Cats and plastic; A very intriguing and interesting story. Who never saw his cat playing with a plastic bag, it happens usually when you come back from grocery and start organizing the food. With its curious attitude, a cat can start wondering around you smelling every product you brought back home, but not staying still and discovering is the least thing. Not only that but if he saw the plastic bags moving, he will for sure jump over it and start playing with it. It will be a very attractive source of joy and fun for him for the next few hours. But wait, where is the big deal in all of this? Well, it’s for sure not a big problem unless your cat is only playing with the plastic bag. Yes! What you just thought about is right; your cat can eat the plastic. And for that, there are mostly two reasons.
The first one is that your cat is your baby; he doesn’t really know what is good and what is bad for him. So basically, he will be playing with it and test every other substance to see if it does suit his taste or not. He is monitored by you, and if you let things go, your cat can suffer from painful intestinal blockage or worse, suffocating. The second reason is that, unfortunately, eating plastic can be often related to an eating disorder called pica. By that, cats tend to eat strange things like nonfood matters such as straws, garbage bags, sandwich bags, cups, boards, and even paper. However, this can also be related to other disorders as well or other issues way far from the pica disorder.
In order to deal with this kind of problem, or prevent it which is the better option, you should know the why and how. Because most of the time, knowing the roots or the source of the problem, leads 100% to the solution. So let’s confront the real problem and let’s begin solving it.
What is in plastic that makes my cat wants to lick it?
Starting from the source, where do plastic bags come from? How they can suddenly evade your house? Well, it is not a surprise that you bring them with you from grocery shopping back home. And due to many factors, plastic bags do exist and are present with many forms, sizes, and types. All of this is related to client satisfaction and helping deliver the value in the best way it can. Sadly, we can be pleased but we are not listening to nature or paying attention to animals by this behavior. Plastic bags are life-threatening for all species, but because cats are living with us they are the most affected by this toxic substance.
Back to the main subject, when coming back from shopping we usually bring back either the reusable or the thin plastic bags to carry out our purchases. But we are not aware that we are also bringing back tallow too, the main matter responsible for the plastic’s elasticity and easy separation. When you are finally at home and you drop the grocery off, your cat is immediately attracted by the sound it makes my every move. They will not be at ease until they jump over it trying to discover from where all of this is coming. The curiosity can soon be transformed into a habit starting from licking it till even eating it.
When we say plastic, we say degradability problems hurting nature. This process is often related to the plastic-type or identity and can create a remaining odor that can last for a long duration. The origins of this smell are basically from animal fats (“tallow”), lanolin, petroleum products, gelatin, or cornstarch. The gelatin is important too in the process of the photo emulsion of the plastic, which can directly connect to the photo licking to the bag. Many studies have shown that all those odors may not be detected by a human being, but for cats yes, especially because they have a strong sense of smell. All the plastic industry has made the plastic generally a headquarter of all the animal fats and components that can be attractive to cats due to their carnivore and wild nature.
2. Interesting food smell, Lubricants in plastic
The most important thing to know is that plastic can easily pick up the odor of the food they envelop. And this is quite obvious especially if the food is an ailment. And due to the strong cat’s ability to detect odors, your cat can get confused over the packaging that holds the smell. This fact can make your cat eat the plastic thinking that it’s a delicious jackpot found.
if we want to get a little bit deeper scientifically talking, but at the same time understanding the reason behind your cat behavior. as long as the gelatin in the photographs can make your cat impatient to lick the colloid, than the plastic have way more than just this substance. It is a stearates treatment consisted of fatty acid found in animals and vegetables fat. The acid can also be found in soaps, candles, cosmetics and oil pastels. And this is the main component, combined with some other chemicals, that gives plastic an interesting smell that attracts cats in general.
3. The appeal of plastic bag, boredom or stress
Well, let’s be clear. The fact that your cat is eating plastic can have psychic reasons too. How? By not providing to your cat a playground or enough activities to do during the day. Maybe he is bored because of the same routine, the lack of the spirit and the excitement to discover new things. That’s why by chewing the plastic, he got himself a new activity to distract from the boring mood or the stressful conditions for a while. Just like when humans bite their nails when they are stressed, cats on the other hand chew plastic. But with this behavior, they don’t really know that they are hurting themselves.
That’s why you should provide to your feline a better environment to occupy and get busy during the day. Playing with your cat or giving him toys can have some very positive effect not only on his mental health but also his physics. You will notice that your cat is getting stronger, energetic but also more active.
The whole ecosystem is suffering from plastic harm. From humans, the life on land, the life in the vast oceans, to even our little domestic pets, we are all under the same life-threatening cause. This material never truly decomposes, which can make the damage stay for many decades. Cats on the other hand can suffer from various forms of entanglements as well as accidental consumption which may be deadly. It can affect dental health as well as the digestive system by swallowing the plastic pieces. Every owner then should pay attention to all the plastic forms that exist not only the bags from grocery, but also cat’s toys can be made from plastic. Better spend time specifying the nature of everything given to our felines, to prevent hurting them.