I stood in the bathroom, opening a package of "Post-It" notes, carefully looking over my shoulder to make sure "He" was nowhere in sight, opening it as quietly as I could...my eyes scanning the area, "all is safe" I thought to myself as I carefully placed the plastic "Post-It" wrapping in the bathroom garbage basket as quietly as I could. Normally when I leave the bathroom I close the door behind me in case "He" makes an appearance, today I didn't. I smiled smugly thinking that I had pulled one over on him, "He" had missed the feast!
I walked into the hallway, sat at the kitchen table to do some work on the laptop. I heard a noise. A crinkling noise. "Noooo!" I thought, "this can't be!!" I jumped from the chair and ran into the master bedroom where I saw him making his escape. "He" ran through the hallway with the agility and speed of a pro football punt returner, darting, weaving, slinking down nearly to the ground knowing I was on to him. I had caught him red-pawed. The chase was on! "He" ran as if his life depended on it, "Post-It" wrapping hanging from his mouth, saliva filled, like dead prey, lifeless in the clench of his teeth. "He" ran faster, head down, shoulders hunched, knowing this was his only chance. If I wasn't so afraid that the plastic would be swallowed I would have laughed myself sick at the visual of this silver gray pot-bellied furbaby running as if his life depended on it.
I screamed "Drop it! Drop It", clapping my hands like a crazy woman. I shouted "Drop It" louder and with more urgency. Then I realized, this is not a dog, why am I yelling "Drop It" to HIM? This was a thief who was cunning like no other. This was the plastic pilferer, "He" was none other than my cat, Cody. The chase continued. Up and down the hall, he cut me off, darting in front of me hoping to trip me so he could be alone with his "catch". He headed back to the bedroom. "If he goes under that bed it is all over I thought" I ran faster, clapping louder, yelling his name. Aha!!!!!! The loudest clap worked! He dropped the plastic wrapping and ran like the little thief that he is. Another plastic catastrophe averted, for now.
Why do cats like to eat or lick plastic?
Cody will chew on grocery bags, assorted cellophane wrappers (such as "Post-It" note wrappers as mentioned above), the plastic garbage bag ties, the plastic packaging on toilet paper and paper towels. If it's plastic, he wants it, he wants it bad and he wants it NOW.
When I first noticed this behavior, which I originally thought was bizarre ( I have now learned it is extremely common in cats) I asked my vet about it. He told me that plastic bags are now made with biodegradable ingredients such as corn starch which cats are attracted to both through taste and smell. Plastic bags that come from the grocery stores also carry the scent and taste of the foods that were housed in them. Another theory is that an animal fat called "tallow" is used to make the bags. Cats can detect tallow by smell and greatly enjoy the taste. Cats are also attracted to the crinkly sound that plastic makes when chewed or licked. Some say that cats lick and chew plastic because some of their dietary needs are not being met, others say it is an obsessive compulsive behavior that resulted from having been weaned too early. None of these theories have been proven, they are just guesses as to why many cats crave licking and chewing plastic. Licking plastic alone will not harm a cat, what WILL harm a cat is if it ingests any of the plastic. This can cause a deadly gastrointestinal blockage.
Whatever the reasons, many cats have a passion for plastic. You need to be on the alert. Avert the sly cat burglar in your home, keep your plastic bags and shiny cellophane wrappers, your garbage bags and "Post-It" note wrapping where your sleuth cannot reach them.
Don't be an accessory to the crime!!
Do your cats have a passion for plastic
or some other strange substance?
Tell me in a comment below!