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What is Eating Cat Litter?

If you have a kitten under three months old who is eating cat litter, he may just be curious. Just like human babies, they will put just about anything in their mouth. So, a kitten that eats cat litter is pretty common, but adult cats do not usually eat cat litter unless they have a medical condition or vitamin deficiency. In addition, cats that eat clumping cat litter should be taken to the veterinarian right away because the absorbency of the kitty litter is dangerous for their system. It can cause choking or an intestinal blockage.

  • Curiosity
  • Anemia
  • Vitamin or mineral deficiency
  • Kidney disease
  • Feline leukemia

Even if your cat is not ill, you need to have him checked by a veterinary professional to make sure he does not have any blockages in his digestive system.

Why Eating Cat Litter Occurs in Cats

Cats sometimes behave strangely if they are ill or if they are trying to tell you something. For example, if your cat is anxious or stressed due to a change in home life, he may eat cat litter to get your attention. However, this is not common. It is most frequently seen in Tonkinese, Burmese, Siamese, and other Oriental types. The most common causes of eating cat litter are:

Curiosity

When kittens are young, they are just like toddlers, and they are curious about everything they see. It is very common for kittens to eat litter as well as other non-food items such as paper, plastic, electrical cords, and anything else they can find. Some kittens do this if they are weaned too early.

Anemia

If your cat is older than three months of age and is eating cat litter, he may have pica, which is a symptom of anemia. Pica is the urge to eat non-food items such as paper, plastic, blankets, carpeting, or cat litter. Anemia is a decrease in the amount of red blood cells due to blood loss, lack of production of red blood cells, or destruction of red blood cells. There are different types of anemia separated into two main groups:

  • Regenerative anemia includes those caused by diabetes, inherited disorders, infections, toxins, and medication such as aspirin
  • Non-regenerative is a serious type that is usually caused by bone-marrow disorders like leukemia, aplasia, chronic disease, and major nutritional disorders

In addition, your cat may show other signs if he has anemia such as pale gums, weakness, lack of appetite, and tiredness.

Vitamin or Mineral Deficiency

If your cat is lacking in some vitamins or minerals, he may eat non-food items like cat litter as an instinct to get those nutrients. There are a variety of vitamin and mineral deficiencies in cats, some of which are:

  • Vitamin A deficiency
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) deficiency
  • L-Carnitine deficiency
  • Magnesium deficiency
  • Pyruvate Kinase deficiency
  • Sodium deficiency
  • Taurine deficiency

Kidney Disease

As cats get older, their kidneys get weaker and less efficient. This makes the kidneys have to work harder to do their job. Approximately 30% of cats over seven years old have kidney disease. Some of the additional symptoms besides eating cat litter include vomiting, weakness, weight loss, and depression.

Feline Leukemia

Your cat may eat cat litter if he has feline leukemia as well. This virus is the second leading cause of death in cats. Leukemia affects the bone marrow and blood production, which causes anemia and pica. Some of the other signs of feline leukemia include diarrhea, weight loss, pale gums, depression, and fever.

What to do if your Cat is Eating Cat Litter

If your kitten is curious enough to eat litter, you should change to a nontoxic type of litter made of paper or other natural substances.

Anemia has to be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. Your cat will need several tests to determine the cause of the anemia. Once the anemia is addressed, your cat should not eat cat litter anymore. Blood transfusions will be done as well, if needed.

Vitamin or mineral deficiencies must also be diagnosed by a veterinary professional to find out which vitamins or minerals your cat is lacking so you can replenish it. Also, the veterinarian will need to figure out why your cat had the deficiency to begin with.

Kidney disease is a serious condition in cats and must be treated right away by your veterinarian.

Feline leukemia is almost always fatal in cats and has to be treated (supportive treatment only) by your veterinarian.

Prevention of Eating Cat Litter

To prevent your kitten from eating cat litter, monitor his litter use and remove him if he tries to eat the litter. They will grow out of it quickly.

