Pica disorder in cats

Cats in heat need special care

La itches in cats It is a disorder that is not usually talked about. Although the symptoms are known and the causes can be intuited, it is not always easy to detect it. It is often confused with stress, or as something caused by a lack of stimuli, but the truth is that this is a much more serious problem than all that. In fact, if action is not taken it can cost them their lives.

When to suspect that our beloved cat suffers from it? Considering that it is a very serious disease, it is important to ask yourself this question. So below I hope to solve it for you.

What is pica in cats?

Pica is a disorder characterized by the animal bites, chews and can even ingest things that are not edible: plastics, cardboard, fabrics,… whatever you find on your way. This can be very dangerous, since as we all know, none of these materials (paper, cardboard, etc.) are edible.

What's more: in the event that they are ingested, there is a risk that they will be obstructed in some part of their body, and if that happens, the animal will have difficulty breathing, relieve themselves and discomfort and/or pain.

What are the causes?

There are several causes of pica in cats. Knowing them all is essential to understand the disorder and, also, our beloved cat:

Early separation from mother and siblings

The kitten needs to be with its biological family for at least the first three months of age. His mother is the one who teaches him to regulate the force of the bite, how to behave, and also keeps him protected from possible enemies.. When he plays with her and/or her siblings, he learns to respect the limits that are placed on them, to catch her “prey”, and to discover who he can or cannot trust.

If you separate before that age, the feline ceases to have the catlike figure from which I would have to learn everything what it means to be a cat.

Bad nutrition

Bad or unbalanced. The cat is a carnivorous animal that needs to obtain protein of animal origin. It is necessary to give him a food that respects his carnivorous nature, its predatory instinct, since otherwise we could run the risk that it ends up having a sting.

You have to think that cheap is often expensive, and more so if we talk about cat food. Therefore, if you are going to give it feed, I advise you to read its composition, and to stay with those that do not have cereals, by-products or flour of any kind.

Lack of stimuli

Cats can suffer from diseases

Boredom is also another cause of pica in cats. The lack of activity makes them look for some form of entertainment, and sometimes they resort to chewing things that they should not. And it is that Although they are animals that spend most of the day sleeping, this does not mean that during the rest of the time they do not want to do anything.

If they live in an environment where there is a family that does not play with them, with nothing to do, boredom, frustration, and discouragement accumulate. Thus, not only can they end up with pica, but we cannot rule out changes in behavior such as attacking the feet, urinating and/or defecating in inappropriate places, or scratching and/or biting people when they did not do so before. example.


Stress becomes a problem when it interferes with daily life, preventing us from following the routine normally. Unfortunately, cats are very prone to, as they need, dare I say more than us, to follow a routine. Always doing the same thing and more or less at the same time provides them with security, and allows them to have control over what surrounds them.

But if we move constantly, or we are doing works at home and these last for months, or if we subject them to situations of great tension, the risk that they will have pica will be there.

How to treat pica in cats?

Pica is a disease that must be treated in different ways, and they are:

We will give you a quality diet

View of applaws food for cats

It must be rich in animal protein and without cereals or by-products. For example, if we want to feed him, I recommend these brands: Applaws, True Instinct High Meat, Orijin, Cat's Health Gourmet, Acana, Sanabelle Grain free or Taste of the wild.

In the event that we choose to give him homemade food, it is important to consult with a feline nutritionist, or with a veterinarian who understands cat food.

We will dedicate a while each day to play with him

But beware: you do not have to buy any type of toy. In order for the cat with a pike to be able to entertain itself safely, you should choose medium-sized toys, like a stuffed animal that is only one piece so you can't break it. Anything that won't break easily or be ingested will work.

We won't burden you

It is important to know the body language of cats to understand them. This is something that we have to start doing from day one, otherwise we can take things for granted that are not really true.

In addition, we need to know when they want us to pet them and when they don't, and what they try to tell us at all times so that coexistence is good.

We will provide you with incentives

I am no longer just talking about playing with him, but also about try to give the cat visual stimuli. If we look at a colony of cats that live on the street or in a garden, they spend a lot of time simply observing the landscape. We can achieve this at home by putting on YouTube and searching for “cat videos”. I assure you that you will have him watching the video you put on him for a while.

In addition, we cannot forget about mental stimuli. Interactive toys, like CatIt's, will help distract him by forcing him to think in order to get the treat.

We'll hide everything you can ingest

This means that bags, ropes, ribbons, small toys, balls,... Everything that is dangerous must be hidden, for your own safety.

And if we do not get any improvement after a few months, or if we have doubts, the ideal is to contact a specialist in feline behavior. Anyway, keep in mind that this is a disease that can take a long, long time to heal. For this reason, it is important to be patient and, above all, to do everything possible so that the cat is well and safe.

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