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Eating cotton? (long, sorry)

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Daisy likes to play with Q-tips. She started by taking them out of the trash bin in the bathroom. Then she started climbing up on the vanity where the box is kept. When we covered the box with something heavy, she just knocked everything off and helped herself to a couple of Q-tips. We strongly discourage this and now keep the Q-tip box in a closet. We did notice that when she somehow got away with one, she would play with it, then tear the cotton tip off the end and attempt to eat it.

Today, I noticed she was chewing on the fringe of a cotton throw that we have on our sofa. She was actually pulling out the fringe and had a mouthful of it until I intervened.

She also likes to chew on the edges of cardboard boxes, but she doesn't try to eat cardboard...she just tears it off in chunks.

My question: (and sorry it took me so long to get to it) is chewing on cotton a sign of some kind of nutritional problem? I remember watching a television special a long time ago about a Siamese cat that ate wool, and I'm pretty sure that cat had a nutritional deficiency.

Any ideas on what could be wrong and what we can do to help?

DH is talking about taking her to the vet soon in case she has dental pain, but I am very sick right now and it will probably be next week before we can get her there.
post #2 of 5
Da Magpie does the same - eats the cotton off q-tips, gnaws on the fringe of my couch blanket, chews cardboard. With her, it is a version of woolsucking as she was weaned early (momma took off) and was raised by me and a neutered tom who taught her and the littermates to eat and drink.......he started the teaching process before i could even get the syringe filled. She is very orally fixated, and I just took away the q-tips, the blanket and gave her her own box to gnaw on.
post #3 of 5
I don't blame you for being concerned, I felt a pit of worry in my gut when you mentioned the way she was eating at the fringe on the blanket. That's scary.

How old is she? Is there a reason you might be worried about dental problems?

I don't know about deficiencies...you can call your vet and ask about it, but like the other poster does, maybe just keep these things put away from her and give her lots of card board boxes to chew!

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi and thank you for your kind responses. I was scared of being flamed because I haven't taken her to the vet, but DH and I have both been sick, and her behavior has just intensified this week. (Though it was present before.) We are only worried about the possibilities of dental problems because of the obsession with chewing...she hasn't exhibited any signs of pain. We thought the chewing might be a sign of discomfort. I am also worried she is going to swallow a bunch of cotton and get it stuck in her intestines, much the way a friend's dog did after eating a Beanie Baby (major surgery for Rocky, the wolf hybrid, R.I.P.).

I plan to de-cotton the house, removing any offending blankets, etc.

Daisy may have very well been taken away from her mother too soon. She was an approximately one year old stray who turned up at the business next door to DH's. They sent her to the pound, we got her out and brought her home. She was nearly feral...it took her a long time to adjust. She is approximately two years old now.

Thank you both again for your advice and for being patient with my long post.
post #5 of 5
Well, schedule a check up for her...you can make the appointment now, you know, just schedule it in advance, for when you are back on your feet. That will give you peace of mind.

I understand the worry about her eating the cotton and getting bound up. Very scary.

Hopefully a few cardboard boxes will keep her happy. You can give her some thick rope to chew on too. Or a thick strip of leather, like a purse strap. All things Tolly, my chewer, likes to use.

Please keep us updated on Daisy, and I hope you and your husband are feeling better soon!
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