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My cat is obsessed with eating thin plastic. For example, the plastic from bulk food bags and thin grocery bags. I will actually find large holes in the bags, but he's yet to have bathroom issues or vomiting from this. I have not found plastic pieces in his excrement, but there are large holes in the bags, so I'm sure he's not just licking the bag.

I'm able to keep the bags in cupboards and hidden, so this is not a huge issue, but I'm curious as to why he does this.

What is it about specifically thin plastic that he likes? I don't think he has Pica as he only eats thin plastic, nothing else (not even chewing cardboard). He is very healthy and eats well.

I read the answers on this question but none of them address the 'why' element of my question.

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It is pica, as pica is just a term for "eats stuff that isn't food." Pica can mean eating all types of inedible things, but it can also be eating just one particular inedible thing. In fact, in humans, there are "subtypes" of pica based on what type of thing the person feels compelled to eat, see https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pica_(disorder)

I would take your cat to the vet to double check it doesn't have some sort of underlying issue that might lead it to attempt to eat plastic, which is sometimes the case with pica. You should especially take it to the vet if it is a recent development.

However, sometimes pica really is just an inexplicable compulsion. The only treatment then is to make sure you keep the object the cat wants to eat, in your case plastic, away from the cat.

Plastic, especially plastic wrap from packaging, or plastic bags, are actually pretty common targets for cats with pica. Many cats are attracted to the crinkling noise these plastics make, try to play with the plastic, and then end up eating it. Therefore, it may also help to find other things to entertain your cat with, to distract it from attempting to eat plastic. You could even give your cat toys that are made to make that same crinkly noise.

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  • Thanks for all the information, @Kai. I will ask my vet about this at our yearly appointment, which is coming up. Right now, keeping plastic locked up is the best solution. – CodingCat Feb 6 '19 at 23:55

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