Anemia can be prevented if it is caused by a nutritional deficiency or from consuming toxic medications. Make sure you are feeding your cat a high quality cat food with enough vitamins to support good health and do not give your cat human medication.

Vitamin or mineral deficiency is prevented by providing a good, healthy diet of the best commercial cat food.

Kidney disease cannot be prevented. It is caused by age and affects 30% to 50% of cats between 7 and 10 years of age.

Feline leukemia can be prevented with a vaccine from your veterinary care provider. Be sure to keep your cat up to date on his vaccinations at all times.

Cost of Eating Cat Litter

The cost of treating a cat who eats cat litter can range from $100 for an office visit and tests for curiosity to $3,000 to $6,000 for kidney disease. In addition, feline leukemia can run about $200 to $1,000 if you do not get the vaccination, which only costs about $30. Anemia may cost up to $3,000 with the blood transfusions, hospitalization, and tests to determine the cause. Vitamin deficiency is usually only about $200 for the cost of the veterinary visit, tests, and vitamin supplements.

Eating Cat Litter Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Ace
Domestic Long Haired
4 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness, weightloss
Weakness

For the past few days my cat has been doing nothing but sleeping. He’s refusing to eat and drink a lot of the times. Hes been eating cat litter quite a bit lately as well. He’s very weak like when I lift his leg up and let it go it will just drop right down. He also meows like he never has before.

My cat hassame problem, i took her to the vit and after all those blood work they said which was ALL fine, now what??

My cat hassame problem, i took her to the vit and after all those blood work they said which was ALL fine, now what??

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Midnight
Not sure? She doesnt have a flat face, normal?
8 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea, sneezing

My cat I noticed recently she's been eating cat litter, at first I thought she was eating the feces until I caught her up close. She will take a couple of licks of the litter, I'm not sure how long she's been

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Cat
Crossbreed
10 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Weight loss, cold, lack of appetite

This is a stray cat I've been feeding for the last two years, she's around 10 years or more. She's been coming in the house the last year or so, recently she's lost her appetite,losing condition, she's cold to the touch and actually sleeps on top of the metal radiator when it's on, she's drinking alot more water and is grooming the same spot on her back repeatedly. She rarely moves at all.

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Ivy
Siamese
10 Weeks
Serious condition
-1 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Low Energy

Could diarrhea be a sign of intestinal obstruction? My kitten has had diarrhea for about 10 days, and she's been sluggish for 6 days now. Everything the vet checked for came back negative, metronidazole helped the diarrhea for a couple days but then it was back. We had clumping litter for one day when we first got her and we're wondering if maybe she ate some that we didn't see.

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Missey
Tortoiseshell
18 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Had one seizure

I have a senior cat that recently had a seizure and she is now being made a stay in cat and uses a litter tray recently we changed to clumping cat litter as it is least expensive and easier to clean.

Apart from the signs of pica Missy has been eating and drinking normally and only had one seizure about a week and half ago she has adjusted to staying in the house but still asks to go out which we refuse as we don't want her to have a seizure outside.

Symptoms after the seizure was reduced Vision disorientation however confusion after the seizure lessened after a few hours but vision was worse.

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Little Bit
domestic short hair
4 Weeks
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Poor muscle control

Medication Used

Potassium, oral syrup to keep bloodsugarup

My 4 week old kitten at clumping litter yesterday. He is now unable to control his legs and is having muscle spasms which suggest he has low potassium. I have spoken to my very and have started potassium replacement but I think it's too late

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Grey
european
6 Weeks
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Choke

I had checked and double checked with two vets who said crystal litter was perfectly safe for young kittens (6 or 7 weeks). They even recommended it. So I decided to try it out. I have a mother cat and her three kittens which I'm fostering, and they were all super curious about it. I put one kitten, and he immediately ate a crystal so I took him out. Then mama went it and used the litter without hesitation. No eating or anything. Now, I placed the 2nd kitten in and she not only taste tested she took a huge mouthful and she began seriously choking. I was so scared to lose her because she stopped breathing. I managed to get everything out of her mouth and she's ok but I've put the litter to thr side for now. I'll wait a bit before doing another test but I'm annoyed two vets didn't warn me about this. Are my kittens too young in this case? Is there a way to transition better to the crystals? Thank you for your help.

