Cat Eating Feces (Coprophagia) - Why it Happens and Ways it Can be Stopped
Cat eating stool or feces, a behavior known as coprophagia, is rare in felines. Learn what can cause your cat to eat stool, and options available to prevent or stop them from eating feces.
Why Cats Eat Feces
Some cats may engage in coprophagia, the act of eating stool. While the practice of coprophagia is rare in cats, it has been observed more often in younger cats and kittens. No matter what strange things you find your cats eating, it is important to curb this type of behavior in order to avoid illness or even death.
Potential Causes for Cat Eating Feces
Many cats eat feces because they are suffering from some type of deficiency in their diet. You may wish to visit the vet to run some blood tests, or you might try switching your cat to a premium food that offers balanced nutrition.
Cats that have been severely abused or kept in extremely unsanitary conditions with little food or water may have picked up the practice of coprophagia as a survival mechanism. Even though the cat is now in a safe place, it may still feel like it is necessary to eat its own stool.
Young cats and kittens may also develop coprophagia from a type of mental disorder. Cats are prone to developing mental disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, and coprophagia in cats could be a manifestation of some type of mental disorder. Kittens may also confuse their own stool with food, and it may take them awhile to realize that their stool is not food.
How to Stop a Cat from Eating Feces
If your cat is eating their own stool, a trip to the veterinarian is most certainly in order. Cats are prone to developing mental disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, and coprophagia in cats could be a sign of mental illness. If your cat is eating its own stool, have him examined by a veterinarian to ensure first that no medical conditions are causing the behavior. Keeping the litter boxes clean, and making sure that your cat feels safe and secure in its environment, may help to reduce further incidences of coprophagia.