My Cat Ate Styrofoam: What Should I Do Now?

my-cat-ate-styrofoam

Cats are smart as well as really curious animals. You must have definitely heard of the proverb that goes-“curiosity killed the cat” now there is a reason why this proverb is based on a cat. The curiosity in cats is what helps them be aware of their surroundings in order to survive. They may possess silly habits such as eating things they shouldn’t be, for instance, styrofoam. 

If in any case, your cat has eaten styrofoam make sure to call your veterinarian immediately as well as observe your cat. The quantity of styrofoam infested by your cat has to be identified since the consumption of styrofoam can lead to dangerous diseases. 

In this article, you will learn everything from what should i do if My Cat Ate Styrofoam to the risks of eating styrofoam. 

What to Do if my Cat Ate Styrofoam? 

The quantity of styrofoam consumed by your cat is necessary to be identified. The health of your cat is based on the amount of styrofoam eaten by your cat, whether it’s a really small amount or a big amount. 

If your cat has eaten a really small amount of styrofoam then there are chances of those bits being harmless and your cat should be able to expel it without any problems. But, if your cat has eaten a large amount of styrofoam then your cat and you are in trouble since heavy amounts of styrofoam can lead to lethal problems. 

Cats like to play with their prey and then begin to eat it and that’s why at times your cat may usually stick its claws or teeth to the styrofoam and bite it or tear it into tiny bits. These tiny bits if swallowed by your cat may not do any harm to your cat and instead get expelled out of their system successfully without causing any harm to your cat.

Spongy Food

If you think it is important for you to react in time and take a harmless precaution after your cat has eaten styrofoam then here’s a precaution you can look forward to: feed your cat spongy food like cottage cheese or tuna with some oil.

Why spongy food? Spongy foods like tuna or cottage cheese may tend to wrap themselves around the styrofoam in your cat’s body and help expel it out of their digestive tract. 

Observation is key. You have to make sure to observe your cat well after your cat has ingested the styrofoam. At the first sight of any type of discomfort contact your veterinarian.

If your cat consumes the spongy food you serve them and does not vomit as well as passes stools in the next two days normally then you can consider your cat to be fine. But just to be safe keep your vet aware of this situation. 

Can Styrofoam be Toxic to Cats?

If your cat has swallowed a decent amount of styrofoam that is a very small amount of styrofoam they will not be affected by it right away because styrofoam is not instantly toxic after its consumption. But if the amount of styrofoam consumed is big then it may turn out to be dangerous for the health of your cat. An amount so big that it may cause your cat suffocation is lethal. Do not let that happen at any cost.

Styrofoam, whether consumed in tiny or large amounts, is not meant for cats at all. Styrofoam doesn’t really break down easily because it is made of plastic and this is clear enough to make you aware of what it would be like to have styrofoam stuck in your cat’s body. 

You need to make sure your cat does not consume styrofoam again because recurring inversions of styrofoam can turn out to be really toxic for your cat. One-time ingestion will not do much harm. 

Why Do Cats Eat Styrofoam?

Styrofoam is the material that is used for food packaging, and this is what makes your cat want to eat it since it can still smell the food on it. The smell of food on it can be the main reason why cats get so attracted to it. 

Styrofoam is used for non-edible packaging and cats cannot keep away from it. But we think the main reason behind why cats like eating styrofoam are because it fulfills two of the main needs of your cat: Biting and using their claws

Biting

One of the ways cats explore the world is through their mouths and that’s how biting comes into the picture. Kittens find biting to be really helpful during teething. But it doesn’t end just there for cats, adult cats are fond of biting too. 

We, humans, have hobbies the same way cats can turn biting into a hobby or just a way of spending their playtime, anything between these two. Since styrofoam is rigid cats feel the need to bite on it because they can easily stick their teeth in it and tear it into tiny bits. Which pet have you met that doesn’t like to destroy things?

Claws

We bet you are surely aware of the fact that cats find their claws very dear to them, especially cats in the wild. They use their claws to hunt their prey. But what about house cats? House cats too are fond of their claws just as much as wild cats are. 

Cats like to sharpen their claws by using various things to scratch on. And this is the reason why it is not suggested to trim their claws, especially not the rear ones. 

They need their own type of self-defense mechanisms and their teeth and claws provide them with it which is why you shouldn’t take it away from them. 

Styrofoam happens to be the ideal material for them to scratch and sharpen their claws on which is why they tend to like it. 

What Are the Risks of Styrofoam Consumption in Cats?

Consuming styrofoam comes with a lot of risks, from small risks to bigger risks that may harm your cat in the long run. 

Choking Hazard

Earlier we did mention how your cat’s health will not be disturbed unless and until your cat has eaten a big amount all at once of styrofoam that leads to a choking hazard sometimes or if your cat eats a piece that is way bigger for their throat. 

Even if your cat happened to eat a tiny piece of styrofoam that piece can still lead to choking because it tends to get stuck in your cat’s mouth, esophagus, or just basically anything and everything it comes in contact with. 

You can only prevent this from happening by reacting in time and getting out the pieces of styrofoam from your cat’s body. 

Blockage

You are very well aware of how once your cat has consumed the piece of styrofoam it can get stuck to anything and everything it comes in contact with which may lead to gastrointestinal blockage. 

You will know if there is a blockage in your cat’s gastrointestinal tract if they show signs of vomiting or diarrhea. Some other symptoms include weakness, abdominal pain, and lack of appetite. 

Lack of appetite and abdominal pain easily tells you that there is something wrong with your cat that is stopping them from eating well. 

If there is an absolute blockage of the intestines, your cat will show signs of constipation. 

Slowly this will turn into a bigger and worse scenario since the complete blockage of the intestines will manage to pass the food through the intestines, but instead, it will rot inside causing bacteria to be born in there and spread. 

Conclusion

Cats cannot eat styrofoam. You as a pet parent have to make sure not to let your cat consume such dangerous objects that may lead to lethal effects in the long run. Whether your cat has eaten small or big amounts of styrofoam it will still lead to problems, since the pieces of styrofoam can get stuck to anything and everything they come in contact with, be it your cat’s mouth or its esophagus.

Recurring consumption of styrofoam is walking into the hands of DANGER. You need to make sure that your cat does not consume styrofoam ever again. At the earliest sight of any symptoms or in a case where your cat has eaten heavy amounts of styrofoam contact your vet first!

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