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Soda
tabby
One Year
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Weight loss lethargic eating cat li

I have a male cat estimated amount of weight I took him to the vet but I could not pay for the blood work that he needed they would not even do a payment plan now he is eating a little looks a little bit better eating cat litter can you tell me what could possibly be wrong with him I don't want him to continue to suffer

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Dash and peg
Unsure
7 Weeks
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

I have two 7 week old kittens. I was unaware of the need for a non clumping litter. I have changed to a natural non clumping litter but I am worried they have already ingested some due to cleaning themselves after using the box. They are both eating and playing. Should I wait and see or take them to the vet now? Help.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
If Dash and Peg are otherwise in good spirits, I wouldn’t been too concerned; licking some dust off themselves shouldn’t cause an issue. The problems come when cats decide that the litter will make a good snack and have a few mouthfuls. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Mauri
Arabian
5 Months
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Constipation

My cat is eating cat litter everytime I see him next to the litter box. For the past 2 days he's been having constipation.. Not pooping at all. What should I do?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
There may be an issue here if you have clumping cat litter as it can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction as it will clump together (as described); if Mauri has constipation you should visit your Veterinarian immediately for an examination and possibly surgery if the litter has clumped causing a gastrointestinal obstruction. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Spud
DOMESTIC
9 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

I got a ~9 year old male from a shelter 6 months ago, and noticed he was eating litter, every day. Thinking he might have a mineral deficiency (even though I give him a high-quality vitamin-mineral supplement powder), I bought non-clumping pure clay litter, strained it and set it out so he'd eat clean stuff at least. He eats a bit every day, and either thinks it's a treat, or maybe it was a habit he developed before he went to the shelter (he came from a house that hoarded animals....). He doesn't have any problem pooping, as there don't seem to be any blockages, so I could deal with that. But....

~6 weeks ago, he started peeing and spraying in my hallway, bedroom door. I was going to use am enzyme cleaner, but then realized that if he stopped doing it there (where I could mitigate the damage), he might do it in worse places). And he's now done that anyway: on my box spring and the cardboard storage box under it.

He'd only peed/sprayed a few times months ago, in the kitchen, after my big female cat harassed him (she's always hissing at him), so I thought that was the trigger. He didn't seem to do it any more, but after the recent change I searched with UV and found a few old places that probably he marked. There aren't any other males, just another small female, who gets along with him, so I don't think it's territorial. Oh, they're all indoor cats.

Some sources suggested giving more attention, which I've done, but that hasn't stopped it. In fact, it seems to be getting worse. I have to keep him in the laundry room and garage while I sleep, and watch him when I'm in the kitchen,and keep him out of the rest of the house now, which is exasperating.

Another problem he has is scratching a lot, and licking the wounds raw, so they take a long time to heal, if at all. He has some fleas, which I manually get, although he doesn't like me doing it. But this started when he got here, before flea season. I thought it was the big girl fighting with him and him being curious and clumsy. (There's no chance of infections as I give them a natural immune optimizer yeast which we've cured several drug-proof infections with.) But there's something else causing it. I've minimized the itching & scratching with a homeopathic medicine, but it hasn't eliminated it. I'd prefer to not use toxic, allopathic medicine, but may have to in the short run.

Anyway, could these be related? And what can I do to get him to stop marking???? If I can't find a solution, I'll either have to take him back to the shelter or make him an outdoor cat.

Thanks!

