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HELP! My kitty has PICA

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
Help! My Kitty has PICA! We have a total of 3 cats, all rescued, all under 2 yrs. old. Bob, a long-haired Siamese mix has a disorder called PICA, where he eats any kind of soft fabric or srting in sight. He's already had to have one gastrotomy to remove a blockage that the vet was not able to remove with an endoscope. My fiance and I are extremely careful now, and try not to leave anything around that Bob may find appitizing, but there's always an occassional guest who leaves their sweatshirt on the sofa for a minute, or the cleaning people forget to tie the blinds back up. It is so hard! I love Bob so much, and I constantly worry he will get another blockage. The vets don't seem to have any good longterm solution (he's been to several already) He is a playful cat, but most cat toys are a hazzard, as he just trys to eat them. While I'm sleeping he tries to eat the hair ties out of my ponytails, and even tries to eat my hair! Recently he ate a chunk off the t-shirt I was wearing to sleep in, and a piece of our sheets. I'm afraid our only option is to leave him in the bathroom when we aren't watching him, but he's such a loving little guy, and he craves attention like no other cat I've ever seen! Also, I'd hate to separate him from our other cats. Please help if you have any advice! Thanks!!!!!
post #2 of 10
I would really look into a change in this cat's diet first, then putting him on a Bach Flower remedy to ease his anxiety www.littlebigcat.com can help you there.
post #3 of 10
It's a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder, isn't it? OCD in humans can be treated with drugs, but I don't know whether that's possible (or advisable) in cats. I guess your vet would have suggested it if it were.

Gosh, I hate to say this... but the only thing I can think of is a little kitty muzzle of some kind. A horrible thing to have to do to the little guy... but better than letting him get seriously hurt, I guess. It would have to be designed to allow him to slip his tongue out so he can drink water and groom himself...and that might mean it wouldn't work, because kitty tongues can grab things with friction and draw them in... but it's worth a try.

What a dilemma! I hope someone has a better solution for you...
post #4 of 10
The little Siamese female I had in my twenties had a real love for wool. She ate the elbow out of a very expensive sweater overnight. Fortunately she passed the wool and no vet visit was necessary.

Hissy has tons of expertise and experience - I'd give her remedy a try.
post #5 of 10
I wouldn't recommend a kitty muzzle, first of all, I don't think they are available except to vets, and they aren't the answer here. I would feed this cat lots of fibers and fresh cooked vegetables as well- some sources of good fiber- cooked yams with a bit of butter, organic loose leaf catnip, canned pumpkin (right out of the can) good and mashed green beans. You want these foreign bodies to get out of the cat as quickly as possible-
post #6 of 10
Pica is a lack of something the cat needs in his diet, whether it's minerals, vitamins, etc. etc. People with pica often go crazy for anything starchy, including paste, etc. You need to find out what he needs and arrange for him to get a (healthy) version of it somehow. Ask your regular vet to recommend a cat nutritionist or holistic vet to work with. Flower remedies are nice, but don't address the real chemical problem.
post #7 of 10
Hissy's right -- I hadn't seen her post yet when I put mine up, and I was just stabbing in the dark.

But then, is Hissy ever wrong? :-)
post #8 of 10
I've read that PICA is very common in Siamese (I read this in "Outwitting Cats"). The Seal Point Siamese I had as a kid, Sugarfoot, would eat anything made of wool or string. Some examples of what he ate are:
  • an entire sweater (and I do mean ENTIRE)
  • countless mittens, scarves and hats
  • an entire audio tape that my dad was unravelling to remove a kink (Dad was NOT happy)
  • christmas garlands (he would pull out the tinsel and leave the string)

Luckilly he never had any problems, everything just passed right through !
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks! I will try something for is anxiety. It's so odd though- he's a pretty mellow cat. Not at all "anxious", and often when he tries to eat clothes he is purring, and really happy.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
it's so frusterating- the vets don't seem to have any good long term solutions. (and he's had a $2,000 gastrotomy)!!!!!!!!! Thanks for everyones advice though. I really appreciate it!!!!
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