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Weird problem with plastics and my cat

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have a year and half old kitty named Smudge. She is an only kitty, rather aggressive at times, spayed, and anything but a lapcat. She's never been a 'normal' cat--doesn't want to be held, has never sat on anyone's lap, doesn't snuggle, etc. Lately she has started doing something really strange--she licks plastic bags (like the bags ups/fedex use to ship small stuff). We have to take the bags away from her because she'll lick them all day and night (loud in addition to just weird). Tonight we caught her grooming the artificial Christmas tree! Including scrubbing it down to the 'limbs'! Has anyone else experienced this? Is there any known harm in licking plastics? She also grooms a toy weasle we bought her, my theory was that it reminds her of her tail or another kitten. Is this just maternal instinct? Any help would be appreciated. I'm planning to call my vet to ask if there's danger in licking plastic

Edit: On the bright side we'll have the cleanest artificial tree in the world.
post #2 of 8
Hi, My cat Pickles, does a strange thing, at least I find it strange. I have a wicker basket in the hall and for some strange reason he will rub his front claws on it. It is strange because its the only thing he does that too. Also I can't leave hershey kisses out as he eats them, must have a sweet tooth. I am not sure there is anything wrong with her licking the plastic, as long as she isn't chewing it. It just may be the surface that she likes. Maybe someone else here may have an answer, but I personally wouldn't worry about it. Hope this helps.
post #3 of 8
In the manufacturing process of some plastics (such as those used for the envelopes you mentioned as well as the plastic grocery bags) they use a fish oil. It could be your kitty smells that and likes it. It is best to watch her closely though - don't let her chew it or ingest any of it at all.

post #4 of 8
My cats are always chewing any kind of plastic bag, it gets a bit frustrating because I don't want them to get any kind of blockage. No matter how much I try to keep them all out of reach, they always manage to find one I missed!
post #5 of 8
my kitty does this too, she even grooms the christmas tree!

found an explanation on a site:

This is a difficult behavior to explain, and some cats are more prone to it than others. Most feline behaviorists have come to believe that some cats find a slight odor to the plastic and/or film surfaces simply irresistible, and also that the coolness and texture of the plastic and/or film must feel and taste good on the cat's tongue. It may also be another form of trying to "nurse" - sort of a feline "oral compulsive" behavior.

maverick also likes the crinkly noise plastic makes. as long as shes not eating it like the others have said she'll be ok.
post #6 of 8
i just did a google search on "cats licking plastic" and found a million other owners with the same problem but not too many answers

heres another good explanation:
. This seems to be quite a common activity but it is, as yet, an unexplained one. There are lots of theories: they may be 'tasting' the different smells that are on the bag (cats have an organ inside the roof of their mouth that allows them to 'taste' a scent); they may like the feel of the bag on their tongue (cats also seem to like licking metal surfaces); they may be spreading their scent on something that smells of the outside world; or it may be that it just relieves anxiety in some way. Check that there is nothing worrying her or making her agitated. If there isn't, then I wouldn't worry too much about it. But make sure she can't get herself trapped inside a large plastic bag
post #7 of 8
Yeah, I have a plastic cat. Anything plastic, he will seek and destroy it. I am scared that he will ingest it and get a blockage -- so whenever we hear that tell-tale spitty-chewy-crunchy sound of Hammie eating plastic -- we run and pull it from him!!! He just LOVES plastic!!! He also gets into garbage cans, too, to go after the discarded plastic.

He also just adores masking tape. You know that stuff from Lowe's, the blue painters tape? Well once the painting is done he will grab a mouthful of the discarded tape, and take off running with it.
post #8 of 8
Silly kitties!
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