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Below is an interesting article from the ASPCA on marking in cats, however this behaviour can be difficult to curb and there is no single effective method of stopping this and you may need to try multiple methods before you find something which works for you. I understand that people have concerns regarding western or allopathic medicine, but it is more effective than most alternatives with homeopathy being disproven by multiple scientific studies; you should visit a Veterinarian to determine the cause of the scratching (allergies, parasites etc…) and to treat wounds from itching as well as secondary infections. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.aspca.org/pet-care/cat-care/common-cat-behavior-issues/urine-marking-cats

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Socks
tabby
7 Years
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

Hello my cat has been eating Tidy cats non-clumping litter lately and I just wanted to know if I should be worry. Also he has fleas.what should I do to help him out?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
There are many reasons for a cat to eat litter, but it is good that it is non-clumping; however nutritional deficiency, boredom among other causes may lead to consumption of litter. You should ensure that Socks is eating a balanced diet appropriate for age and breed as well as regularly applying a topical spot on medication against fleas and ticks like Revolution (selamectin) or similar. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Inara
Maine Coon
3 Years
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Vomiting
eating litter
Lost weight
More vocalisation

I'm really worried about my cat. She'd lost a little weight earlier in the year as she's a grazer and our other cat is a gobbler - we feed them at opposite ends of the room and were trying to implement a timed feeding to get her to eat up - but it was looking better. Our cats don't go out but there are a lot of cats in the area, plus foxes, and we've ended up with a flea problem. Whilst working on that we've had a heatwave that has left both cats exhausted and camping out near open windows or laying in the bath to keep cool. It's been stressing her out, with the flea spraying (which she hates almost as much as the Stronghold spot-on) and the couple of baths with flea shampoo. Add in that we're trying to sort things out so we can move by the end of the year and she's a curious cat who sits on things she shouldn't, knocks things around she shouldn't (even when she knows she shouldn't) so she's gotten sprayed with water a few times the last couple months...top it off with owners who are stressed to blazes themselves with work and the environment isn't great.

She doesn't appear to be pale at the gums or skin. But she has started eating her litter (Catsan, standard), been sick at least four times in the last 9 weeks, and she's started occasionally bolting out the back door in the evenings to lay on the concrete/grass outside. Both cats are having a variable attitude toward food at the moment - we think because of the heat - but when she wants food we give it to her, extra to the usual.

Our other cat is far more laid back that Inara (who has always been slightly more high strung), but with the heat even his prodigious appetite has been severely curtailed so he's lost a little weight as well. Neither of them want to be cuddly or fussed over while it's hot - Korben only comes for cuddles in the middle of the night, when its coolest, and only for twenty minutes or so. He's usually the one who'll park on our laps for hours if he gets the chance.

I'm hoping that Inara is just stressed out and once the fleas/heat/house sorting is done then she'll be better. But I don't know what to do for her at the moment. Is there anything you can suggest? Do I need to take her to our vet for boosters or do we just need to clear the stressors out asap?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Some of Catsan’s products are clumping cat litter so you need to be careful that she isn’t eating this type of litter as it may cause a gastrointestinal obstruction. However without examining Inara I cannot determine the specific cause of the symptoms or know if she is being affected by the heat. You should keep an eye on her, ensure she is hydrated and using non-clumping litter; if there is no improvement or you’re concerned you should visit your Veterinarian to be on the safe side. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

It's not clumping litter. We're due even more hot weather, hotter even than it has been, now. She has free access to water that is refreshed completely every morning and topped up whenever it needs to be. As I said, she's eating when she's hungry and we're giving her extra when she wants it as well (especially when both cats are finding it too hot to be bothered - much the way we are tbh) She's using the litter as normal as well. It's confusing. But if she's still like it, still eating litter and puking, in a couple weeks even with added measures to combat the heat, I'll book her in with the vets.

