What are some strategies to manage pica in cats?
Original Question: Hello, I adopted a kitten that suffers from pica. He chews electrical cords, shoelaces, dishcloths, blankets etc. Of course, the main concern are the wires. We have tried sprays like bitter apple etc with no success. He is now 1-year-old and shows no sign of letting up. He is friendly and affectionate and gets lots of play. I have read as much as I can with regards to pica and wonder if there is a chance he can outgrow this. We worry about him everyday and feel that we cannot leave him alone even for a day. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks - Deb
Pica in cats is a challenging and worrying condition to be concerned about. Outgrowing it is not likely something to happen let alone in the near future. If he hasn’t been thoroughly vet checked, I would start there to make sure there are no underlying issues that might cause oral or GI problems. Next, it’s time to consider environmental enrichment — safe toys for him, more play and interaction with you and family, and maybe some types of hunting games (soak some safe toy mice in dry catnip and hide them) to keep him entertained. As a last step, talk with your vet about potential behavioral medications.
I hope this helps.
Dr. Ryan Llera
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