Managing Pica In Cats
Pica is a behavioral desire to consume inedible materials. In cats, the most widely used products include fabrics, elastics such as hair binders, packaging, paper and plastic. Young cats are most likely to develop pica syndrome.
Symptoms And Causes Of Pica In Cats
Since pica may induce ill-effects, some of the signs that may suggest the disorder include constipation, diarrhea , vomiting, reduced appetite, or lethargy. Any of the most commonly-hypothesized factors why cats get pica include:
Behavioral Disorder: Pica is a learned behavior that cats perform out of boredom, stress, or to fulfill a predominant desire (e.g. to relive the feeling of breastfeeding as a kitten).
Dietary Needs: Pica develops in cats whose dietary requirements are not fulfilled, resulting in malnutrition, mineral deficiency, vitamin deficiency or lack of fiber.
Feline Disease: Pica is a symptom of underlying disorders such as FIV, hyperthyroidism, anemia, feline leukemia, dental cancer , diabetes, and others.
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Diagnosis of Pica in Cats
The veterinarian would then continue with diagnostic tests. They may choose to undergo blood tests, including a full blood cell count, and a biochemistry profile. The doctor might also call for a urinalysis to detect the risk of underlying disease that may affect feline pica. Since brain tumors are thought to be a potential cause of pica in cats, the veterinarian may perform radiographs or a CT scan of the feline brain.
Treating Pica In Cats
The treatment of pica relies mainly on changes to the climate. Restrict your cat ‘s proximity to the things they chews on. Next, provide them the items they can easily chew on. Small dog chew toys and cat grass can be provided to encourage the cat to chew on objects with a low risk of causing intestinal obstruction.
To discourage foreign body obstruction, you will need to use disincentives to deter your cat from chewing on or ingesting such items. Bitter sprays are formulated to have a foul taste, which could discourage your cat from consuming specific items.
Medication may be appropriate in serious situations. Your veterinarian would recommend antidepressants to help reduce the level of anxiety and stabilize your cat’s pica.