The Pica Cats Syndrome – All About Pica In Cats That You Need To Know!
You may have gotten stuck with disgust upon seeing your cat chewing a plastic bag but they are doing so because of the pica cats syndrome which is just an instinctual urge exhibited by the felines. Pica syndrome gets them high rewarding feelings and that can get them to get their favorite stuff at any cost. Continue to read as it is important to understand the problem first before moving on to the treatment.
About the pica syndrome
Pica is the term that refers to the behavior of consuming non-edible items and this can turn into becoming a behavioral tendency displayed by animals, cats being one of them. The range of the non-edible items that a cat showing the pica syndrome can consume is huge including things like plastic, paper, cotton, plants, cords, wool, leather, cardboards, rubber, etc.
Cats with pica can either tear/chew things for playing with them simply or swallow the thing after grinding it for long under their back molar teeth. The consumption of non-edible items by cats can give them a sense of satisfaction, soothing, stimulation, or just dietary satisfaction.
Facts about the pica cats syndrome
This behavior can be much worrisome for the pet owners and here are some aspects of pica that you must know for a comprehensive understanding of the subject:
Factors that cause the pica syndrome
It is difficult to pinpoint the source of the mental short-circuiting that happens in the pica cats but several factors have been pointed out by different pet experts.
Any medical issue with the cat can be the primary reason behind the pica syndrome getting triggered and then continuing into becoming a disorder. Health conditions like diabetes, brain tumors, anemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, leukemia, etc. have been usually associated with pica in cats.
Insufficiency of the cat meal in delivering essential nutrients to the cat can lead it to search for them in other items that can even be non-edible and this behavior turns into becoming the pica disorder later. In such a case, cats tend to eat plants, litter, or anything that gives them good taste or smell.
Your cat may tend to chew on random things in a learned pattern just to satisfy their primal urges or meet their stimulation needs as they get bored easily. Extreme stress, lack of attention, separation anxiety, unregulated behavior, noise exposure, re-location, etc. can also trigger pica behavior in cats.
Your cat might be showing pica symptoms simply because it has gotten the genes of a pica cat. Several cat breeds show a higher risk of pica syndrome and cross-bred cats can produce such cats.
Diagnosing the pica syndrome in cats
As said, cats eating non-edibles aren’t pica all the time and you can check that by watching out for the following symptoms or actions:
You can distinguish the pica syndrome from the basic urges to eat specific non-edibles that is displayed by some of the cat breeds. These urges are a result of particular medical conditions like hyperthyroidism, cancer, poisoning, feline infectious peritonitis, intestinal parasites, and other chronic deficiencies.
Treatment for pica syndrome in cats
The best step for getting your cat free from pica syndrome is to get her the help of a vet or a pet behaviorist as they will do the proper diagnosis and then prescribe the correct treatment. However, you may want to give some home therapy to your feline friend too, and here are some of the tips that can help:
The pica cats syndrome cannot be treated completely but they can be minimized up to a significant level. The best treatment sometimes can be to obstruct the cat if the disorder is at the early stage. Vigilant care and attention since the early levels can fade away the disorder in less time.