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Eating Fabric

MM3

Site Supporter
#11
It does sound like your girl may have pica, which can be quite difficult to treat. I would seriously consider investing in a large crate or enclosure to keep her in when you are not home or otherwise unable to supervise her until you are able to work through all her issues. Providing her with additional food or alternatives to chew on is a good start as well. Here is a good source for duck necks to try:
Fresh Is Best Freeze Dried Whole Duck Necks
Does anyone have any experience with their Savannah's eating fabric? We are at wits end with Mars, we seriously cannot leave anything out, and it seems like the more we put away she just finds something else she usually wouldn't and eats part of it.

Clothes, shoe laces, sheets, all different fabric types, we cannot leave anything out or she will eat it.

Does anyone by chance have any advice or knowledge on this? We our constantly afraid she is not going to be able to pass something and get blocked up. We try so hard to not keep anything out, we keep a clean house, but she always finds something or goes after something she never usually does
My girl has been diagnosed with pica. It is very stressful, and I'm always on the look for anything on the floor or anywhere she has access to. Which is the entire house. My husband tries to be careful but not as neurotic as myself. We went through so many litters because she was eating the litter. String is her favorite. I've never heard of anything that can be done. Now that she is older now 4 years it doesn't seem like it's her main focus/ hunt as it was when she was younger. However, I never let my guard down. I feel for you. I redo all the stuffed toys we buy her just in case she chews through the fabric.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#12
I think the best toys are those that are made industrial strength for destructive dogs - they seem to hold up fairly well - however, as with any Savannah, toys should never be left out when the cat is unsupervised.
 

Cathouse1

Site Supporter
#13
I think the best toys are those that are made industrial strength for destructive dogs - they seem to hold up fairly well - however, as with any Savannah, toys should never be left out when the cat is unsupervised.
Agree, we have gone to dog toys. Cat toys last days, some hours...sigh. He's had some really cool toys that just don't hold up to the abuse. I don't think cat toys are engineered for water use, and from an early age he has tried to drown all of his toys. Still a freak for the water.
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#14
Be careful with dog toys, some may have things like essential oils in them which can be poisonous to your cat. What was recommended to us by our vet was the Kong toys which actually took some training and treat stuffing to get our chewer to use. Today he goes and seeks out his XXL Extreme Kong and chews the crap out of it, leaving everything else alone.
 

Shawn

Savannah Kitten
#15
I'm a bit late to the game here, but just noticed this post and wanted to relate that my Yoki (4 yo F2 male) also has pica. He'll eat anything cloth-like (towels, clothing, shoelaces, oven mitts, our new rug...) and now also most things that are rubbery in texture (luckily not power cords). I think it all started when he was a kitten with wool sucking, which we discouraged, but later developed into a more general cloth addiction. It can be a real headache, but aside from trying to distract him with play and wear him out a bit, there's really not a lot we can do. We've told the vet and the vet agree's we're feeding him adequately as well, which rules that out. (..though by nature he is the hungriest creature I've ever seen. He's always begging for food - even after a hearty meal.)

We of course worry a lot for his health, since having all this synthetic material in him can't be good. So far he's either passed it all fine into the toilet or vomited what he eats somewhere in the house. I feel we have been lucky in this.

At this point we have come to terms with it and simply know which things to keep out of his environment to keep him safe (and to keep us from not getting furious at him). It's not ideal because we're constantly scanning for anything he'd like that was left lying around by mistake. By now Yoki has me conditioned so much that even at someone else's house I'll get a fright at first if I see a t-shirt or towel just lying around.

Anyway, sorry that my post may not be of much help, but pica is difficult to treat and there's no real cure that I know of. I just wanted to commiserate with you, so you know you're not alone. :)
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#16
At this point we have come to terms with it and simply know which things to keep out of his environment to keep him safe
Thank you for being a conscientious, determined, and loving family to your Savannah. Pica can definitely be discouraging, but it can also be handled with the right attitude and consistency. Keeping the environment chew-worthy free is not easy, I applaud you on your efforts!
 

John Popp

Site Supporter
#17
Another note, is if you are feeding raw to either loosen your grind. Feeding an occasional chicken leg can be as problematic as it is a solution/. When there isn't a chicken leg to chew on what's the new target?

As mentioned before, I use the Kongs. You can use a small one to stuff some food in to get them used to them eventually graduating to the larger ones. Our boy Dooley will often take a few bites of his food, go find his Kong, chew it until it's all slobbered up and then come back to finish his food. Keep an eye on condition, keep moving them up in size and move from the Reds to the Blacks.
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
#18
I just found a presentation on several feline compulsive disorders by Nicholas Dodman of the Winn Foundation, including wool sucking/pica, psychogenic alopecia, and feline hyperesthesia syndrome. You can find it, along with several other talks here: http://www.winnfelinefoundation.org/education/winn-symposium (scroll down about a third of the way down the page). I have not had time to listen to it myself but sounds quite interesting.

BTW, for those who might be interested, there is also a presentation found on that same page on the advances that have been made in treating FIP by Dr. Pederson who is considered by many to be the leading expert in FIP research.