fidgeting, or other mischiefs.
- 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 separation could cause loneliness, and 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 removing 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 on 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 to the teeth and gums of the cat. The cat may seek textured objects like jewelry, 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 behaviorist 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 won’t be able to digest them causing a lot of issues.
- Can cause obstruction in the gut. The cat’s digestive system will not be able to function properly.
- This could lead to constipation and straining of the anus muscles.
- If the cat ingests anything hazardous, this could damage internal organs.
- Vomiting, lack of appetite.
- Chewing on cords, the cat could get electrocuted.
In more severe cases, surgery will be needed to remove foreign objects from the cat’s intestine.
Solutions For Pica in Cats?
While the cat is being treated by a veterinarian or by a 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 recovery 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 jewelry 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 the citrus smell and will rather shy away from interfering with your jewelry.
- Now that you know where your cat’s familiar biting spots are, you can try to cover them up to make them less revealing. This will help the cat when temptation sets in.
- Remove all loose 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 it’s rubbery. Try and tidy the cords up or bundle it or tape them 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 in your cat’s routine. Spend time with your cat even if it’s just for a few minutes. A simple walk or jog can be great to prevent the cat from being idle.
- Reward your feline when doing something right. This will encourage good behavior.
- You might want to increase the portion of your cat’s meals so that the 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 owner’s hair as a sign of showing affection or to get your attention. However, this action could be serious health, behavioral, or diet issues.
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 are by wearing covered shoes and not using your feet to wrestle or play with the cat as this will make the cat target your feet whenever they want to play.