Cat Eating Litter! Why? What Are The Causes and Solutions?

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What is the reason behind cats consuming litter?

When your cat eats litter, it can be concerning for cat owners.

It may be unusual for cats to eat cat litter however there are several reasons why cats might want to have a litter snack.

Your cat eating cat litter may be a medical issue, such as anaemia or a vitamin or mineral deficiency. This would require a diagnosis from your veterinarian.

What motivates cats to eat litter may be because cats are attracted to the texture or taste of the litter.

Make This Change If Your Cat Is Eating The Cat Litter

If you suspect that your cat may be eating litter, there is one change that you can make immediately. Change the type of litter being used. If the problem persists then it will necessitate a visit to the vet.

Cats can suffer from an unusual disorder called Pica, wherein they develop a craving for non-edible items.

Cat owners should not panic upon discovering their pet’s sudden appetite for litter and instead seek advice from a veterinarian to discover the root causes of this condition.

Is there a specific cause for cats eating litter?

This article will highlight the various reasons why cats eat cat litter and provide tips on how to stop your cat from consuming their litter.

Is cat litter toxic when ingested? We will also highlight the potential health risks associated with eating kitty litter.

If you are a cat owner concerned about your cat’s diet and litter eating habits, read on to learn more.

cat eating litter

Why Do Cats Eat Litter?

Here are a few reasons why some cats have a tendency to consume litter.

Medical Reasons Why Cats Eat Litter

Cats eating litter is a behavior that may have medical reasons behind it. If a cat is experiencing anemia or dietary or nutritional deficiencies, they may develop cravings that lead them to eat non-food items like litter. This behavior may be related to a mineral deficiencies such as calcium or potassium.

To determine if the reason for this behavior is a medical condition, it is important to take the cat to the vet for an examination. This is always the first step to rule out any medical issues.

If medical issues have been ruled out, you can work with a medical professional to determine if the behavior is related to stress or anxiety. Providing your cat with plenty of stimulation and playtime can also help reduce litter consumption.

It is important to note that eating cat litter can be dangerous for cats and can lead to digestive problems.

Behavioral Reasons Why Cats May Eat Kitty Litter

Behavioral issues can be related to cats wanting to eat cat litter. Pica, which is a texture-based compulsion to eat, lick, or suck on non-food items, is a common behavior issue in cats. This condition can cause cats to eat kitty litter, plastic, fabric, or other non-food items.

Stress, anxiety, and boredom can also lead to behavioral issues in cats, which may result in litter consumption. For example, if a cat is experiencing stress or anxiety due to changes in their environment, they may turn to litter consumption as a coping mechanism.

Providing cats with plenty of stimulation and playtime can help reduce stress and anxiety, which may help reduce litter consumption.

Giving cats appropriate cat toys and scratching posts can help redirect their attention away from litter consumption.

It is important to address any behavioral issues in cats that may lead to litter consumption. This can help prevent potential health issues and ensure the overall well-being of the cat.

cat in a litter box

Dangers Of A Cat Eating Cat Litter

Choking Hazard

While cats may find litter an enticing snack, it’s potentially hazardous.

If your feline is exhibiting signs of trouble breathing or coughing and gagging, seek emergency care from a veterinarian – swift action is vital for saving their life!

Digestive Issues

Eating litter can also cause digestive issues for cats.

The litter can irritate the cat’s digestive system, causing vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Ingesting litter can also cause constipation or other digestive issues that can be uncomfortable for the cat.

Some litters can cause dehydration, which can lead to more serious health problems.


Some litters can be toxic to cats if ingested.

For example, litters made from clay can contain silica dust, which can be harmful if inhaled or ingested.

Some litters may contain chemicals or additives that can be toxic to cats. If you suspect that your cat is eating litter and has possibly ingested a toxic substance, seek veterinary care immediately.

It is important to note that even if your cat is not showing any symptoms after eating litter, it is still important to monitor them closely and seek veterinary care if you have any concerns.

