Cats may lick pottery because it contains high levels of iron and magnesium, which can help replenish nutrient deficiencies in their system. It is not necessarily a cause for concern unless the behavior is new and the cat exhibits other signs of illness. Some cats may enjoy the texture of pottery on their tongues.
Is licking pottery a typical behavior among cats, or is it rare?
Licking pottery is not an expected behavior among cats and is usually associated with pica, a condition where cats consume or lick inedible objects. It can be caused by stress or anemia and is more likely to occur in severe cases of pica. Cats may also lick each other as part of allogrooming, a social behavior.
Are there any specific types of pottery that cats seem to prefer licking?
There is no evidence that cats prefer any specific type of pottery to lick. Cats may lick clay pots due to abnormal behavior, but this is not common. Clay is one of the oldest and most commonly used types of cat litter, but it should be avoided if a kitten repeatedly eats litter to prevent intestinal blockages. Many types of cat litter are available, and the best one for a feline friend should be chosen based on their needs.
Could licking pottery be a sign of a nutritional deficiency in cats?
Licking pottery could indicate a nutritional deficiency in cats, as it is often related to a lack of Iron, Zinc, or Copper in the cat’s diet. It could also be symptomatic of neurological problems or a nutritional imbalance. In severe cases of pica, cats may consume inedible objects due to dietary deficiencies.
Can excessive licking of pottery be harmful to a cat’s health?
Excessive licking of pottery can harm a cat’s health as it may contain biofilm, including algae, bacteria, and fungi that can be toxic. Additionally, cats may develop Pica, an eating disorder where they consume non-food items such as clay pots. This behavior can also have psychological causes, such as a need for consistency and security. If the cat is anemic or displaying other signs of illness, it is best to consult a veterinarian.
Are there any ways to discourage cats from licking pottery, such as providing alternative items to lick?
Providing alternative items for cats to lick can be an effective way to discourage them from licking pottery. Examples of such things include chew toys, catnip, and food-dispensing toys. Covering the wound with soft fabric secured by medical tape can also help prevent licking. Applying bitter-tasting substances or products such as Chew Guard®, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, or Tabasco® may also be effective in discouraging cats from licking pottery.