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Question DetailsAsked on 5/8/2011

Does anyone else's cat eat plastic bags?

One of my three kitties eats plastic shopping bags wherever she can find them. It is like she has a sixth sense for them and always finds them even if we have them up on countertops or tables (on which I suspect she climbs nightly). I have never found a bag uneaten that has been left where she could get to it overnight or when we were not home. The vet did not find any of this in her system and I don't thinks she passes it all. I am worried that she is somehow processing it in her body. Anybody else encounter this kitty quirk?

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8 Answers

0
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What kind of plastic bags are we talking about here? The "Number 4" (LDPE - Low Density Polyethylene) bags or "Number 2" (HDPE - High Density Polyethylene) bags? Some plastic bags that are touted as being "biodegradable" use corn starch as a component to allow soil enzymes to accelerate the decomposition of the bag. Also, some plastic bags are coated with corn starch to keep the bags from sticking to each other. Could this be what your cat finds so delectable? If it was me, I would ask for paper bags!

Answered 6 years ago by MichaelL

1
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My cat would chew and grind her teeth on plastic bags, which was unnerving. The sound was terrible. She even learned to open the kitchen drawer I hid them in. When she was done chewing, she would slip her head through the handles and wear it as a cape all day, which was even more annoying. I would hear "swish, swish, swish" all day and then get a static shock whenever I touched her. The other cat could not care less about plastic bags. I would find them torn up, but not eaten. As long as she is not ingesting it, I wouldn't worry. But I would buy one of those crinkle bags made for cats just to distract her. Good prices at petedge.com for quite a few things.

Answered 6 years ago by Skwirl

1
Vote

This is nothing to do with plastic bags, but is a serious problem with cats. My daughter had gotten her Siamese a toy with string attached to it. Well she saw the toy on the floor but no string, and then the cat started acting like he was in pain . Well she took him to the vet and he was getting worse almost died, he had swallowed 3 feet of string from the toy. They got it out but he took a while to recover. He was lucky as that string could have wrapped around the intestines and killed him. So please do not give cats toys with string as they are very dangerous, to them. Thank you

Answered 6 years ago by georgette1938

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My cat appears to use the edges of plastic bags like dental floss, but she's not ingesting very much, as far as I can tell. My other theory was that it is similar to eating kitty grass, which I'm told they do for the purpose of vomiting...to get rid of hairballs (or whatever else they ate that they want to eject.) Have you tried providing Kitty Grass to see if she prefers that? If she is truly ingesting large amounts of plastic, that cannot be good; I'd hide the bags til she's out of the habit, or only use compostable/biodegradable plastic bags.

Answered 6 years ago by bethwards

1
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Oh yeah. I have five cats and two of them would eat plastic if they ever could find it (so far we've been very vigilant and also very lucky). This is not an uncommon issue. No one knows why they eat plastic, but the important thing is to keep it all away from them. Some plastics apparently turn sharp and brittle in the digestive tract due to interactions with stomach enzymes, etc., and can cause blockages or even perforations of the intestines. One of my cats has moved on to post-it notes and pencil erasers. It's a challenge to live with, but cats are worth it.

Answered 6 years ago by Commonsense

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When we had a cat, she was never allowed access to harmful "stuff"

Plastics usually lead to big vet bills. Not only can ingestingplastics cause stomach or intestinal obstructions, the ingredients are often toxic. Please pet proof your home

Answered 6 years ago by tessa89

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It's not so much a matter of "allowing access" as it is of being vigilant. Plastics are everywhere. If you bring something home that has to be assembled there are so many little plastic pieces. If you turn your back for a minute when you come in from shopping the true plastic eater will go in for a munch.

Of course homes need to be pet proofed. But even then, the responsibility is on the owner, and with even the most responsible owner accidents can happen.

Answered 6 years ago by Commonsense

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[quote user="avukat74"]I am worried that she is somehow processing it in her body. Anybody else encounter this kitty quirk?[/quote]

I suppose you'll know she is retaining too much if you find her some day hanging from a door knob with her front paws clasped and looped over the knob.

I did a quick search on google and found that the result from searching on cat eats plastic bags was pretty amazing. I couldn't believe how many other folks have a problem similar to yours. Most of the supportive responses urged keeping the plastic (grocery bags, dry cleaning bags and even the rings from plastic milk bottle caps) away from cats with a preference for eating plastic. I didn't read a clear warning of harm but all the folks seemed to agree it can not be a good habit.

I really do hope it isn't causing any harm - - maybe you should ask for paper for a while.


Answered 6 years ago by Old Grouch




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