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Cat Chewing, how do I make it stop?!?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hi, new memeber. I have browsed the forums and there is some great info. To preface, I was a pre-vet major and studied animal behavior. I have had cats as pets my whole life, and I volunteer for Animal services and a pet rescue as a foster home for animals on their journey to their forever homes. Because of this experience I have trained a lot of animals positively, using clicker training and positive reinforment, even animals with major issues.

Now here is mine. I have a two year old cat. About nine months ago he developed the unfortunate habit of chewing...everything. our Duvet, my husbands socks, shoes, blankets. And I find chunks of this debris in his stool. Not only am I worried about the possibility of bowel obstruction, but he is runining everything we own. I have bought him cat bones and dried chicken strips to try to satiate his need to shew, but to no avail. I know he was weaned from his mother early, because he has always had a suckling problem, but this is extreme. I have never had this problem with any of my other cats, and his younger brother aged 6 mo does not have this problem. I try to capture the behavior of him chewing his toys and reward that, but he keeps chewing when ever my eyes aren't on him.

What can I do?

(the water bottle doesn't work either....)

Thanks so much

post #2 of 5
I never owned a cat that does it either. Maybe he has a bad tooth or his ears.
post #3 of 5
Do you think that this might be due to neurosis (anxiety), where instead of pulling out his own hair or doing excessive tail chasing, he eats non-nutritious items instead? If so, you might find that Prozac or Buspar is helpful or perhaps one of the herbal/flower remedies would help.

You might also try doing a search with the key word Pica and see what you find as solutions to this behavior.
post #4 of 5
I agree with lotsocats. This behavior to this extreme is most likely an obsessive-compulsive disorder. When a cat has a compulsion to chew fabrics it's called "wool-sucking" as well as "pica" so I suppose it's some form of that. Possible treatments include dietary changes to a high-fiber diet and medications.
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Right now Eamon is on a raw food diet, brother brand raw food, supplemented with a special Merricks wet food breakfast and sometimes felidae dry food. He also gets kittie greenies to keep his teeth clean. My vet says that he is on the best possible food to maintain his health, he gets accupunture once a month, and I tried homeopathic anxiety meds, but that didn't help. I am going to try Bach rescue remedy, and cross my fingers, but it sounds like he might need to see a specialist. I just feel so lost because I have never found a behavior that I couldn't retrain. The cat is too smart for me and knows how to manipulate me....he vocalizes like a crazy man....

Thanks for the suggestions so far, we'll see how it goes.

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