Does licking or eating plastic bags bad for my cat?

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Our question this week was:

My cat likes to lick and eat plastic bags, and tape, etc. what can I do to keep her from doing those things, and will it harm her.

Roberta Pratt

Answer

Hi Roberta– thanks for your email. Your question was – will licking or eating plastic bags or tape be harmful to your cat. The answer is YES!

The biggest concern is eating the plastic which can get caught in her stomach or intestine that could require surgery. Please keep all plastic away from her if possible!

I'm not sure why she is licking at or wanting to eat the bag. Some cats are funny. Some cats can do it because of boredom or nutritional deficiencies.

I'd recommend that you make sure that she is being feed a good quality AAFCO approved food for her life stage (adult, kitten or senior). I'd also make sure that you give her playtime and know what her toy preference is and ensure that you have some of those toys available to her. Make sure her environment is enriched with scratching posts, interesting windows to look out, potentially bird feeders to watch and some cat trees.

An article that might be helpful to you is Gastrointestinal Foreign Bodies in Cats.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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