Why Are Some Cats Obsessed With Plastic Bags?

Written by: Adri Sandoval
Adri Sandoval is the Special Projects Manager for iHeartDogs and iHeartCats. Her work has deepened her love for animals, fostering a strong passion for rescue and animal advocacy.Read more
| Published on December 17, 2017

One human’s garbage is one cat’s treasure, apparently. Some cats can’t seem to get enough of plastic bags. But why? Pet Behavior Expert Mychelle Blake explains at PetHealthNetwork that it’s not the bag that some cats love – it’s the smell that remains on the bag.

Cats have a powerful sense of smell, and are big fans of “people food” (whether they should have it or not). We bring home all our yummy groceries, and when we take them out of the plastic bags and put them away, they leave their cat-tempting scents behind. If you see your cat licking or chewing your grocery bags, it may be the scent that they’re after.

Mychelle Blake also points out your cat’s bag-chewing may be a sign of a dental or medical issue. If your cat isn’t getting enough nutrition from her food, she may try to eat non-food items, like plastic bags. A trip to the vet can determine if a nutritional deficiency or dental issue may be the reason she wants to eat your bags.

Some cats may just enjoy playing with plastic bags because they’re fun and make a cool crinkly noise. However, plastic bags aren’t a toy, and although it’s cute when your cat pounces on the bags and chases after them, they can be dangerous. Your cat should have toys of his own, meant for safe play and enrichment. Check out these 7 Essential Cat Toys To Keep Your Kitty Entertained.

A much as your cat may seem to love plastic bags, they’re not a toy and can be extremely dangerous. Chewing on the bag can cause your cat to suffocate or choke. Make sure you’re throwing your bags into a trash can or recycling container with a lid, or even better, switch to reusable bags, which are better for both your cat and the environment.

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