Cats will not have the same innate impulse to chew as dogs, but each cat is unique. Although many cats like to jump on or swat at favorite toys, some love to gnaw on things; for those cats, you’ll like to purchase some long-lasting cat chew toys, especially if your cat is teething. Gnawing on toys not only keeps your cat entertained but also encourages healthy teeth and gums, which is always excellent news for pet parents. Here you will get to know why quality chew toys for cats are important.
What Causes Cats to Chew on Things?
Despite dogs, famed for their chewing habits, cats aren’t known for chewing on anything other than food. Chewing, on the other hand, is a rather typical activity among cats. Cats must chew on their prey to dismantle and devour the tissues. It’s a tendency that can readily spread to other aspects of a cat’s existence.
Cats may chew on anything from plastic shopping bags and cables to wood as well as certain materials. While the habit on its own doesn’t always cause concern, cats enjoy chewing on things from time to time. If a cat’s desire to chew becomes obsessive, it can lead to serious problems.
The Chewing Spectrum
The Chewing Scale
Dr. Nicolas Dodman, a pet behavioral specialist, emeritus professor at Tufts University’s Medical School of Veterinary Science, and author of the cat who started crying for help believes that chewing in kitties happens on a continuum, similar to other habits. There is no acceptable or pathological behavior, he explains. Everything exists on a scale. So, you can have cats who don’t chew at all unless they’re eating food on one end of the scale. It’s almost as big as a 10-pound moth.
She asked. He’ll always get around to it. The more problematic element, though, is the risk the activity may bring to the cat. Wires, in particular, can be extremely dangerous when coping with a chewing cat. I’ve seen some pretty terrible burns on cats that nibble through cables, Dodman says. And that was just the burns; clearly, gnawing on wires can cause a cat to suffer a severe shock.
Why Do Cats Chew?
Chewing activity is rather normal in cats, and Siracusa believes it may grow more evident in house pets owing to their environment. Chewing is linked to cats’ innate eating and inquisitive habits, he argues. However, pellets and wet cat food are not natural foods for cats. Whenever an animal is programmed to execute a given activity by intuition, but its surroundings are changed, that action does not disappear. It is still present.
As a result, some chewing by cats is anticipated; it’s only when the habit becomes obsessive that owners should pay attention. More intense chewing, according to Dodman, is similar to obsessive behavior in humans. He claims that a lot of the more intense chewing tendencies are spurred on by anxiousness. It is better for high breeds like Siamese cats and cats that are worried, tense, or afraid. It’s far less frequent in the more relaxed breeds, like Persians.
Dodman further mentions that anxiousness might be expressed as nursing or stressed habits, which have been found in studies common in cats who have been weaned too young. When cats are denied nursing chances, they are nearly certain to develop a nursing-related obsessive disorder. According to him, this is why so many anxious cats engage in obsessive oral habits.
Managing Chewing Habits
If a cat displays obsessive chewing behaviors, the owner has different possibilities. The initial step is to use toys or chewing goodies to redirect the activity. Most cats do settle down when given an item to chew on, according to Siracusa. Items encourage predatory tendencies and, in many circumstances, fulfill the desire to chew.
This method is most effective with cats who only chew on infrequently. If the cat is obsessive, more measures will be required. Dodman has recommended mood-stabilizing medicine in more extreme situations. If your cat is nervous because you’re at work all day, these medications will help keep them calm over time, he says. Siracusa says that pet parents need to take their cat to the clinic if chewing is followed by other problematic habits, such as vomiting or diarrhea.