Many of our cats chew plastic or, at the very least, lick and play with plastic bags in our home. It’s entertaining to watch, but we also realize that this could be unsafe. If you don’t want your human children sucking on plastic, you probably don’t want your fur babies doing this either.
We have to keep plastic items put away in our kitchen. Our girl, Friday, will go to town chewing on bread bags or anything of the like. We did some research on why our cats are so attracted to certain plastics in the house and what we found was interesting.
Why Cats Chew Plastic
A large percentage of plastics are coated with substances like corn starch or salt, which is attractive to kitties (albeit unhealthy). They also will use animal by-products or animal tallow in the production of plastics.
According to Business Insider, “Many plastics, like commercial shopping bags, contain chemicals often referred to as “slip agents,” which are derived from the stearic acid in animal fat. They essentially prevent the polymers from sticking to metals during manufacturing and clinging to each other afterward.“
Aside from what’s used in making plastics, cats are often attracted to what was IN the plastic bag. Plastic is a sponge for bacteria and smells. This is another reason why we don’t recommend using plastic food or water dishes. If you have your fresh food in a plastic grocery bag it will absorb the food scent. With 200 million scent sensors in their noses, cats will be curious to those smells.
Our cat, Zorro (Friday’s twin brother), loves to grab the plastic bags and move them around the house. Any time we have grocery bags on the counter, he jumps up to grab one. He doesn’t chew the plastic, but he loves to lick and nuzzle it. He’s a hit on social media because we often post videos of this. However, we only allow him to do this for a very short time and while we are present.
Plastic can be dangerous if ingested or inhaled, so please only allow your kitties to play, lick or chew on plastic in small increments and under supervision.