neffykitty asked in PetsCats · 1 decade ago

Cats licking plastic - are mine the only ones that do this?

And why? Why do they do it? They sit there and lick shopping bags, baggies, etc. (yes, I do throw stuff away, but I have kids who leave stuff out, and if there is a pack of paper towels sitting on the floor, they will sit there and lick that wrapping!).

Can this harm them? Does it taste good? Are my cats insane?

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  • g g
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    You are not at all alone. Many cat owners report the exact behavior exhibited by your cat in their own pets and they are just as baffled. Though the attraction to plastic varies in degree from individual to individual, it is not at all uncommon for cats to lick, chew, and even eat plastic.

    Cats who seem to be most obsessed with plastic are often the type of feline who may still try to "nurse" as an adult (sucking on blankets, or their people's clothes, etc.) or are otherwise orally fixated. These are cats who were most likely taken or weaned from their mothers at too early an age.

    One major concern relating to this behavior is that when cats consume plastic, especially the decorative plastic grasses that line Easter baskets and gifts, or plastic tinsel, they can become seriously ill from resulting intestinal blockages. Consequently, you should try to keep your cat from ingesting plastic.

    Many plastic products today are made with biodegradable components, including cornstarch. These ingredients along with various petroleum products emanate an odor, undetected by people, but irresistible to certain felines.

    The texture of plastic also seems to be a factor in this bizarre activity. It is speculated that cats just enjoy the smooth, cool feeling on their tongues. This combined with the aroma may give cats a very pleasurable sensation akin to enjoying a lollipop that never gets any smaller no matter how many times it gets licked.

    I do caution you to keep all photographs safely stored away in photo albums or behind glass frames. Some photographic processes use chemicals that can potentially cause liver and kidney damage if consumed. So please be very careful with these items.

    Licking or eating non-food items may also be a sign of a serious illness such as feline leukemia or other immunodeficiency diseases. Just to be on the safe side, you should have your cat tested. Most likely however, this behavior is nothing to worry about as long as you restrict it to licking and not consuming.

    If you feel you must stop your cat from continuing in his plastic quest, you should first eliminate the type of plastic he targets from your household. Next, increase his fiber intake with specially formulated high fiber pet foods. You can also grow "kitty grass" indoors so that your little friend has something more natural to chew on or lick.

    Finally, some cats become addicted to plastic licking simply because they are bored and don't get enough stimulation. I would strongly recommend getting some new toys for your cat and adding some extended playtime to his daily routine. Give him a lot of extra affection or brush him more frequently. If he is alone during the day and you work, perhaps you should consider getting him a little feline buddy with whom to pass the hours while you are away or busy.

  • 1 decade ago

    Licking wont hurt them but chewing on it could.

    It could get bound up in their intestines.

    And no your cats are not the only ones. I have to keep an eye on my 4 cats or they will eat the plastic bags.

    Also keep balloons away from them.

  • 1 decade ago

    I have three cats, the two that are from the same litter constantly chew on plastic (bags mostly). I'm always having to move things or shoo them away! My sister's cat (who is my female cats kitten) also does this. It must be hereditary!! I don't know why they do it, but it is kindof annoying and after 9 years I haven't been able to stop it.

    Source(s): owner of two plastic-chewing cats.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I dont understand this either, but I have found that my cat does the same cuz of something tasty on whatever they lick. My cat licks my ankles sometimes, and I've been told it is due to natural salt from normal sweat and cats enjoy that for some odd reason. Either your cat is finding tasty things on wierd objects or you need to feed them. =) Hope this helps. I dont think its dangerous, unless your bags have been exposed to dangerous chemicals.

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  • Hope
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    years ago I had a friend with a cat that did that and the vet told her it was due to a lack of vitamins.Her husband thought he just wanted to sell them vitamins, so they let the cat lick bags! Didn't seem to harm it.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    o0o0o my gosh! dont worry about it my cat does it all the time! u put an empty plastic bag on the floor she goes in it and starts playing and lickinging it! no it doesnt harm them if they lick it but dont let them chew on it! and i think its judt enother one of there ways to enjoy themselves! my cat also always chews on fake plants in my house...until i planted cat nip plant special plant for cats in a lil bowl and it grew and she stoped! dont worry about it your cats are not insane...in fact since my cat does it too it makes them normal!

    Source(s): me myself & i & my kitty named Gretta
  • 1 decade ago

    lol no my cat does it to... he loves playing in like the grocery bags he gets in them and just lays in them and rolls around...its so cute

  • 1 decade ago

    both of mine do. IDK, i guess it tasts good.

    it won't harm them, but don't let tehm eat it, as they couled get sick.

    Source(s): 2 cats. both do it.
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