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Garfield
American Short Hair
1 Month
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Diarrhea
Weight Loss
Vomiting
No bowel movement

My kitten is eating clumping cat litter. He won't eat. He won't drink nothing. The couple times he has used the litter box its diarrhea. And i don't think he's used it today. His vomit it clear like spit,sometimes it nothing but foam . He's meowing like he's in pain. I've looked up side effect of eating clumping litter, and it can cause a blockage and can be fatal if left untreated. I don't have the money to take him to the vet, what should I do

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Unfortunately I have to at home treatment for the ingestion of large quantities of clumping cat litter, not everything can be treated at home. You need to visit a Veterinarian regardless of cost and have Garfield examined and most likely have surgical removal of the obstruction. I understand that finances are tight, but sometimes there are no other options. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Stevie
Cat
18 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Kidney failure
eating litter
Diabetes insipidus
Drinking/eating normally

My cat is in final stage kidney failure (which we’ve known was coming for years.) She’s been to the vet back and forth over the past 3 weeks and I’ve been giving her IV fluids, aluminum hydroxide and an anti-nausea med but recently (and always did when something was wrong,) she lays in her litter box. Recently she’s been caught eating the litter. I’m not sure what to do. The vet threw the towel in and tried to get me to put her to sleep weeks ago because they didn’t have fluids. I took her to a different vet and they reassured me that she was not in pain and her meds would help. She seems to be laying in the litter because/when she gets constipated. I have a laxative but I know it could dehydrate her and with diabetes insipidus (no medication, she did not respond and was expected to live 3 months, 18 years later her kidney levels indicated she shouldn’t be alive,) I’m terrified to dehydrate her as this has been why she’s outlived expectations of multiple vets. I don’t want to put her down while she’s still got quality of life. She’s eating a lot, drinking, enjoying the cat grass and still grooming herself and I know it’s a matter of time and she will pass naturally. I’m worried that she’s eating the litter to substitute something like how she’s craving like how she’s also craving salty foods. Is there any way to make her more comfortable or substitute whatever is in the litter? I know the answer is vet but I don’t think with the heat that going to the vet will help versus doing more harm. She needs her water fountains to drink and her litter box constantly and it’s 110 degree weather here. She’s been in worse condition after each visit that I’ve brought her to and I just want to do any/everything that I can to make her end as peaceful and not miserable as possible. Is there a vitamin that I can call in to a vet or some kind of food that she may respond to. I fear the intake of the litter could make her more miserable and I’m terrified.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
If Stevie is eating litter, the first thing it to ensure that is it a non-clumping litter as the litter may clump together in the stomach or intestines causing an obstruction which she wouldn’t survive. However, there is no specific nutrient which I could suggest which Stevie may be trying to substitute, if she is being fed a balanced renal diet then there should be no need to further supplementation unless there are malabsorption issues as well. I cannot think of anything which would help that I can think of off the top of my head and even with a visit to your Veterinarian, the cause may still be unexplained. Ensure that the litter is safe to be consumed, ensure that Stevie is remaining hydrated and is voiding normally. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Stevie
Cat
18 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Kidney failure
eating litter
Diabetes insipidus
Drinking/eating normally

