Why Do Cats Lick Plastic: Understanding the Curious Behavior of Our Feline Friends


Cats are creatures of mystery and wonder, and their behaviors never cease to surprise and amuse us. One such curious habit that has puzzled cat owners for years is their obsession with licking plastic. Many pet owners have found their feline friends licking plastic bags, wrappers, containers, and other objects made of plastic, and this behavior can become a real cause for concern. The purpose of this article is to help cat owners understand why their pets love to lick plastic and what they can do to discourage this behavior. We will explore the different theories and reasons behind why cats are attracted to plastic, as well as the potential health risks associated with this habit. Finally, we will provide practical tips for preventing or reducing plastic-licking behavior in cats.

Plastic-licking Felines: Understanding the Curious Behavior Behind Your Cat’s Obsession

It is estimated that around 30% of cats exhibit some form of plastic-licking behavior. This behavior can range from simply licking plastic objects to eating or chewing on them. While there is no one definitive answer as to why cats are drawn to plastic, there are several theories that attempt to explain this curious behavior. One theory is that the scent of plastic mimics the pheromones found in catnip, which can have a calming effect on cats and induce feelings of euphoria. Another possible explanation is that the texture and crinkly sound of plastic is appealing to cats and satisfies their need for sensory stimulation.

Additionally, some experts speculate that this behavior may be instinctual for felines. In the wild, cats often hunt small prey, which may be found in items such as bags or wrappers. Therefore, the sound and smell of plastic may trigger their hunting instincts and drive them to investigate further.

Cats and Plastic: Unraveling the Mystery Behind Why Some Felines Just Can’t Resist a Good Lick

Cats have a highly developed sense of smell, and they use their sense of smell to explore and interact with the world around them. Plastic objects can retain the scent of their contents or the environment they were in, which can be attractive to cats and lead them to investigate further. Additionally, the texture and feel of plastic may be appealing to cats, who enjoy tactile experiences and exploring different textures. Therefore, it’s not surprising that plastic bags, wrappers, and containers can become objects of fascination for our feline friends.

The Danger of Plastic-Licking Cats: Why It Matters and What You Can Do To Deter This Behavior

Cat owners should be concerned about their pets’ habit of licking plastic because it can lead to serious health risks. Ingesting plastic can cause gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, and blockages, which can require surgery to correct. Furthermore, some types of plastic contain chemicals that can be toxic to cats, such as bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, which can cause liver and kidney damage, respiratory problems, and even cancer.

Preventing or reducing plastic-licking behavior in cats is essential to ensure their health and well-being. One effective strategy is to provide alternative forms of enrichment, such as toys, scratching posts, or puzzle feeders, to keep cats mentally stimulated and occupied. Another strategy is to use cat-safe products, such as metal or ceramic bowls, instead of plastic bowls for feeding or watering your cat. Additionally, keeping plastic bags, wrappers, and containers out of reach of cats can help discourage their curiosity.

When Plastic Becomes a Problem: Examining the Health Risks Associated With Cats Who Love to Lick

If your cat has ingested plastic, it’s important to be aware of the symptoms of gastrointestinal blockages or other health issues. Symptoms can include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and constipation, and if left untreated, can lead to serious complications such as dehydration, organ failure, and death. If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it’s important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Decoding Your Cat’s Behavior: The Fascinating Science Behind Why Your Feline Friend Licks Plastic

Scientific research on cat behavior has shed some light on the reasons behind why cats are attracted to plastic. Studies have shown that cats have a hierarchy of preferences when it comes to exploring and interacting with different types of stimuli, including textures, sounds, and scents. Additionally, feline instincts such as hunting, exploring, and marking their territory can play a role in determining their behavior around plastic objects.


Cats are curious and fascinating creatures, and their behavior can often seem mysterious and unpredictable. Understanding why cats are attracted to plastic is just one of many puzzles that pet owners face in caring for their feline friends. By providing alternative forms of enrichment, using cat-safe products, and keeping plastic objects out of reach of cats, owners can help ensure the health and well-being of their pets. If you notice any abnormal behavior or symptoms in your cat, be sure to seek veterinary care immediately to ensure their safety and happiness.

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