Why Does a Cat Chew on Plastic?

why does a cat chew on plastic

Does your cat do everything it can to get ahold of your plastic grocery bags? Do you have to lock up packaging, garbage bags, dry-cleaning bags, straws, cups, and all other plastic items in your home, so your cat doesn’t chew on them? Do you find tiny cat-tooth marks in your sandwich baggies?

Some cats are just like puppies and enjoy chewing on objects. If you have a cat that chews on, loves to lick or eat plastic, you’re not the only one. While plastic bags may seem like a strange choice for cats. But from a cat’s point of view, they find it very attractive. Cats that loves plastic are in the minority, but many cats find plastic interesting. So why does a cat chew on plastic? In this post you can learn more about why does a cat chew on plastic?


Pica is a medical term that means that you are inclined to eating non-food items or chewing on. Cats may suffer from pica for some different reasons. Plastic bags that come from a grocery or other food store can have a lingering scent and even taste of food. Chewing on plastic bags is a pleasant experience. Many bags are also coated in substances or are making of animal by-products such as gelatin. This substance makes the products attractive to cats.

Plastic bags make crinkly noises and cats enjoy that sound. Another reason that a cat chews on plastic can be related to the health of the teeth. Boredom can also be a significant factor by habits like these. Chewing on plastic can be dangerous for your cat as they can suffocate or choke on bag pieces and bags.

Plastic is a giant part of our lives. We find it everywhere. So we won’t soon say goodbye to plastic and cats don’t mind. Cats love plastic. I started investigating to find out why does a cat chew on plastic and how you can prevent your cat from chewing on plastic.

What’s so great about chewing plastic bags?

Plastic bags that come from a food store or grocery can carry the lingering scent and even taste of food. Many bags are made of animal by-products such as gelatin or are also coating in substances such as cornstarch or stearates (salts of stearate acid). This substance makes plastic attractive to cats because your cat can smell these substances. Cats can also enjoy of the crinkly noises that a plastic bag makes. Al these things make chewing on plastic a pleasant experience.

There may also be another reason why your cat is chewing on plastic. Chewing on plastic may have to be related to the dental health of your cat. If you notice that your cat chews a lot on plastic, a visit to the vet is important to ensure that your cat’s teeth are healthy.

You can also talk about your cat’s diet with your vet. Chewing on foreign objects can be a symptom that your cat has too few nutritional needs, such as a deficit of the necessary vitamins. Boredom can also be an important factor why your cat likes plastic so much. Your cat is looking for something by which it can play.

Tips to keep your cat from chewing plastic bags.

  • Chewing on bags can be very dangerous for the health of your cat. To prevent this danger, you must ensure that your cat has no longer access to these plastic items. It is very simple for plastic bags. Make sure you immediately throw away a plastic bag in a place that is not accessible to your cat. Make sure your cat can’t reach this. If you would like to recycle/store plastic bags for another time, make sure the bags are in a safe place that your cat can’t enter, such as in a locked cupboard.
  • Make sure your cat has other ways to discover his world. Offering other incentives will play a big role in unlearning to chew inappropriate items such as plastic bags. The sensory needs of a cat are taste, texture, sound, and smell. If your cat likes to chew on plastic, look in the pet store for products/toys that approach these feelings, such as wrinkled balls. Look for products that are different from these as well. Your cat can enjoy a wide variety of sounds and textures when they play and chew. You can also use puppy Nylabones as chew toys for very orally focused cats.
  • Play daily with your cat. Playing can help to make your cat mentally and physically tired. Find and buy toys that require involvement in the game, such as cat toy fishing rod. This cat toy is made to let cats be cats, allowing them to pounce, jump and chase their prey. These toys stimulate the senses and reward your cat with a healthy play. Keeps your cat positively engaged and busy. Interactive food toys where your cat has to look for food within the toy is also a good way to keep your cat busy. Foot toys appeal to the cat’s natural needs but also the physical and mental challenge. Not only can you play fantastically with your cat, but your cat can also enjoy it for a while. Doing clicker training with your cat is also possible. You can do simple behaviors such as sit, down and other tricks. It is also a good way to increase your cat’s exercise and bonding activity.

What can be done about a cat eating plastic?

If your cat chews on plastic, you should have to worry. Swallowing plastic cannot only cause minor problems such as vomiting and diarrhea, but it can also cause serious intestinal problems. In the worst case, your cat needs surgery or dies.

Plastic can also cause your cat to choke, and plastic bags can cause strangulation. Hard plastic items can cause damage to sensitive mouth tissues when chewing. Keep plastic away from your cat. Everyone in the home should be aware of the importance of keeping all plastic away from the cat.

Never leave the cat alone with plastic items. A cat that chews on plastic has a possible health risk. There are some things you can do if your cat chews, licks on or eats plastic.

Always the first step when you are dealing with any out-of-the-ordinary feline behavior is to visit your veterinarian. A big role that can play in many feline behaviors is boredom. Making time to play with your cat daily can enrich the life of your cat and decrease the tendency to engage in unwanted behaviors.

Make sure you use and have many cat toys that mimic the behavior of prey. Toys that can be used to move like mouse toys, birds or toys that you can cause to scoot around like rodents. Playing hide and seek games with or without toys is always fun and a good idea. These games can all allow your cat to exercise the predator instincts and helps to let your cat healthier and happier.


Boredom or stress can occur if you leave your cat alone at home. You can offer ways to keep your cat active and happy so that unwanted behavior can be reduced, such as searching and eating plastic.