My cat is in final stage kidney failure (which we’ve known was coming for years.) She’s been to the vet back and forth over the past 3 weeks and I’ve been giving her IV fluids, aluminum hydroxide and an anti-nausea med but recently (and always did when something was wrong,) she lays in her litter box. Recently she’s been caught eating the litter. I’m not sure what to do. The vet threw the towel in and tried to get me to put her to sleep weeks ago because they didn’t have fluids. I took her to a different vet and they reassured me that she was not in pain and her meds would help. She seems to be laying in the litter because/when she gets constipated. I have a laxative but I know it could dehydrate her and with diabetes insipidus (no medication, she did not respond and was expected to live 3 months, 18 years later her kidney levels indicated she shouldn’t be alive,) I’m terrified to dehydrate her as this has been why she’s outlived expectations of multiple vets. I don’t want to put her down while she’s still got quality of life. She’s eating a lot, drinking, enjoying the cat grass and still grooming herself and I know it’s a matter of time and she will pass naturally. I’m worried that she’s eating the litter to substitute something like how she’s craving like how she’s also craving salty foods. Is there any way to make her more comfortable or substitute whatever is in the litter? I know the answer is vet but I don’t think with the heat that going to the vet will help versus doing more harm. She needs her water fountains to drink and her litter box constantly and it’s 110 degree weather here. She’s been in worse condition after each visit that I’ve brought her to and I just want to do any/everything that I can to make her end as peaceful and not miserable as possible. Is there a vitamin that I can call in to a vet or some kind of food that she may respond to. I fear the intake of the litter could make her more miserable and I’m terrified.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
If Stevie is eating litter, the first thing it to ensure that is it a non-clumping litter as the litter may clump together in the stomach or intestines causing an obstruction which she wouldn’t survive. However, there is no specific nutrient which I could suggest which Stevie may be trying to substitute, if she is being fed a balanced renal diet then there should be no need to further supplementation unless there are malabsorption issues as well. I cannot think of anything which would help that I can think of off the top of my head and even with a visit to your Veterinarian, the cause may still be unexplained. Ensure that the litter is safe to be consumed, ensure that Stevie is remaining hydrated and is voiding normally. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Flash
short hair
1 Year
Moderate condition
0 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

bad breath
Bloating
eating litter

Medication Used

Powder Probiotics

I adopted my two cats Zoom and Flash in January. They are a little over a year old now. Flash has been showing some concerning symptoms. He has pretty bad "cat breath" and he gained a lot of weight since I adopted him. His brother is only 8.4lb and Flash is over 10lb. His belly also looks bloated some of the times and his poop is softer than his brothers. I took them to the vet and they de-wormed them because it was not clear from their paperwork if they had been before I adopted them. The vet felt his tummy and agreed that he felt bloated but didn't feel any liquid build-up or blockage. I also provided a stool sample which came back negative for bacteria. The vet suggested that he might be overeating so I switched from free-feeding to feeding 1/4 cup twice a day. I also switched from a cat chow to Purina One as suggested by the vet. I switched them a couple weeks ago so I was going to wait another week to see if it has any effects on his bloating. However, this week we keep catching him eating pieces of litter that are surrounding the litter box. He is still eating his food but I don't get why he is eating litter now. What should I do about it besides removing him when I notice him doing it?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
That is certainly strange behavior. Cats can be very persistent when they are hungry, and Flash may be hungry with the sudden diet change. If you are able to split his feedings into smaller amounts more frequently throughout the day, that might help. You may also consider changing litter to see if he stops eating it. I hope that all goes well for him!

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marby
American Shorthair
6 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Lethargy
Weakness
not drinking
lack of appetite

Medication Used

medicated eye drops

My cat has been sluggish and not eating or drinking much off and on for 2 days. We visited the vet and he said she may have conjunctivitis and after a steroid shot and fluids she seemed to be doing better, then relasped into the abnormal behaviors. My concern is her recent declaw that has left her licking her paws, especially after using her litter.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
If Marby has not improved with the current treatment, she may need further lab work or x-rays to determine what is going on with her. If she had conjunctivitis, she may be fighting off a viral infection and need further medications. I hope that she is okay.

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Miles
standard short hair
10 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Loss of Appetite
eating litter
licking walls and flower pots
peeing more than usual

Our cat has been eating very little (mostly wet food, small amounts of kibble) for a week and initially seemed nauseated (threw up twice, sat balled up in a corner, but normal urine and feces). After a few days the nausea seemed better but he still won't eat normally. Since two days we've noticed him licking flower pots, walls, sea shells and now eating litter. He also seemed (just yesterday though) to be peeing and drinking more than usual. He's seen a vet last Wednesday, who couldn't find anything at the time (but there were no signs of pica or excessive peeing yet), but now we are starting to get worried about his kidneys. Could you give us any advise?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
From your description, it is possible that Miles has a foreign body, or an infectious disease, or a parasite, and it would be best to have him re-examined by your veterinarian, as they can look at him, and determine what may be going on. Since the signs he is showing have changed, that may provide more of a clue as to what might be happening with him. I hope that he is okay.

