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Eating the carpet???

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

My first post -- so glad to have found this well built site.

I've just read the thread regarding grooming the fuzzy blankets and all your pertinent replies.

My problem is just slightly different:
although Smokey has kneaded (either in our laps or in his fleece bed or on a blanket) since he first arrived (taken away from Mom way too young and delivered to the SPCA where we found him), it is 12 years later and just tonight I woke up to a weird scratching noise.

He hasn't ever carpet scratched. What he is doing now is licking (the noise was his rough tongue rather furiously consuming) the carpet. This isn't new carpet, hasn't been recently cleaned, it's in the bedroom and not been exposed to food or such odours and hasn't been trod upon at all in that area.

All of a sudden it seems that he is simply fixated on digesting that bit of carpet and he is doing so in a side-to-side typewriter (corn on the cob) method.

He suffers from asthma (and has been on meds that control it for years) so any new strange behaviour always alerts/concerns me.

He's an indoor cat. He has a 100% natural food which he loves. No litterbox probs. No changes/stresses in the household.

I'm mystified really. He is only rarely sick to his stomach and the past two times this has happened there has appeared to be both fecal matter and some matted stuff in the vomit. That was new to us.

Now I'm wondering if this is the source of the matted gunk. What I really need help with are suggestions for the cause?
I just sprayed the area he was focused on with lavender and he has departed from there but likely he'll just move somewhere else unless I can figure out what is up.

Thanks v.m.
post #2 of 6
Hi Christie,
I don't really have any help for you... you're already spraying lavender where he's licking... I was going to suggest bitter apple spray as that's what I used with my kitty Spike. Spike also likes to lick at carpet... well, mostly, what he likes to do is scratch at it, until he gets a little carpet fuzzy, at which point he wants to eat it. Now, if I'm in the same room seeing him do this, he will hop right on top of the carpet fuzzy, and protect it so mommy cannot remove it from under him. And sometimes I win, and sometimes he does... but he hasn't had digestive problems because of it, thank goodness.

Anyway, if the lavender doesn't work, I'd suggest the bitter apple spray... I wish I had more ideas for you, but that normally stops Spike. (At least while mommy's watching.)
post #3 of 6
The vomit you have described is well-worth a trip to the vet, which I strongly recommend. Sometimes, cats can suffer from dietary and other problems that result in them eating strange things. Plus, carpet fibers can be very dangerous to the intestinal system, so it's worth checking out immediately.

Some cats definitely have "sucking" issues which can involve carpet as well as material, unfortunately. Bitter apple spray is a very good choice as a deterrent, and it could help to redirect his attention by covering the spot with a throw rug to try and redirect his attention.
post #4 of 6
My vote is for a vet visit. It sounds warranted in this case and the kitty could really be ill. Good luck
post #5 of 6
It's always a good idea to double check with a vet on all health related matters. When you say fecal matter, did you check? Sometimes hairballs tend to look similar. As far as eating the carpet, he may have something called Pica. The one thing I know you can try to reverse this behavior is giving him vitamin suppliments. One of my favorites is 3v liquid. Most vets sell it or it can be found at www.kvvet.com
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi All,

Thanks so much for your responses.

I have to clarify my first post (put it down to the past-midnight authoring)...

What I should have said is that he has rarely been sick to his stomach in all his 12 years. In fact, he has only been sick four times: twice the cause was grass and the other two times (those mentioned in the original post) were so astonishing that we did whisk him off to the vet (taking the evidence with us).

In both cases (the first about five years ago and the second about 3 years ago) they put the problem down to his likely having had loose bowels, cleaned himself and then regurgitated that and some hair. (He doesn't suffer from hairballs at all.)

The other night, mere minutes before I posted to you was the first time he's ever decided to eat the carpet and so it's the first time I ever thought to look up the behaviour, specifically pica. Then I was wondering if the earlier cases of sickness might have been caused by his having been licking the carpet way back then and that having made him ill (and that having been the source of the matted stuff -- not hair as the vet had thought).

All my suposition seems to have been for nought however: since I sprayed the lavender he has lost interest in the carpet. He suffered no ill effects, hasn't been vomiting or off his food or regular habits in anyway -- and is sitting on my lap attempting to help me type this minute. (I truly think he knows that this is about him!)

It must just have been one of those utterly strange things they sometimes do for no apparent (to us two-legged creatures) reason at all. I sure would like to know what was behind it all though!

Appreciate the time you all took.

I'll be checking into some of the other topics and threads and referring a couple of friends here too. Great info.

Thx. v.m.
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