Q: How do I get my cat to stop eating clothes?

August 11, 2010 | By Jane | 4 answers | Expired: 1555 days ago


My 2-year-old male cat won't stop eating fabric items! I'm constantly finding him chewing on clothes (soft items like sweaters, T-shirts, tank tops, etc.) and blankets. He doesn't just chew; he actually is eating them, and sometimes large chunks of them. I'm sick of him destroying my clothes, and I'm also worried - this can't be healthy for him! I tried misting him with a spray bottle to discourage the behavior, and tapping him lightly on the nose; hissing at him as well, but nothing helps. Whenever I walk into the room while he is eating something, he gets skittish and runs away; he seems to know that this behavior is bad, yet he won't stop. What should I do?!

Readers' Answers (4)

Aug 12, 2010

my first thought is perhaps he's lost a tooth and it feels nice against his gums, but you'd have to see a vet for that. and yeah, it's very dangerous. watch for everything to pass {sometimes this means digging through and breaking up their poop yourself}, b/c if it doesn't he may need immediate and extremely expensive exploratory surgery. if he changes at all in behavior, seek emergency vet treatment b/c this can go from bad to worse within hours.
spraying him and tapping his nose don't exactly get through to cats. it's a negative association, but more of an association w/you b/c he'll still continue to eat them unsupervised. hissing only works for kittens around 8 months and younger. any older and the hiss is more threatening than a lesson learned.
don't leave clothes out for him to get. period. it may be a pain, but you have to figure out a way to keep everything up and away from him. do you like citrus smells? b/c you could try spraying your clothes w/that. it's a natural deterrent for cats - they hate orangy scents.
another thought is to continually set him up. put everything away but for one article. leave it on the floor w/several strips of clear double-sided tape around it. make sure he has to step on the tape to get to the item. exchange one item for the next throughout the day and change it's location each time. do this until he doesn't want to even try.
when you do catch him chewing, remove him. lock him in a carrier or bathroom for two minutes. repeat, repeat, repeat.
other than that, just keep things out of reach and keep him exercised so he doesn't have the energy for it. oh - and see a vet first!

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daryl b.

Aug 11, 2010

well this is a new one. i have no idea. maybe later when the site straghtens up you can get some help

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Aug 12, 2010

I would take your cat to the vet to get checked out. He may have something wrong with his gums or he may just enjoy the feel of the fabric in his mouth. As pet owners we can never be to cautious for our loved ones.

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