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My kitten is eating everything!

October 18th, 2006, 07:03 PM
Hi - I have a 7-month old orange tabby - Samson - that I got at 8 weeks. I also have a 10 year-old orange tabby - Freddie - who has slowly learned to tolerate the little (well not so much anymore!) kitten. My problem is that it seems that Samson likes to supplement his diet with various undigestible materials he finds around the house. This was discovered when he became ill a month ago and required surgery ($2000 worth!) to remove a large amount of cord - 12 inches in various sized pieces - carpet fibres, pieces of plastic, clothing labels, chunks of wood etc. all wound up with grass, cat and human hair! It took quite a bit of detective work to figure out where he found this stuff. Some of it I don't have a clue where he found. My other cat Freddie or any of the many cats I've had over the last 30 years have never done this. I've since gone over the house, carefully getting rid of any potential ingestibles, but am constantly concerned as to what Samson might get that I've missed. My cats are strictly indoors and I've always had a pot of cat grass for them to munch on. Samson with go after the grass but instead of nibbling it he will devour whole long strands which I'm now paranoid won't pass through. I'm hoping this is a kitten behaviour that will pass but my vet says some cats don't out grow this habit. Has anyone experienced this? Or anyone have any suggestions? I've started to leave dry food out all day in case it's a hunger issue but if I keep doing this both cats will soon be huge! Help - I can't afford anymore vet bills!

October 18th, 2006, 07:25 PM
I once had a cat that ate an entire spool of thread.... the vet had to surgically untangle her insides! - it was successfull, thankfully. so I know how it is w/ cats eating things they shouldn't.

my very best advice is to be diligent about picking up anything in question, threads, plastic, carpeting that's stringy... etc... it won't ever be possible to get it all, but think of it as baby proofing a house, just do it to the best of your ability. if you catch the cat eating inappropriate things - I'd use a squirt bottle. spritz the cat to stop it, immediately.

keeping food out won't make the cats fat, there are plenty of reduced calorie cat foods on the market (just get a good food, not cheapy food full of fillers, suggestions are in the dog/cat food forum)

like I said earlier, my cat ate thread, so we kept all thread IN a closed basket, in a closed closet from then on. up and away. each time we needed to sew something, we had to keep a very close eye to be sure it didn't happen again.

you may be able to entice the cat to appropriate things - you can keep catnip plants in the house for the cats (as you do w/ the grass), buy catnip toys, sprinkle it in a cardboard box to entice kitty to play there... just some ideas for you to keep your kitty occupied, and not eating bad things.

October 19th, 2006, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the tips Jessi!