Nov 22, 2017

We often see cats do crazy things. But it seems like cats have this crazy obsession with plastic bags. Have you noticed it? Perhaps it is when you bring in the groceries or there is a plastic bag lying around. They seem to jump in it, run around, and play with it. This would be no big deal but there is another thing cats like to do with plastic bags. Ever wonder why? Well, keep reading for some insight into your feline friend. 

Though there is not one simple or easy reason why cats lick plastic bags, we have compiled a list of many reasons. Does one fit your cat best? 

A common reason is due to their playful nature. Cats love to play with anything and everything crinkly. They love to pounce on it, roll around in it, and even hide in it sometimes. Of course, with their playful nature, there is always biting and licking involved. Sound like someone you know? Well, some hypothesize that the sound resembles that of rodents in the wild for our feline prowlers. Though we cannot tell you that this is the exact reason why cats love to lick plastic bags, it is one theory that explains this unique behavior. 


According to Nicholas Dodman, a veterinary behaviorist at Tufts University, this behavior might be due to a mild compulsive disorder. Some animals, cats in this case, have an impulse to eat un-nutritious substances (also known as "pica"). This is not limited to plastic bags, but could include other objects as well. A specific fascination with plastic bags is called a texture-specific eating disorder as cats really enjoy the texture of plastic bags. If your cat has a big fascination with anything and everything plastic, it may be due to this condition. 

Another reason why cats love to lick plastic bags may be due to smells. When we carry our groceries in those plastic bags, from meat to seafood to our feline friends' treats, the smell can linger. These food scents can be very tempting for felines, leading them to lick frantically at plastic bags. Just make sure that they don't digest any of the plastic from plastic bags, which could lead to intestinal blockage abdominal pain. 

Believe it or not but along with the enticing smell, taste can also play a role as to why cats love licking plastic bags. One of the ingredients that go into making plastic bags is corn starch, which can make plastic bags attractive to cats. Furthermore, plastic can be treated with various materials that smell edible, making plastic bags likable to cats. 

 Do any of these reasons seem like why your cat might lick plastic bags? It could be their playful nature, a compulsion, a scent or pheromone, or even the taste. Perhaps it is a mix of all of these reasons. Either way, keep a close eye while your cat plays with plastic bags. They may be fun to play with and lick but we do not want our feline friends swallowing any of these! 



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