Recently I adopted a female cat, a little over a year and two months old, as a companion for my male cat. The introduction was smooth and they got along very quickly. However, this new cat would always eat anything that smells or looks remotely similar to food.
For example, we are feeding them separately behind doors now. When she comes out to the other side after feeding time, she sniffs where the other cat ate, and she would pick up pieces of carpet and eat them. I noticed this behaviour after about a week into the adoption, it's too late because she seems to have already developed the habit of pulling random pieces of carpet out, around the whole house, and eat them.
I put down a placemat on the dining table when I have my meals. The other day, after I ate and did the dishes, my cat jumped up the counter and chewed up the corner of the placemat (which is made of plastic), while I was at the shower. Maybe it still smells like food, maybe she knows I ate there and hoping there was still food on it, I don't know.
Other problems including
- chewed up phone charger cable
- licking blankets
- went up the kitchen counter and licked our drying dishes
- went up the the kitchen counter, stuffed her face down the drain to try getting food out of the garbage disposal
To combat some of the problems, we put aluminium foil/tapes around the kitchen counter, but gradually she realized it wasn't gonna hurt her, so she persisted.
I tried distracting her when she started to sniff around/eat random things, but as soon as play time is over, and I turned around, she started scavenging again, no matter how tired she was.
When we adopted her from the humane society, they said that she was found as a stray, so some of the behaviours are understandable. However, we made sure to feed her enough. In fact, she has gained quite a bit of weight since she got her, so she is definitely not starving, so I'm not sure how to deal with this problem anymore. It seems she is constantly scavenging for food, and if anything remotely smells/looks like food, she'll try to eat it. Any advice would be appreciated!