A cat that eats its litter box looks unhealthy and very strange. So why does your feline start eating its litter? I give you all the reasons why your cat eats its litter.

Cat eating its litter

Cats are very hygienic and if they start eating their litter box, it’s for a good reason. Here are all the reasons why he does it.

It lacks minerals

This is the main reason he eats his litter. The litter is often composed of chalk or quartz which contain a lot of it. If your cat has an insufficiently varied diet, ensure that he gets his minerals in his diet.

Apartment cats are more prone to this because they don’t hunt and their food depends entirely on what you give them.

Among the mineral deficiencies leading to this habit, those of magnesium and taurine are the most common.

What to do ?

Make sure he has all the minerals he needs by eating kibble rich in vitamins and minerals . He will thus have all the micronutrients he needs and will not look for them elsewhere. Be careful, however, because sometimes parasites absorb nutrients from the cat such as worms for example, if your cat has everything it needs but is losing weight in addition to eating its litter, taking it to the veterinarian is essential.

He suffers from pica

Pica is a disorder of the cat causing it to eat everything and anything even if it is not edible. This behavior is dangerous and must be dealt with as soon as possible. Only a veterinarian can give him a treatment that will relieve his pathology at the origin of the pica.

In the meantime, do not expose him to chemical and toxic substances which can be fatal to him if they consume them abundantly. In particular household products and toxic plants.

What to do ?

Keep him away from any product potentially harmful to him and take him to the veterinarian for appropriate treatment. Only a professional can determine the solutions to be implemented.

He’s sick

Some patients such as kidney failure can cause this behavior and in case of doubts or symptoms, take him to the veterinarian for appropriate treatment. Cats aged 12 and over are much more prone to disease. If you see it weakened, it is probably this cause.

What to do ?

Here too, the veterinarian is essential to obtain an appropriate solution, because many diseases can lead to your cat’s consumption of its litter.

He is stressed

A stressed cat may exhibit obsessive behaviors, such as eating its litter box, constantly licking itself or chewing everything. Stress usually comes from the change that scares him. An aggressive or fleeing cat is stressed.

What to do ?

You can de-stress him by giving him his own corner, playing with him, spraying calming pheromones. Anything that can calm him down is welcome. Calm and a familiar environment are essential for your cat to be healthy. If an element frightens him, he will either have to remove it ( like a cucumber for example ), or get him used to it (like a newcomer to your home for example).

He is bored

Cats hate boredom and can therefore take on strange behaviors to pass the time and their boredom. It is therefore vital to always ensure that he can exert himself, especially if he is an apartment cat and he is young.

What to do ?

You can get him toys like a cat wheel that he’ll run around for hours on end or a playful bowl that will hone his hunting instincts while he’s eating.

The best is of course to play with him when you are at home.

A cat, especially if it is young, must always have enough to spend and even more if it does not have access to the outside.

He is curious

Young kittens are often very curious and may eat their litter out of curiosity. They are discovering the world and are not yet aware of the good and bad things in their environment.

What to do?

Do not punish him, because your cat will not understand, but remove him from the litter and redirect him to his bowl, he must understand that this is not a good idea.

He has intestinal parasites

If your cat is infested with intestinal worms, he will eat everything he can because the worms will absorb all the micronutrients he eats. The worms are usually seen in the cat’s stool as small white dots corresponding to eggs.

What to do ?

It is essential to deworm him as soon as possible because the worms will only grow and multiply and will eventually be fatal to him.

What you should not do

Don’t punish him and just let him know it’s wrong by diverting his attention every time he does it. Punishing him would only destroy the trust he has in you, which would be terrible at an age where it can stick.

What to do to stop it quickly?

If your cat spends his time eating his litter, remove the grains from the litter and replace them with straw or sand that he will not eat except in the event of a more serious pathology.

If nothing helps, a visit to the veterinarian will be necessary so that he can provide appropriate treatment. He will probably do a blood count and a urinalysis to determine the pathology responsible and manage to remedy it.

Also remember that a cat should always feel safe and work hard to avoid this type of behavior.

Is it dangerous?

Litter can cause intestinal blockages and some are toxic to cats. This behavior can therefore be dangerous, especially in young kittens and cats in poor health.

It can also dehydrate the cat by absorbing all the water it ingests.

My cat eats its litter: The final word

If your cat is eating its litter box, it is crucial to determine the cause in order to get it to stop its behavior. Usually a more mineral-rich diet will suffice, if not, see if he’s bored or stressed and as a last resort, take him to the vet.