You’re probably asking why my cat chews on metal. This might be the first time you notice this behavior in your cat, and you’re wondering why your cat chews on metal or even what’s causing your cat to chew on metal. Is it something that will hurt him? It certainly can, so take a look at these 10 reasons that may cause your cat to eat things it shouldn’t in the first place.
1) Different Surface Interests
Sometimes cats are bored and don’t know what to do with their time. This is why you should try to offer your cat more things to do around the house. For example, try putting an old phone book on a shelf or table and playfully swat at it when your cat starts playing with it. You could also put away that hideous vase collection and replace it with a scratching post, which many cats like to climb on and sharpen their claws. It’s often good for them to have something bigger than themselves to focus on.
2) Phosphorus Deficiency
Chewable metal might indicate phosphorus deficiency, affecting bone and tissue growth. If your kitty has been eating random items that contain phosphorous—like aluminum foil or plastic wrap—you may want to get her checked out by a vet before it becomes an even bigger problem. Typically, ingesting small amounts of phosphorous from household objects isn’t harmful. Cats chewing on metal regularly (or other inedible items) could cut their mouths or throats, leading to infection and illness.
3) Stress and Anxiety Relief
If you have a cat, you know they tend to go through periods of stress due to bullying from other pets in your home or pressure caused by life circumstances. Sometimes they can get so worked up that they feel compelled to gnaw on things such as wires, clothing, and even furniture. The good news is that you can use several methods to help relieve your cat’s anxiety when chewing metal seems their only option. Below are ten of them.
4) Addictive Behaviors
Is your cat exhibiting addictive behaviors, such as chewing on metal or wool clothing? It may indicate an underlying medical condition, especially when it becomes destructive. Most cats like to chew, and most cat owners let them. You probably don’t worry about your little feline friend chewing up shoes or furniture too much—but what about tin foil, plastic bags, electrical cords, and other household items they shouldn’t have access to? If you notice changes in your cat’s behavior, it’s worth visiting your vet.
5) Oral Trauma
If your cat is chewing on metal objects, it might indicate that they have some oral pain or an underlying dental issue. It can also be a behavioral issue—i.e., your cat displays separation anxiety and uses chewing as a coping mechanism when you leave for work or school in the morning. If you suspect an underlying problem, you must visit your vet right away to get your kitty checked out. Oral issues can impact cats differently, so make sure you bring up any changes in your vet’s eating, sleeping habits, and behavior.
6) Change in Diet
When your cat suddenly starts chewing on metal objects, there may be a reason other than boredom. If you’ve recently switched your food to a new brand, it could be due to an allergy. Talk to your vet about whether he is showing signs of an allergic reaction and how best to manage it. Some of these reactions can cause severe physical discomfort, so do not wait if you notice strange behavior or any rash or inflammation. He may need antihistamine treatments and even steroid drugs in some cases. This will probably be enough to solve the issue; otherwise, try switching back to his old food and see if that makes a difference.
7) Infections or Inflammation
The mouth is host to various bacteria, and sometimes cats chew on metal due to oral infection or inflammation. This can be painful, making them want to lick or chew at anything they can get their paws on. A vet exam may reveal inflamed gums or periodontal disease (which can cause teeth to loosen). Treating these issues with antibiotics and special diets should make your kitty feel better, but some symptoms, like chronic bad breath, may linger until his mouth heals completely. If your cat’s breath smells especially foul, it could be coming from deeper in his body. Blood tests may reveal other issues that need treatment; kidney disease could be causing the excess protein to build up in his system and emit a nasty odor through his breath.
8) Metabolic Issue
Metabolic disorders can cause changes in your cat’s behavior, including chewing and eating unusual items. Diets that are too high or too low in calories can lead to hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia is a condition in which blood sugar levels are abnormally high. Either situation could cause an animal to chew on anything it can find, including metal objects. Suppose you notice your cat exhibiting any of these symptoms (more than just chewing), such as constant licking and grooming, decreased appetite, vomiting, or weight loss despite being more active. In that case, it’s time to visit your veterinarian for further examination and diagnosis.
There are many possible causes of anemia, including vitamin deficiency, certain medications, and certain health conditions. Cats can have anemia due to blood loss or their diet not containing enough iron (the most common cause). Dietary iron deficiency leads to anemic symptoms that include increased heart rate and lack of energy. It could be due to anemia if your cat cheats on metal objects like bottle caps. Seek veterinary attention as soon as possible if you think your cat suffers from anemia. A simple blood test reveals your cat has low red blood cells or hemoglobin levels.
It’s not uncommon for cats to become bored and lonely. Your cat may be chewing on metal due to separation anxiety from its owner or other pets in your house. Providing your cat with plenty of attention and activities can help prevent boredom and chewing. If you have a multi-cat household, ensure each feline has enough personal space and opportunities for play. A stimulating environment filled with resources like cat towers, scratching posts, toys, window perches, and even hiding spaces are great ways to ensure your kitty doesn’t develop bad habits because it’s boring. If all else fails, remember that cats love attention from humans too! It might be time for more cuddles if your kitty is missing you already!