Cats can’t digest non-food items like shoelaces. Even simple pieces of string can prove problematic – and shoelaces with metal on them are twice as dangerous. Cats are free to play with them, but make sure they don’t get to eat them!
If there’s something cats love to do is play. They also love to explore new, interesting things. That’s why you can get them to play with almost anything! Those two things combined with their predatory instinct, will give you a pretty clear picture of why cats sometimes bite at shoelaces.
Make sure you always supervise your cat’s playing time. That way, you’ll avoid any unpleasant scenarios, such as your cat eating shoelaces!
Why do cats try to eat shoelaces?
When your cat goes out of its way to eat, not to play with, shoelaces, you should know it’s suffering from an obsessive-compulsive disorder known as pica. This disorder makes cats feel like they have to nibble at and try to eat non-food items, something that can have bad consequences.
There are a lot of possible reasons why your cat suffers from pica. Sometimes, it can come from stress. A sudden change in environment, constant loud noises, or being alone for too long can trigger pica.
It can also come from an underlying disease. Diabetes, anemia, tumors, and other ailments can cause your cat to suffer from pica. If you suspect your cat has pica, you should schedule a visit with your vet to rule out any serious issues.
How can I stop my cat from eating shoelaces?
When your cat tends to eat non-food items, such as shoelaces, the number one thing to keep in mind is to never punish your cat for it. You have to be smarter than that. Try to distract your cat or use bad-tasting sprays on stuff to avoid any more issues.
Before you start employing anti-shoelace-eating tactics, make sure you rule out any serious conditions that may be forcing your cat to eat shoelaces. As we have explained above, pica (a disorder that makes a cat eat non-food items) can be triggered because of diseases like diabetes.
Once serious ailments have been ruled out, try to reduce the stress in your cat’s environment. Sudden changes, too many people in the room, being alone for a long time, and boredom, among other things, can make your cat eat shoelaces.
Other than that, try to redirect your cat’s energy towards something else. New toys, more playtime, cat treats, and anything else you can think of. If everything else fails, use bad-tasting sprays to prevent your cat from nibbling on non-food.
What should I do if my cat eats shoelaces?
If your cat is nibbling a shoelace, you shouldn’t worry that much. Keep an eye out and take the shoelace away if your cat tries to swallow it. If your cat has swallowed the item, it’s time to go straight to the vet.
Shoelaces can get stuck inside your cat’s digestive system. If that happens, you need to go to the vet right away. There’s a high chance the shoelace will go through your cat with no issues, but only by looking at an x-ray you can be sure. Worst-case scenario, surgery will deal with the issue.