We have self-help groups to assist people with a common goal to meet their objectives; for instance, Alcoholics Anonymous helps people break their alcohol addiction and stay sober. So, what if cat parents were to form a “Tape Eating Addicts Anonymous” organization for their cats? You would be surprised at how many members would join to help their kitties break the habit. It is worrying to see your furry companion put his life at risk by eating tape and other objects he should not be ingesting, yet your attempts to stop him are futile. However, have you ever asked yourself why your cat eats tape? Below are the reasons for cats eating tape, the dangers involved, and how you can stop the habit.
Why is Your Cat Eating Tape?
They say curiosity killed a cat, and this applies even in feeding habits. Some cats cannot control their fascination and want to taste different objects because they are fascinated by the texture and the smell. Tape can raise a cat’s curiosity, and the only way to quench it is by eating it. Unfortunately, most cats keep getting fascinated by the same object. Hence, even if the kitties eat tape today, they will want to eat it whenever they see it, maybe because they recall liking the taste the first time. After all, cats have been known to retain their memory for a long time.
Another common reason for cat eating tape is pica. Pica is an eating disorder in which cats feed on inedible objects. Although it is mostly observed in cats that were weaned too early, there are different reasons for pica development, some of which are medical issues. The real causes for pica remain unknown, but experts believe that stress, genetics, and dietary deficiencies predispose cats to the disorder. Therefore, eating tape could indicate that your feline is suffering from pica, which can be dangerous if it remains uncontrolled.
Also, your kitty, according to Dog and Cat Pet 2000, could be bored and only wants to keep himself preoccupied, playing with tape and eating it. On the other hand, you might have been ignoring your cat, and it thinks that eating tape will catch your attention.
The Dangers of Cats Eating Tape
Most people will tell you not to panic when you learn that your cat has eaten tape. They will share with you similar encounters of how their kitties also did the same thing, but the tape was passed out of the system when the cat pooped. Then again, how sure can you be that the tape will pass out of the body as it should? As a fur parent, you will be concerned that the tape will cause respiratory issues since the adhesive on the tape could block the airways. Indeed you have reason to worry because there are dangers involved when cats eat tape.
Cats put their lives at risk every time they eat tape or other inedible objects. Although their bodies react by pushing out the objects out of their system through vomiting, sometimes, the items get stuck in the gut. As a result, the tape will cause a blockage in the intestines. According to Yahoo! Sports, the intestinal blockage is life-threatening; hence it must be removed through surgery, which is quite costly. You can quickly tell if your cat is already suffering from intestinal blockage through symptoms like decreased appetite, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain and tenderness.
Furthermore, some tapes contain toxic ingredients, while some, like duct tape, are considered safe, others like electrical tape are not. Electrical tape is made from PVC, which has even been banned in some countries. Its use is prohibited in toys or kitchen utensils because it leaches out of the product into the food. Therefore, if states are taking such precautions to protect their citizens, you can only imagine the harm it would do to your furry companion’s body if ingested.
How Do You Break The Habit?
If you notice your cat only chews on tape out of boredom, then it is up to you to create a stimulating environment. Give the feline more toys, let it out to chase butterflies, or use a light pen to help practice its hunting skills. Whatever you do, ensure that your cat does not run out of activities to do, at least until it falls asleep out of exhaustion. Alternatively, when you spot your cat eyeing the tape, create a diversion by introducing something that will capture its interest and make it forget about the tape.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” will have to do in preventing your cat from eating tape. By this, we mean putting the tape out of the cat’s reach and view because you will awaken the tape eating beast inside the furry creature. If you can, do not even use tape around your home; look for alternatives. Get in the habit of using ribbons or any other techniques to wrap your gifts so as not to raise your furry friend’s curiosity.
Sometimes, you have to be creative, which means tricking the cat into believing the tape is not as “tasty” as it once was. Cats that eat tape because the taste and smell attract them can be tricked into associating tape with a bitter taste. For instance, allowing the cat to taste something bitter then coating the tape with the bitter substance will have your feline thinking that tape tastes bitter. Consequently, hopefully, its tape eating days will be a thing of the past.
All in all, no matter how well you try to tame the cat’s tape eating habit, you will still need to visit the vet for a professional opinion. Since your cat could be having medical issues that prompt it to eat inedible objects, it is crucial to have the vet rule out pica as the cause lest your attempts will prove futile as the underlying health issues remain untreated.