Why Do Cats Bite and Lick Plastic Bags, Cords, and Other Objects?

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Cats are curious creatures by nature. Thus, when you see them licking a plastic bag or chewing on a cord, it is apparent that they are trying to figure out what the object is. This behavior is most commonly observed in cats that are teething. But sometimes, compulsive chewing on plastic bags, cords, and other things can also indicate underlying health issues like Pica or improper digestion.

In this article, we’ll list all the reasons that lead cats to bite and lick plastic bags, cords, and other fascinating objects like indoor plants.

Reasons Cats Bite and Lick Plastic Bags

Cats rustling through plastic bags are familiar to most feline owners. Plastic bags appeal to the senses of the cat in many ways. Firstly, they find it very interesting to hear the crinkling sound of the plastic. The lingering smell of the food inside the plastic is another reason cats lick and bite these bags.

According to Pet Health Network, plastic bags are incredibly alluring to kittens. This is because they comprise cornstarch, stearates, and animal by-products like gelatin. These substances are what make plastic bags attractive to cats. However, the long-term effects of chewing on plastic bags are hazardous, even life-threatening. Therefore, it is crucial to take precautionary measures.

The most common way to achieve this is by buying cat-chewing toys. This way, the cats will not have to look for objects to bite and lick. However, having multiple toys is mandatory, as the cat can quickly get bored with just one.

However, medical factors also give rise to this behavior. For example, stress is one of the main reasons that cats lick and chew on plastic objects. Stress can occur due to various reasons. It can include changes in the environment, untimely feeding, the arrival of unknown faces in the house, and more.

Pica is another medical condition due to which cats bite and lick objects around them. In most cats, iron deficiency and malnutrition are the cause of Pica. Thus, the first step in curing this condition is feeding your cat quality food on time.

Reasons Cats Bite and Lick Cords

Every cat pet owner must have come across their phone or computer cord completely chewed up. One reason that cats bite and lick cords is that they are bored. They also like the way it feels when they chew cords. This behavior is most commonly seen among kittens and teething young cats.

However, the habit of chewing on cords can lead to severe injuries as well. Many times, these cords are still connected to the electricity. In such cases, chewing on them can lead to life-threatening situations for the cat. Therefore, it becomes imperative to train and help the cat eliminate their cord-chewing habits. The best way to achieve this is by using a motion-activated cat deterrent. These produce a light puff of air, hiss, or other noises that distract the cat in other directions. If you’re looking for a good-quality cat deterrent product, opt for the Tattle Tale vibration alarm.

Also, you must tell them that their behavior is wrong through words or actions. It’s better to do so when the cat is still in its kitten phase.

Reasons Cats Bite and Lick House Plants

It is a widespread habit among cats to bite and lick leaves. Some cats eat plants because they enjoy their taste. To cater to their curiosity, young cats munch on leaves more than adult cats. Thus, it is advised not to grow poisonous plants in or around your house for the cat’s safety.

However, cats also bite or lick plants when stressed due to underlying medical conditions. Mostly, cats munch on leaves when they have problems with their digestive system. In such a situation, taking the cat to the vet as soon as possible becomes essential. In addition, it is hypothesized that they eat plants to fulfill their dietary needs through minerals, micronutrients, folic acid, etc. Thus, it is also necessary to ensure that the cat receives its daily nutritional requirements through proper food.


Every living creature has habits and behaviors particular to itself. However, unlike humans, animals must be trained to let them know which characteristics can be destructive. The same is true in the case of cats. Letting them know of their compulsive habits like biting and licking is essential not just for the objects around the house but also for the health of the cat.

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