Why Kittens Chew On Things — And How to Help Prevent It

3. Fabric, leather or rubber.When fabric, leather or rubber chewing occurs in kittens between the ages of 3 and 6 months, it's often associated with teething. As new teeth come in, they make the gums uncomfortable. Chewing helps relieve that discomfort. Again, the best defense is putting chewable items out of reach and spraying those you can't move or hide with bad-tasting spray. But you must also provide something else for your kitten to chew. Look for kitten-safe chewable soft toys (beware of small parts that can be chewed off and swallowed). Another option for some cats is a baby carrot. Even lettuce can provide cool, crunchy relief. Freeze wet cat food or special treats into cubes that can be doled out for the cat to chew and lick. Some cats aren't crazy about cold food, but they will often make the exception if it's tasty enough — or if they have a strong enough urge to chew.

How Play Can Help

Kittens may also chew out of boredom. Be sure to give your kitten plenty of interactive playtime, and when you can't be with him, bring out a couple of interactive cat toys that release tiny food treats when he manipulates them. Make sure your kitten gets lots of active play and exercise.

One thing to keep in mind: Some older kittens may suckle on certain fabrics, particularly wool. This may be a result of a combination of early weaning and genetics, and it may even manifest itself as an obsessive-compulsive behavior. Talk to your veterinarian if your kitten ingests odd items like wool or plastic grocery bags.

More From Vetstreet:

Join the Conversation

Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!