What It Means if Cats Are Chewing on Wood

Behavior modification can curb your cat's predilection toward wood.
i David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images

Cats do strange things, which owners often shrug off. However, cats who chew on wood aren't just being weird, they could have a condition called pica that can be life-threatening. You can manage your pet's pica to keep him safe -- and keep your furniture intact.


If your cat eats wood and other inedibles, pica is the likely cause. Cats with pica eat things they shouldn't, such as wood, wool or rubber bands. These items can cause your pet intestinal blockages that could threaten your kitty's life.


Pica may be genetic for some cats. Certain breeds, including Siamese and Birman cats, are more likely to display behaviors that lead to pica. Cats with medical conditions may start to eat things like wood, although vets aren't sure why this behavior develops. Cats with feline immunodeficiency virus, feline leukemia or diabetes may develop pica. Take your cat to the vet to rule out medical causes.


Curb your cat's tendency to eat other things by feeding your cat at regular times. Dividing up kitty's meals into several smaller meals throughout the day may distract him from munching wood. Likewise, give your pet something else to chew, such as cat jerky or cat dental chews. If your pet gets preoccupied with these safe chews, he's less likely to eat wood.


Try cat-proofing to keep your pet safe while you're away. Move things that would be dangerous for the cat to chew, such as electric cords, away from your pet's level, or close the door to the room so your cat can't chew wood furniture. Bitter apple or hot sauce sprays can discourage your cat from chewing certain items.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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