For example, separate the daily food into several small bowls and hide them around the house your cat can “hunt” and find the food. You can also put a puzzle toy in your home. With this puzzle toy, your cat has to puzzle to find the cat treats. High scratching posts, window sills, handrails of a chair or couch to view the outdoors can also be a great way to give your cat extra entertainment. Your cat can watch the goings-on outside while you are away. My cats can sit on the windowsill for hours and looking outside.

Cats release stress, exercise by scratching and mark territory by scratching. If you have enough good scratching posts in your house, you can decrease unwanted behaviors in cats. It depends on how big your house is, but a minimum of 2 scratching posts is wise.

If you are nearby when your cat starts to chew on plastic, you can use a unique technique. Ask the attention of your cat by calling or throwing a toy in the opposite direction than the plastic item. Reward your cat when it leaves the plastic to pursue more acceptable behavior. You will need to repeat this exercise often, gradually showing your cat that it gets more positive attention from ignoring plastic bags than it does from chewing on it.

Normal cat chewing behaviors

Kittens that are teething are more likely to chew on items than adult cats, but this is completely normal. Kittens lose their baby teeth, and instead, they get a full set of adult teeth back. They get these teeth between the ages of 3.5 and seven months old. Different teeth fall out at different times, but the urge to chew can be stronger in these four months. The kitten tries to get relief by chewing on stuff. Because getting 30 new teeth is not a pleasant feeling.

Kittens like to play with small objects and sometimes put these objects in their mouths, such as rubber bands, bottle caps or nipples. As soon as they feel the texture of these things, they often continue the behavior and look for things that also have this similar texture.

Adult cats like to chew on certain textures. That your cat likes a certain item may have started after it was covered or filled with catnip, delicacies or something else edible. Your cat can also just love it because it is curious.

Cats are some more adventurous than others, and by licking or biting, they look what happens. If the product makes a nice sound or has an interesting taste, they continue to lick or bite. Plastic shopping bags are often coated, and this coating tastes sweet, cats often find this sweet taste attractive.

Adult cats may also chew on plastic if they have dental pain. By chewing, they try to calm their sore mouth. If you suspect that your cat has problems with his teeth or discomfort, it is a good idea to have it examined by your veterinarian.

Abnormal cat chewing behaviors

Pica is a word used to describe an eating disorder where products without nutritional value are eating. Plastic has no nutritional value so you could say that a cat that chews and eats plastic has pica. For most cats that chew or eat on plastic, this starts because the product has tasted good or because the cat likes to play with it, not because the cat has an eating disorder. But stress can cause a cat to do unreasonable things and therefore develop pica as a response to stress.

For cats that have aggression problems, they may begin to chew on plastic cords and other plastic items in the house. By chewing, they try to express their emotions. These aggressive behaviors can be a sign of poor socialization, pain, stress or other problems.

Problems with chewing plastic

Some plastic products are right for your cat to chew on, but many products pose a potential danger to the cat. Small plastic stuff that your cat can put completely in the mouth is dangerous, poses a choking hazard and can cause other problems. Plastic items can cause obstructions and prevent water and food from passing through the body. Alternatively, the plastic objects puncture or tear the stomach or intestines if the object has sharp edges or corners.

If your cat has swallowed plastic, it must remove. Sometimes your vet will recommend that the cat vomit the plastic item, but this is not with all plastic items. It often happens with surgery or endoscopy that the item is removing. The veterinarian performs this operation. These operations require general anesthesia and are not without risks. So it’s always best to prevent your cat from eating plastic.

Preventing your cat from chewing plastic

Anxiety and stress can be reduced and sometimes prevented in cats. Pheromones can help your cat to relax in a new environment or when other changes make your cat more stressful. Medications can relieve anxiety in severe cases, and supplements can help your cat relax naturally.

By helping to prevent or reduce the amount of stress your cat has, you probably also reduce the chance that your cat will pick up the bad habit of stress-chewing plastic. Let your indoor cat slowly get used to new things. At first, avoid contact with outdoor cats by closing the blinds. Other techniques can also help to prevent your cat from getting stressed.

It sounds very logical, but by cleaning up plastic items such as plastic lids, rubber bands, plastic caps or bags that are within reach of cats, you prevent your cat is taking it. If you don’t want your cat to eat/chew or play with these plastic items, hide it or throw it away.

Finally, you can grab your cat’s attention with non-plastic products. Give your cat cute, safe toys of different textures and fabrics. Use feather sticks and laser pointers to play with your cat. You can also use catnip or treats to attract your cat’s attention to other products that your cat can play with or chew on.

I bought a Kong Kickeroo pillow a long time ago for my cats. This pillow is a sturdy cat toy with premium catnip, crinkle sound, and plush tail. This Kong Kickeroo satisfies your cat’s hunting needs, and also the cats find the scent of the catnip attractive. They play a lot with this, and they bite and chew on it. But with this pillow, it is allowed, and because of this, the cats play less with plastic products.


Some cats are just like puppies and enjoy chewing on objects. Adult cats like to chew on certain textures. If your cat’s plastic chewing is a medical issue, then visit a veterinarian. If it’s a behavioral issue, then you can find ways to keep your cat entertained in other ways. Give your cat a scratching post or give it fun toys. Try to find out where the stress or anxiety is coming from and then try to avoid this.

Maybe if your cat likes to play with cat toys, then I have found some best cheap free cat toys for indoor cats for you.

Hopefully, you have learned something about why does a cat chew on plastic. Also, when you know someone who likes to know more about Why Does a Cat Chew on Plastic then feel free to share this post. Additionally, which plastic products does your cat like the most?

By Marleen

Marleen is a truly madly deeply cat lover and founder of That Is for My Cat. She wants to share her knowledge about cats with other people who like to know more about cats.

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