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Cat chewing on plants?

My daughter's cat has recently started chewing up the leaves on the miniature palm tree I've had for nearly twenty years, which is very nearly grounds for the deth penalty in my book. Why would he be doing this? Is he missing something from his diet? I haven't changed his food, and he seems as active and healthy as ever. He's a year and a half old, and at this rate he won't live to see his second birthday.


Asked by Ballad at 11:53 PM on Apr. 5, 2013 in Pets

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Answers (6)
  • All cats do that. They crave greens in their diet. Eating plants also helps with their digestive system and freshens their breath with the chlorophyll found in them. Sometimes they'll eat it on purpose to help induce vomiting to get hairballs out. However, they CANNOT eat just any plants, since some are poisonous to them, especially those with shiny leaves or lily plants. You can search for safe plants for cats. I suggest moving the plant to a closed room with light or giving the cat his own cat grass (sold at pet stores). Giving them catnip every few days also helps reduce this craving. Brush them regularly to reduce hairballs and buy food and hairball food gel for hairball management.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 12:16 AM on Apr. 6, 2013

  • Check the cat box. Cats are passive aggressive and tend to act out to signal there is a problem. I would check horticulture sites, but I know cats hate citrus smell so you can see if the plant will tolerate orange peels on top of the soil. Cats hate that.

    Answer by QuinnMae at 11:55 PM on Apr. 5, 2013

  • What food is he on? Is he indoor only, indoor/outdoor, or outdoor only? Does he have toys to play with?

    My cats are indoor only and we feed them Purina's Indoor Cat Formula dry cat food.

    You might also want to think about getting some cat grass for him to chew on. Just like a toddler, animals NEED things that are okay for them to play with and possibly destroy.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 12:18 AM on Apr. 6, 2013

  • Forgot to mention this. They go through a teething stage when they're young and will choose on almost anything (phone cords, shoes, etc.). They grow out of that manic phase though but still like greens now and then. You can try to give them a pieces of a lettuce leaf and see how he likes it. They usually prefer something more fragrant but will chew on something out of curiosity, too. The chlorophyll is also great for their dental health.

    Answer by hellokittykat at 12:51 AM on Apr. 6, 2013

  • My kitten does the same thing! Except it bamboo shoots and some kind of leaf. I know theres some kind of spray to keep cat from clawing stuff...maybe it works for that too...or maybe there a different just for that.

    Answer by Lobelia at 9:03 AM on Apr. 6, 2013

  • He's an indoor only cat. He eats the Authority brand of dry cat food and gets catnip once a week or so, sometimes more and sometimes less. He has a scratching toy with the rough cardboard in the middle and a ball he likes to bat around the outside track. He also has a scratching post and a thing that hangs on a doorknob to claw at. He's never puked up hairballs thatI know of. I'll have to check out that cat grass.

    Comment by Ballad (original poster) at 12:28 AM on Apr. 6, 2013