Why Do Cats Lick Plastic?

Cats are very curious animals and will often investigate things that they find interesting, even if they don’t know what the object is. 


If a cat finds something that looks new or different, it may want to play with it. This can then lead to cats licking various objects that catch their attention, including plastic. 

In this article today, we are going to be taking a closer look at why it is so common for cats to lick plastic, what underlying issues it could be pointing to, as well as how to stop your cat from licking plastic if it’s becoming too frequent. 

So, whenever you’re ready, let’s jump right in!  

Why Do Cats Lick Plastic?

To us, plastic is nothing out of the ordinary! It’s just a material that we use every day. But for our furry friends, it’s often a whole different story.  

The only question is, why do cats lick plastic?

The first reason that a cat might lick plastic is simply down to the fact that they like it – especially if it just so happens to be a fun and engaging cat toy. 

However, cats might also lick plastic because they like the way that it tastes, due to boredom, or even because they are experiencing an underlying health issue that is causing them to want to lick the plastic, such as separation anxiety or even a lack of nutrients in their diet. 

This brings us to our next point. 

Is It Bad For Cats To Lick Plastic?

For the most part – no, it is not necessarily a bad thing for your cat to lick plastic. 

Just like we have already briefly touched upon above, cats are very inquisitive animals and use taste as a way to explore the world around them. 

However, it is very important to make sure that your cat isn’t ingesting any of the plastic that they are licking, as this could cause your cat to experience a variety of different gastrointestinal issues. 

Alongside making sure that your cat isn’t eating any of the plastic that it is licking, it is also important that you keep in mind that licking plastic can even be a sign of an underlying problem. 

Health issues such as separation anxiety, pica, or even a lack of nutrients in their diet could cause a cat to begin licking plastic, as well as various other materials, such as fabric. 

For this reason, if you are feeling a little bit concerned, then you should be sure to check with your vet to see if there is anything wrong. 

How Do I Stop My Cat Licking Plastic?

As we have already mentioned above, if your cat is licking plastic, then there most likely isn’t going to be any cause for concern. 

However, if you notice that your cat is constantly licking plastic, then it might be time to take action to try and get to the root cause of what is causing your cat to lick plastic so much. 

The first step that you can take to prevent your cat from licking plastic is to simply limit your cat’s access. 

Make sure that you are putting your plastic bags safely stored in a cupboard out of your cat’s reach, remove plastic objects from around your home and offer your cat items and toys that have been specifically designed for them to use.  

In addition to limiting your cat’s access to plastic items, another way that you can help to prevent your cat from licking plastic is by spraying it with scents such as peppermint and rosemary.

These particular scents are considered to be offensive to the nose of cats and will help to deter them from licking the plastic that it has scented. 

We also recommend that you consider what type of object your cat is seemingly so interested in. 

For example, if your cat has taken up an interest in plastic bags that you use for grocery shopping, then they might be able to smell the lingering scent of the foods that were inside them. 

This could indicate to you that your cat is hungry or seeking food, which means that their current diet might not be hitting all of their nutritional needs.

If you feel that this might be the case, then making the necessary adjustments to your cat’s diet could be one way to stop your cat from licking plastic so frequently. 

On the other hand, if you have recently purchased a plastic cat toy and your cat is regularly playing with it, then there should be no cause for concern because your cat is engaging with something that has been specifically designed to catch their attention. 

Nevertheless, if your cat is licking plastic and you’re starting to feel a little bit concerned, then why don’t you consider taking your cat to visit the vet? 

By doing so, you will be able to talk about the concerns that you feel with your vet, who will then be able to help work with you and your cat to address any underlying issues that might be there. 

Final Thoughts

So, there we have it! 

We hope that this article has helped to shed some light on why it is so common for cats to lick various types of plastic, what underlying issues that it could be indicating to you as the owner, as well as some ways that you can keep your cat from licking plastic moving forward. 

As a final parting note, just like we have already mentioned above, for the most part – licking plastic shouldn’t be too much of a concern and can be fun for cats. 

Still, it’s important to make sure that they aren’t eating any plastic items and objects that they are playing with, as this could be very dangerous. 

Thank you for reading!

Courtney Trent
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