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Lily
mixed
11 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Eating cat litter

Medication Used

enrofloaxin

My cat Lily had surgery Wednesday to remove a lung that had a large abscess. I brought her home yesterday. I put her, her food and litter box in a large dog cage so she couldn't run or climb stairs, as the surgeon suggested. This morning I found her eating her cat litter. I have never seen her do this before. Then she laid down and fell asleep in the litter. Should I be concerned? I don't know how much litter she ate, but I'm thinking not too much. Thank you.

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Lilly has been through quite a bit, and may be sedated from her medications, or just generally traumatized. In the short term, if she is finding comfort in her litter that smells comfortable to her, it might help to change litter, and to provide another clean litter box with a towel or blanket in it, so that she can lie in that one instead of the dirty one. For her litter, you can also tear up a bunch of paper towels to use instead, so that she is less prone to eat it until she is returning to health.

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Gary
Domestic long hair
8 Years
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Skin Lesion
Skin Crust
Whining

Hi.
My cat has developped really bad scabs either side of his head. He has lost hair in these spots, and keeps re-opening the wounds with scratching. He also has small crust spots on shoulders. He had fleas but no more. He is not happy and whines. Also found him eating his litter crystals! Could you please advise what could be the problem? I'm very worried...

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1611 Recommendations
Thank you for your email. It seems that Gary needs to be examined by a veterinarian. He may have allergies, ear mites, a bacterial or fungal infection, or parasites. Your veterinarian will be able to look at him, assess what he needs, and work on making him healthy again. I hope that he does well!

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Precious
tabby
7 Years
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

none

She hasn't been doing it long, I just need to know if I should be concerned? She seems to be acting normal. The litter is non-toxic. I talked to my mom about it, and she said I shouldn't worry about it. But every time litter falls out of her box, she'll jump out of the box, and start licking/eating the litter on the floor. She has never done this before. I just need to know if she'll be okay...

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
As long as you have a good non-toxic, non-clumping cat litter Precious should be alright but it is strange behaviour that she only licks or eats the litter fallen out of the tray; usually when there are cases of pica or other issues they will just eat out of the tray itself. Keep an eye out for anything else which is unusual or disturbing and visit your Veterinarian if you have any concerns. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Tora
Local
2 Days
Fair condition
1 found helpful
Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Stress

Hi, my cat is regularly checked and he's very healthy but he starts eating cat litter when he's stressed out. These days he seems to be in high tension because I've been keeping my neighbor's cats and the cats are coming to my apartment. How do I alleviate my cat's stress?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
Really in these situations it is a case of remove the stress (neighbours cats) and you remove the problem; medically there will not be any issues with Tora, but from a behavioural point of view that can be different. Make sure you use a non-clumping cat litter or eat change over to shredded paper during this time. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Saka
Siamese tabby
3 Years
Critical condition
0 found helpful
Critical condition

Has Symptoms

Weakness, weight loss, not eating/drinking

My cat (3 years old) ate clumping litter. He won't eat or drink and he keeps clasping to the floor and poops a little. I want to take him to the vet but I just paid for a furnace so I can't afford it. No one will do payments. I dont know what to do it there anything I can do to help him.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
You need to take Saka to your Veterinarian or any Veterinarian regardless of cost since the symptoms are highly suggestive of an obstruction and it seems like he is in pain. I would look for some charities or other nonprofits which may be able to cover the cost; at a minimum you should at least have him evaluated to see what options are available. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.aaha.org/pet_owner/lifestyle/cant-afford-critical-veterinary-care-many-nonprofits-can-help!.aspx

