Innapropriate chewing? (on plastic, netting/tulle, ribbons, etc...)

This is a place to gain some understanding of cat behavior and to assist people in training their cats and dealing with common behavior problems, regardless of the method(s) used. Keep in mind that you may be receiving advice from other cat owners and lovers...not professionals. If you have a major problem, always seek the advice of a trainer or behaviorist!

Spot- (Striped- Seven)

Feline Blood- Donor
Purred: Sun Nov 11, '12 3:53pm PST 
Any ideas on why this may be going on and what I can about it? My cat Spot has always liked to chew on one of my cat show ribbons and sometimes tried to chew plastic but lately I've noticed him chewing on things more and he has destroyed the ribbon his brother Blaze won... He also is chewing on plastic items, and on the tulle/netting skirt of a doll I had on display... I try to stop him and discourage him but he keeps going back. I had to finally put the doll and ribbon away somewhere to stop him but there are sometimes plastic items around and he will chew those.
He doesn't try to swallow any of these things, he just chews on them.
I can't stop him when I am not there, so not sure what else to do. I thought of maybe giving him a thing of his own to chew on like you would with a dog who is chewing inappropriately, but what can you give a cat that they can chew safely (and would want to chew)? thinking
I mean they already have plenty of cat toys.
Spot's brothers and sister also sometimes like to chew on plastic as well but they are not as much of a nuisance about it usually...

Edited by author Sun Nov 11, '12 8:04pm PST



Purred: Mon Nov 12, '12 6:02pm PST 
I like to chew ribbon and plastic and my Mom sprays those things with Grannick's Bitter Apple spray. It tastes just awful and I won't chew anything that is sprayed with it.


puke with a- ribbon in it!
Purred: Sun Nov 18, '12 10:31pm PST 
Angel chews ribbons, plastic and netting also. Its almost a compulsive behavioral. I have resorted to putting away anything she chews. it stinks, but its the only way. she also has a taste for IPOD ear buds.

Im not sure why cats obsessively chew plastic. Its something to do with whatever chemicals are used in making it. it might trigger some sort of response. Some will lick plastic bags too. Its pretty common. you could try bitter apple spray on things you cant put away. Angel has toned it down these past few years. but i also put away everything she liked to chew. Im not sure its something cats can be easily trained out of. to me it seems like a compulsive behavior that can only be broken by making the objects unavailable.

as for chewable objects...i dont know of many. They make a kitty kong but my cats dont like it. i dont think its easy for them to chew since cats are side chewers. the thing is, cats seem to prefer long thin objects, and those can be swallowed. Mine seem to like plastic cat balls (the kind they cant swallow) kong brand 'kickaroos' and those catnip kiss balls.

I also "allow" Angel to fetch up hairties. but i put them up when we are done playing. She dosnt chew them when i leave them out by accident. im not sure why.

Edited by author Sun Nov 18, '12 10:34pm PST