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Eating plastic bags

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
My lil girl loves to try and eat plastic bags,why? lol
post #2 of 12
I've read that the manufacturing process can leave a scent that's very attractive to animals....but, boy, I bet you have to be careful to lock everything away immediately!
post #3 of 12
Dexter is a plastic bag and paper eater.
I have grown used staying alert to items he might try to munch...
notes, books, plastic bags of any kind, the list goes on and on.
Remain watchful, our kitties can be sneaky when they want something.
post #4 of 12
I have to keep bags away from Mooch too. I've always wondered why!!
post #5 of 12
See another post here in Behavior about a cat eating paper. It could be a condition called Pica. And be careful because ingesting that plastic in particular can cause a gut obstruction.
post #6 of 12
Adrien, I'm pretty sure plastic bags are different than most potential Pica situations. A lot of kitties try to eat plastic bags - there are different manufacturing processes used, but in some they use fish oil, and in others they use tallow (rendered fat). Either way - this can be detected by kitties and thus they want to eat it. http://www.manhattancats.com/Articles/PICA.htm

Our Ming Loy is a NUT for plastic bags and anything small and plastic (like headsets ). We never left plastic bags anywhere cats could get at them ever since Flowerbelle got her head caught in the handle of one (while we were putting groceries away). But we really can't leave the plastic bags down on the floor for a few minutes even with groceries in them, because Ming Loy will immediately go for it! She's got like a "plastic" detector that just hones in on anything!
post #7 of 12
Are you referring to plastic grocery bags, garbage bags, Ziploc...all types? Generally this behavior is for attention. Since items like plastic grocery bags are regularly brought into the home by you, it is something they can regularly target. It doesn't usually start out as an oral fixation, but if they don't receive attention by playing with it, they often go a step further.
It is possible they can be attracted to a scent in the plastic that smells edible, but this wouldn't be limited to plastic bags. Definitely keep any plastic bags out of reach, and watch for other plastics you may not normally notice. Things like fake flowers/plants, ribbon, laces, dental floss, thread, clothing labels...........
post #8 of 12
I did an article on this subject last year, and there is NO animal fat or any type of rendering in the making of plastic bags (according to the chemist I talked to working for a major garbage bag manufacturer. It is instead a certain chemical smell that attracts them and they will either eat the item or cover it (spray urine on it) Plastic bags are an inherent danger. They can twist around intestines, wrap around the back of the tongue, create obstructions and require several costly surgeries to correct. Ingestion of these plastic bags can also kill cats.

It's not just cats attracted to this plastic, but bears and other wildlife as well. I always wondered why they made something we use so often, so deadly to animals? Why not make it biodegradable?
post #9 of 12
Thanks for the correction, MA. The PICA site wasn't sure re: the tallow.

The bottom line is - there is something about the manufacturing process that attracts them - yet they are potentially very dangerous and should never be left where kitties can get at them.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Thanks for the correction, MA. The PICA site wasn't sure re: the tallow.

The bottom line is - there is something about the manufacturing process that attracts them - yet they are potentially very dangerous and should never be left where kitties can get at them.
It is true they are dangerous and should never be left out. Manufacturing process being the reason of attraction? If this was the case, as I stated previously, there would be other plastics equally if not more targeted....
post #11 of 12
Well, our Ming Loy goes after all kinds of plastic - baggies, wrappers, tape, packaging, headsets, containers - it does seem to be related to thickness, however, as thick plastic she doesn't go after.
post #12 of 12
One of my cats licks plastic bags (the bags that bread comes in seem to be a particular favourite, also the plastic around shop bought herbs in the little pots), thankfully she doesn't often eat it. I still make sure I keep stuff like that out of her way. Where I live people are constantly posting plastic bags through the letterbox for clothing collections which is a worry. What worries me more is her obsession for eating all things elastic. Rubber bands, hair ties, etc. She especially likes the thick red rubber bands that the postal service use to bundle letter together. I really don't understand why so many 'fishing rod' style cat toys use elastic cords. She will chew through it in seconds rendering the toy useless and, if given the chance, will proceed to eat the elastic. I never buy them but every Xmas my Mam will buy the cats one each, no matter how many times I tell her not to!
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