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Gigi
Turkish Angora
3 Weeks
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My kitty 3 weeks old ate clumping cat litter. I picked her up as soon as I saw her. What to do to help her avoid any problems? Will she be ok as it is not much.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
It is important to only use non-clumping cat litter in the tray just in case this occurs, we don’t know if she consumed any litter before you saw her. I would keep an eye on Gigi but I would recommend visiting your Veterinarian for an examination since she may develop an obstruction. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Avery
Calco
2 Years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Puking fur lost

Medication Used

none

Can a cat cat die from eating cat litter? My cat started throwing up this evening and I notice that there was cat litter in her throw up.... She's also lost a lot of fur on her back legs sleeps more than usually

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
It is important to have non-clumping cat litter as regular clumping cat litter can cause an intestinal obstruction which may lead to a whole set of other problems; eating cat litter may be a sign of nutritional deficiency, boredom or some conditions like anaemia or kidney disease. It would be best to visit your Veterinarian to see if there is an underlying cause for this behaviour and visit an Emergency Veterinarian if there is clumping cat litter. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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Niblet
Standard Mixed Moggy
11 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

My cat is currently being diagnosed as having an auto immune disease after he developed sores on his neck, face and back and crinkly ears... he is awaiting test results to see why but clear of FiV and FeLV (aids and leukemia viruses) as those tests were done on the Thursday and came back clear. He has been back to the vet several times because biopsies and blood work are needed, and post operatively he had tried to pull out his stitches and was obsessively scratching/itchy. So he now has a very fetching jacket and neck cone combo (due to woundsites he couldnt just have the cone). The woundsites apart from 1 on his face are currently all dry (the first started as a wet sore in the middle of his shoulders). From his sores first appearing (was just the main site initially) it progressed very rapidly to other areas within a few days and now more small patches are appearing but they all seem dry. At first we thought was a flea bite allergy and caused by excess licking/chewing but some of his sores that came up a couple of days later couldnt be that. Apparently the pattern (especially how his ears have gone) indicates autoimmune. Since he started with this he also appears (noticed it yesterday (Friday) and the day before and mostly prevented it) that he has started trying to eat his litter as well... food etc does get caught in the cone and he had definitely been chewing on it last night. We also caught him trying to the morning before his General Anaesthetic (Thursday) but prevented him at that point in time, figured was hunger as hadnt been allowed food and no access to dry food which he normally has at will). We dont know at this stage if he has a food allergy, form of cancer, lupus, or just autoimmune skin disease... just that the vet feels it is autoimmune and the onset of illness from one small sore (size of a pound coin) it had spread within days to the oldest sore being approx 2 inches across and becoming scabbed/scaly whilst other both dry and slightly wet sores appeared as well as the strange scabs and crinkling of his ears. He had seemed as lively and behaving normally bar a bit of licking/scratching from when first sore started, yesterday and today has been a bit dopey at times/less sure footed, but yesterday was only less than 24hr post GA and probably still has a bit in his system? Anyway am wondering why he has suddenly started eating his litter and if it could be linked to or shed light on his current condition? He is back at the vet on Tuesday for a post op check (op was on Thursday). Am not sure whether should let his vet practise know today or wait, the vet who he is seeing isnt around as far as I know over the weekend. His litter is non clumping lightweight, grit type of litter... should we also change this as a preventative to him trying to eat it and if so what to?

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
3320 Recommendations
There are a few common causes for a cat to eat their litter which may include hunger, dietary deficiency, boredom, leukemia, anaemia and other causes; changing the litter regularly (more so than normal) or changing the litter completely (stick with a non-clumping litter) may also help. This would be something to bring up with your Veterinarian on Tuesday, I really cannot see a connection here apart from hunger whilst she was being fasted. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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