Cats That Eat Cat Litter Are Often Anemic or Sick

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Cat Eating Litter

Cat Eat Litter

Eating cat litter is a behavior that you should not consider normal. Immediately think that the cat is sick and take the cat in to your veterinarian as soon as possible.

The most common reason for cat litter ingestion is anemia. Anemia is caused by a deficiency of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the cat’s body. Anemia can lead to dehydration and death if it is allowed to persist for a long period of time.

You may notice pale gums in a cat who is anemic along with weight loss and lethargy. Pale gums is a reason to take your cat to the vet right away as anemia can become life threatening very quickly when this clinic symptom is noticed.

Cats with a mineral deficiency will also begin to eat cat litter if it is chronic. A cat may start to eat cat litter because the cat litter is high in minerals which is their way of compensating for the lack of nutrients in their diet.

Cats with feline leukemia, pancreatic disease, and kidney disease have been noted in some scientific studies as having an increased likelihood of eating cat litter.

The final reason for litter eating can be boredom or stress. This can be combated with environmental enrichment and play therapy in most cases.

Kittens That Eat Cat Litter

Kittens may eat cat litter because they are curious or have not been trained by mother yet not to eat the cat litter. It is highly advised to avoid clumping cat litter for kittens because it can lead to obstruction due to the ingredients that allow it to clump.

A kitten should not have clumping cat litter until 16 weeks of age for their safety. Cats that are eating cat litter will benefit from having their litter changed to non-clumping cat litter to avoid the possibility of an obstruction.

Avoiding Anemia

The two most common causes of anemia in kittens and adult cats is worms and fleas. Deworming starts at two weeks of age and is repeated every two weeks until the kitten is at least 14-16 weeks of age. Flea preventative can start as early as six weeks old in cats that are susceptible to getting fleas.


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