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Eating/chewing pinecones

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I wasn't certain if I should ask this question in health or behavior.

We (my mother, brother and I) live in the country and have cats that hunt, but are also feed/watered in one room of the house. My mom's cat Ginger, had kittens 7 months ago. Over the summer she was teaching them to hunt. Which translated that occassionally we found leftovers of whatever mommy cat brought back, in our laundry room. Even one time I found my cat, Mozart, one of the now 7 month old kittens, swatting around a still alive young mouse the same color as himself. (Normal behavior-make sure it's dead before you eat it...)

Fortunately for us humans, we haven't had to deal with remains or blood on the floor, like the first few times this happened. The cats seem to be better at finishing any caught meal without leaving evidence. (other then occassionally a few feathers)

As the seasons started changing, the cats are hunting less. But they starting doing something a couple months back. They started bringing pine cones into the laundry room. I would see one and ignore it. Then two days later all the leave like parts (whatever they are called) would be gone and just the core remain.

I found it kind of humorous thinking our cats are eating pine cones. After several times that the cats did this I began to wonder if they were teething and finding a natural chew. They would have been at the age where teething isn't out of the question (4-5 months old when it started). The behavior must have been low key for awhile because it was out of my mind until I noticed a new pine cone in the laundry room last night.

I haven't seen any ill effects on the cats. Should I be concerned? I can't say for certain that they are actually eating the pine cones and not just chewing them and spitting the pieces out. Are pine cones toxic to cats?

I'm also wondering if anyone else has had their cats do this?

Pine cones anyone?
post #2 of 4
Where I live we don't have pines but a lot of tropical fruit trees. In my garden I have coconut, papaya and some banana trees. Once in a while,when the wind is strong the new budding fruits would fall off (these are hard & smaller version of the fruits) and my cats, specially Skinny would pick them up and bring them inside the house and deposit them where she usually naps. I don't know why she does it but maybe it's her version of a toy stash. I notice she doesn't collect much when I play with her more than usual or when I give her a new toy.
I hope the others can help you with more suggestions.
post #3 of 4
Pinecones are not toxic, but I would be concerned of blockage. Sometimes when ferals eat bark, twigs and pinecones, it is because of digestive upset. I would introduce your cats to canned pumpkin for extra fiber to help push through anything that might ultimately block them up.

I have one little girl Squirrel who brings in walnuts all the time to play with. She bats them around the floor though and doesn't eat on them. I had another cat Scatter who used to bring in earthworms and lay them on my pillow- that was fun! And Bartee used to bring pebbles from the creek. Taz loves to bring me nails, screws, small computer parts, washers, bolts.......LOL
post #4 of 4
I tried a decorative basket of pinecones by my fireplace once. NOT! It wasn't long before they became the favorite toy in the house. Ours nibbled them a little but didn't really eat them. They roll around at funny angles and make great noises on the hardwood floors.
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