Owners of cats adore watching their pets play with the toys they purchase. It’s entertaining to watch them bat at things and attempt to grasp the plush mouse hanging from a string, or to watch them struggle mightily to grasp the moving red dot on the floor.
But occasionally, a good plastic bag might be a better option than the toys you purchase. Why do cats like plastic bags so much, even though they seem drawn to them? The sound and smell of plastic bags are the main causes of this behavior, though there are other factors as well.
Continue reading to find out more about cats’ love of smells and sounds, as well as the possible risks associated with their play with plastic bags.
Table of Contents
1 . Your Cats Appreciate The Sound
Cats enjoy the crinkly sound produced by plastic bags. Cats are not typically exposed to such objects, especially indoor cats, so your cat will be curious to investigate just by the sound of it. Due to their innate curiosity and excellent sense of hearing, cats will always be drawn to sounds.
Cats see plastic bags as having minds of their own, and they will not be able to resist playing with the unusual object when it moves around due to a slight breeze.
2. They adore the aroma
Your cat will investigate when you empty the plastic bags after returning home from the grocery store because it will smell the food that was inside. Additionally, it’s likely that your cat will smell the chemicals used to make the plastic bags. Your cat will be intrigued by the fact that many plastic bags are made of cornstarch, stearates (salts of stearate acid), or even animal byproducts like gelatin.
3. CHEWING IS THE THRILL.
For several reasons, cats adore chewing on plastic bags as well. To begin with, your cat is drawn to chew on the bags by the scent mentioned earlier. The mere scent of food will entice your cat to nibble on the plastic bag when it comes in to investigate it, all in an attempt to sample the delicious aroma. Second, your cat will feel the urge to chew on the materials coated in certain bags.
Finally, gnawing on a plastic bag could be the result of a dental problem. The plastic’s feel may help relieve sore gums; if this seems to be the case, you should take your pet to the veterinarian to be sure. It’s not a good idea to ignore any dental problems your cat may be having.
4. TEXTURE IS WHAT THEY LOVE.
Cats find the feel of plastic to be appealing, and touch is a powerful tool for exploring their environment. Being tactile animals, cats are drawn to objects with a smooth and slippery texture, which provides them with an entirely new sensory experience when compared to commonplace items like paper or fabric. In other words, cats enjoy the slippery, smooth texture because it provides them with a satisfying tactile experience.
5. PEOPLE ADORE SITTING ON PLASTIC BAGS.
Is there any instance of your cat perched on a plastic bag? If so, there’s a rationale behind it. Cats might find the feeling comforting because of the texture’s smoothness. It feels safe to be wrapped up in plastic bags, like you’re under a warm blanket. They might also provide your cat with a feeling of seclusion.
6. Sensational Data
Our inquisitive felines can become fascinated with objects composed of novel materials. Plastic is smooth, flexible, crinkly, and incredibly light. It can be played with, twisted, and examined with the hands, lips, and nose.
Cats are known to enjoy playing! Plastic toys, shopping bags, and other objects can all be appealing to our cheeky feline companions. Your cat may play with non-traditional toys out of boredom if they don’t have much access to toys or other forms of stimulation.
Plastic grocery bags probably don’t immediately come to mind when you think of mouthwatering flavors and scents. Nonetheless, cats may be drawn to some plastics in part because of their taste and smell.
Gelatin, an animal byproduct, or stearates or cornstarch can be used to coat bags. Although we may not find these flavors and textures appealing, cats have an excellent sense of smell. The flavors and textures embedded in the plastic might entice them.
When carrying our groceries, shopping bags that have absorbed some of the smells of the food—especially meat or fish—may seem especially tempting.
It is more common for some cat breeds than others to eat and lick objects that are not food. Particularly well-known for their peculiar eating habits are Siamese and Burmese cats, who may choose to eat things like plastic bags that may seem strange at first.
9. Obsessive-compulsive disorder and anxiety
In cats, there are many different ways that stress and anxiety can manifest. These include hiding, acting aggressively, changing eating and urinating patterns, and withdrawing. However, it can also refer to improper chewing. Your cat may be unhappy about something if they start chewing on things like electrical cords, furniture, or bags all of a sudden.
This might be a new baby, a new cat in the neighborhood, construction going on, or even just loud noises. These novel patterns of behavior have the potential to develop into obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), a repetitive and compulsive condition.
10. Health Issues
Pica is the term for the behavioral need to consume non-food items like plastic. Numerous underlying factors contribute to this, such as certain medical disorders and nutritional deficiencies.
Pica is a symptom of several common diseases that include:
- Overactive thyroid
- feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), among other infections
- malnourishment or a vitamin or mineral deficiency
- dental conditions
- Insect parasites
- digestive issues, like persistent diarrhea
- neurological conditions, such as brain tumors
Pica may be the only problem, but many illnesses have other symptoms as well. For instance, your cat may drool more, have foul breath, or have sore gums in addition to having dental issues. See a veterinarian as soon as possible if you suspect your cat is ill.
Cats and Plastic Bags: The Risks
It’s vital to consider whether it’s safe to let your cat play with plastic bags, even though it might seem harmless to do so. Regretfully, letting your cat play with a plastic bag is not the safest thing to do.
Cats who enjoy chewing on plastic bags are at risk for health problems. Bits and pieces of plastic bags may break off when your cat chews or nibbles on them, creating a choking hazard or intestinal blockages. In addition, your cat could suffocate if they become tangled in one.
How to Prevent Plastic Bags from Endangering Your Cat
Keeping plastic bags out of your cat’s reach is the best way to protect them from harm. Their safety comes first, even though your cat appears to enjoy playing with them. It might be necessary to reassess your cat’s enrichment if they seem drawn to plastic bags.
For instance, make sure your cat has lots of toys to keep their mind active. Your cat may be drawn to plastic bags for this reason, among others. Maybe your cat is just bored. Ball mazes and food puzzles are great options for daily enrichment and preventing boredom in your cat.
It is advisable to avoid letting your cat play with plastic bags, even though they might seem funny. Rather, choose toys like crinkly balls or tunnel toys to explore that might elicit similar sounds and textures as plastic bags. Make sure your cat’s oral health is taken care of as well, as dental problems can also be the reason for plastic chewing. To ensure your cat’s safety, keep plastic bags stored and out of reach and prioritize providing your cat with daily enrichment.