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Old January 15th, 2008, 07:25 AM
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sugarcatmom sugarcatmom is offline
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Calgary, AB
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Sounds like your cat has Pica (eating non-edible items). Treatment for severe cases can sometimes require anti-anxiety medication, but some cats do outgrow it on their own. Hopefully that's the case with your girl.

Some more info on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders in cats: http://www.vin.com/VINDBPub/SearchPB...00/PR00026.htm

Quote:
FABRIC EATING, SUCKING, AND CHEWING
Obsessive-compulsive disorder can manifest itself as an eating disorder. Fabric eating, chewing, and sucking may not be associated with any nutritive considerations relevant to eating disorders and may represent obsessive-compulsive disorders associated with stereotypic chewing or mouth movements. There is no unanimity among veterinary behaviourists/non-veterinary behaviourists as to causes and label of these behaviours. Oriental breeds are among the most common breeds in which these conditions are reported. In one study (UK) of 152 fabric-eating cats, 55% were Siamese, 28 % were Burmese, and 11% were crossbreeds. Typical age of onset was two to eight months. Males were as likely as females to present with the problem. Most animals were neutered. Ninety three percent started with wool and moved on to other fabrics (64% also ate cotton and 54% ate synthetic fabrics). Another author claims that this behavioural trait is generally restricted to the Siamese breed and the wool chewing begins at about the time of puberty. This author states that most cats seem to give up wool chewing within one year. Data compilation on this condition has not yet been performed in the United States. Some cats will progress to ingesting plastic, rubber and even wood.

The exact cause of the behaviour is unknown. Some authors have suggested increasing the amount of fibre in the diet, whereas others have given the cat gristly meat attached to large bones. Others have made an unwanted piece of woolen garment available to the cat generally at meal times. In some cats, the onset of pica (ingestion of non-digestible items) is triggered by a stressful event, for example, moving from the breeders to a new home or the addition of another cat to the household. Close attention should be paid to social interactions between household cats. Aggression can be present without overt signs. Cats will posture and can threaten other cats silently.

Wool sucking may be a behaviour that is “left over” from the prolonged 6-month suckling period common in feral cats. Cats that are weaned particularly early seem to be over-represented in that population. Again, different authors do not agree on whether wool sucking and wool chewing are distinct or related problems. Data compilation is lacking.
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