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Kitty is eating fabric

LM1313
October 18th, 2005, 03:14 PM
So I was cleaning the litterbox last night when I found "evidence" that one of the kittens has been eating fabric. Greenish or teal fabric. The problem is, I'm not sure what . . . I like that color and I have a lot of it around. It could be rugs, the fuzzy blanket on my bed, or even the green blankie in their carrier (which I have closed for the moment until I can take a closer look.)

What does kitty-nibbled fabric look like? Moth-eaten? And what's the best way to stop this behavior? I'm at work all day so I can't do anything proactive like scolding them or water spraying them every time (though I'll be watching them like a hawk when I'm home now! And the bedroom is shut until I get home.)

I'm pretty sure Booster is the fabric eater, as I saw him use the litterbox this morning and there were tiny shreds of fabric in his poop.

But Remy got into something too . . . something that turned one of his hind paws green. I washed it off with a damp washcloth, then went around looking for paint or shampoo or anything green he might have gotten into. I'm really baffled by this one. I couldn't find anything.

BUT I did remember that when his green fur mousie got wet before, it stained another of their toys. So I'm wondering if the dye comes off it when it's wet. If so, is it safe for the kittens to play with, or should I take it away?

~LM~

CyberKitten
October 18th, 2005, 03:25 PM
Are any of your Siamese or Oriental? They are over represented in studies of cats who eat fabric ( which is known as Pica) which is not entirely uncommon. It is sort of like suckling to them only on a more compulsive level. The cat doing it may be stressed about something or just be obessive.

I would say s.he needed company because sometimes cat do this when they are lonely but since you have 2.. do they get along?

Some think it means a lack of fibre in the diet but again you have two cats so it sounds more like a behavioural issue. I would play more with the cat - give him or her more attention - and see if this helps. There may be other issues.

These sites discussed pica and offer info on it.

http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB/Proceedings/PR05000/PR00026.htm
http://www.burns-pet-nutrition.co.uk/Articles/fabric_eating_in_cats.htm

Lucky Rescue
October 18th, 2005, 05:32 PM
You just don't know what kittens will get into. I've had some who ate the feathers from their toys, and cats are famous for eating elastic, thread, tinsel and other weird things.

Do you have catnip toys around?

If possible, while they are so small, it would be safer to shut them in a "safe" room while you're at work.

LM1313
October 18th, 2005, 05:37 PM
Yes, Booster is Siamese. :) He gets along wonderfully with Remy . . . they chase and chase and then curl up and nap together. Maybe Remy sometimes naps when Booster wants to play and he gets lonely? They never play separately because Booster always wants to play with whatever toy Remy has. Remy lets him get away with it, too.

Come to think of it, the other day I put Booster in my bedroom for a bit (about fifteen minutes) so that Remy could actually play with the ping pong ball instead of following Booster around hopefully while he plays with it. Remy had a great time and Booster didn't make a peep . . . I wonder if he felt neglected and was comforting himself with my blanket!

~LM~

LM1313
October 18th, 2005, 05:48 PM
They have quite a few toys--storebought ones as well as impromtu ones like small pieces of cardboard (they LOVE cardboard) and my socks, LOL.

I could shut them in the bathroom while I'm at work, but it's such a small room to be in for eight hours! I wish I had a spare guest room to put them in, but I'm in an apartment, so it's basically a bathroom, two bedrooms (both full of small, swallowable things right now as I'm listing Transformers on eBay from them), and the living room / kitchen / dining room area (all one big room.)

~LM~

CyberKitten
October 18th, 2005, 06:46 PM
Aha, the plot thickens, lol I have a Siamese too, you can see her latest pictures here (http://www.pets.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=20409)

It's hard to say tho as Lucky pointed out, kittens do get into everything. Did everything go well when the two were introducted - just wondering if the older kitty is stressed? There are so many theories about pica and who knows what is the right one. Studies show 55% of cats with pica are Siamese!!

I guess you would be best advised to put away things you do not want the cats eating or into. You know the old expression catproof your home, now you have to do it even more!!

Are you going to share any pix of your meezers? :)

Good luck, again!

LM1313
October 18th, 2005, 07:02 PM
Your kitties are SO CUTE! Ohhhh, I LOVE the stroller! What a great idea!

My babies aren't brothers (as far as I know? I mean, they don't look alike . . . though they do weigh the same), but they were in the same cage at the Humane Society and seem very used to each other.

Here they are, Remy and Booster:

http://www.superpony.com/Images/Kitties/10_11_05/kittens1.jpg

And Booster and his foot:

http://www.superpony.com/Images/Kitties/10_11_05/FootLove2.jpg

About stress . . . the apartment does have very thin walls and you can hear people if they're running down the hall or if the little girl next door is having a tantrum . . . maybe that's part of the problem? The kitties seem pretty unphased by loud noises when I am home, though . . . If they're napping they'll open an eye for a second, then go back to sleep and if they're playing they'll just go on playing . . . Do most cats give some indication when they're nervous? My parents' cat, Phantom, will stare nervously and creep around when she's feeling spooked (which is a lot), but I don't know if that's "normal". I remember her being freaked out by the toilet flushing when she was a kitten, but Booster and Remy just stand on their hind legs trying to see what's making the noise.

I guess I'll just turn all the rugs upside down for a while and hope he gets out of the habit. Maybe I can leave some classical music playing if the noise is bothering them.

~LM~

CyberKitten
October 18th, 2005, 07:33 PM
Thx - your kits are adorable too, Booster is a cute little flame point!!

Cats tend to hide stress and pain but they do show it in a variety of ways - execessive grooming and maybe pica, hiding or being more aggressive - just depends on the cat. Cats are sensitive to noise but I recently read an article about how they can sleep thru anything. The music would be a great idea! I always leave the radio on when I go out and have to leave my babies alone. (Tho I do get a sitter if I am going to be away too long!) For some reason, it is suggested classic music is the most soothing but mine seem to like celtic stuff (They are going to hear it anyway, lol).

While I am not keen on bitter apple, some people use that to it deter kitties from clothing or places they do not want them to be. Cats seem to hold any citris smell in disdain but be careful what you use since some can have ingredients poisonous - not Bitter Apple though!