Eating litter can be dangerous for cats and can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

two cats

Preventing Your Cat From Forming A Litter Eating Habit

Litter Box Placement

The placement of your cat’s litter box can play a role in whether or not they eat their litter. Place the litter box in a quiet, low-traffic area of your home.

To lessen the chance of the cat eating litter, avoid placing the litter box near their food and water bowls, or in a cramped space.

Cats prefer to have privacy when using the litter box, so make sure it’s in a secluded area.

Litter Box Type

The type of litter box you use can also make a difference.

A covered litter box may make your cat feel trapped and uncomfortable, leading them to eat their litter out of anxiety.

Instead, opt for an uncovered litter box with low sides that are easy for your cat to enter and exit.

Litter Type

The type of litter you use can also impact your cat’s litter-eating behavior.

If your cat eats or is eating litter, avoid using clay litters that contain chemicals or fragrances, as these can be harmful to your cat’s gastrointestinal tract if ingested.

Instead, opt for natural litters made from materials like corn, wheat, or paper. These litters are safer for your cat to ingest and may deter them from eating it altogether.

Corn Cob cat Litter
sWheat Scoop Wheat-Based Natural Cat Litter


Keep a close eye on your cat when they’re using the litter box. If you notice them eating litter, gently redirect their attention by offering them a toy to play with or a treat.

You can also try distracting them by engaging them in playtime after they use the litter box.

kitten - speech bubble - what no cat litter for dinner

Is There A Particular Litter Type that Cats Like To Eat?

Here are some litter types that cats may be more likely to eat:

Clumping Clay Litter

Some cats are attracted to clumping clay litter to eat due to several reasons.

One reason is that some cats may have a mineral deficiency, such as calcium or potassium, which can lead them to seek out and consume non food substances like litter.

Clumping clay litter contains minerals that are attractive to cats, which may explain why some cats are drawn to it.

Another reason why some cats may be attracted to clumping litter is that it has a similar texture to food. Cats are known to be texture sensitive, and they may be attracted to the texture of clumping clay litter.

Some cats may find the odor of clumping clay litter appealing, which can also contribute to their desire to eat it.

Corn Based Litter

Corn based litters are becoming increasingly popular, but they may also be more appealing to cats due to their texture and smell.

Note: You will need to monitor your cat to see if he is more or less likely to eat corn litter.

Wheat Based Litter

It’s important to note that not all cats will prefer these types of litter, and some may even avoid them.

Some cats may eat litter regardless of the type or brand.

what type of cat litter is most dangerous for cats to eat?

Sodium bentonite containing clumping cat litter is widely regarded as the most hazardous type of cat litter for cats to ingest.

This is because the sodium bentonite in clumping litter can solidify inside the cat’s intestines, leading to an intestinal blockage that can be life threatening. Sodium bentonite is the “clumpability” in clumping clay litter.

In severe cases, ingestion of this type of litter can even result in a condition known as bentonite toxicosis.

Symptoms of bentonite toxicosis in cats may include lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and dehydration.

Bentonite toxicosis in cats is relatively rare, and it usually occurs when a cat ingests a large amount of litter.

If you suspect that your cat has ingested bentonite clay or is exhibiting symptoms of toxicosis, it is important to take them to the vet immediately for treatment.

 my cat eating litter

Is A Cat Eating Litter More Likely To Happen At Certain Ages?

Cats can eat litter at any age, but it is more common in young kittens who are still exploring and learning about their environment.

Kittens are naturally curious and may try to taste or eat anything they come across, including litter.

Senior cats may also be more prone to litter eating due to age related cognitive decline or dental problems that can cause them to crave unusual textures or substances.

However, kitty litter eating is not a normal behavior for cats at any age and can be a sign of an underlying health issue or mineral or nutritional deficiencies.

If you notice your own cat is eating cat litter, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any health problems and to determine the best course of action.

vector - two cats reading
Well I Never! Can’t Say I Have Ever Wanted To Eat Litter!

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