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Why does my cat lick reusable bags?

Why does my cat lick reusable bags?

I was browsing reddit when something caught my eye. A question from a concerned cat owner read, "why does my cat lick reusable bags?" The main concern is for the cat's health, however it can get a little annoying listening to a cat lick a bag for long periods of time. So I did a little digging, because I was curious as to why a cat would even want to lick a reusable bag! Here's what I found.

Why do cats lick reusable bags? Cats lick reusable bags because of the lingering smell of food, and because they like the texture of it. Cats will be especially likely to lick reusable bags if there was meat or fish in the bag. They will also lick plastic bags because it's a form of a mild texture-specific eating disorder, similar to 'wool-sucking.' This isn't dangerous for the cat, unless they begin to ingest any of the plastic or reusable bag.

So we know that cats are either licking reusable bags because there's a lingering smell, or because they have a mild eating disorder. Now let's see how we can prevent them from licking reusable bags - both for their health and to prevent it from driving you crazy.

why cats lick reusable bags

How to stop my cat from licking plastic and reusable bags

Even though licking reusable and plastic bags is completely okay for cats to do (unless they're ingesting it), you may feel more comfortable if they weren't licking the bags.

Read "What are reusable produce bags made of? (+10 uses for them)"

That's completely understandable, and I'd do the same thing. So I found the best way to stop cats from licking plastic and reusable bags.

The most effective way to stop your cat from licking plastic and reusable bags is to make them inaccessible. You can do this by placing the bags in a cupboard, leave them in your car, or by placing the reusable and plastic bags in a storage container.

Just make sure the reusable bags are still easily accessible to you so you remember to bring them when shopping! That's why I recommend you keep two reusable bags in your car, just so you always have them when you go out.

If the cat still accesses the reusable or plastic bags, divert their attention. Set up a specific area where your cat can chew on any toy their hear desires.

Is it bad for my cat to lick plastic bags

In short, it's not bad for cats to lick plastic bags. It's not bad for cats to lick plastic or reusable bags unless they're ingesting pieces of the bag.

Read "Is Gum Made of Rubber? Here’s what you should know about gum!"

What happens if your cat is ingesting pieces of reusable or plastic bag? How will you know? If your cat begins to ingest pieces of the bag, your cat may experience vomiting and diarrhoea.

Ingesting parts of plastic or reusable bags can also have more serious effects on cats. Some more serious symptoms of cats ingesting plastic or reusable bags are "serious intestinal obstruction that may require surgery. Plastic can be a choking or suffocation hazard, too, and plastic bags can be a strangulation danger."


At the end of the day, it's your call wether or not you'd like to let your cat lick reusable or plastic bags. However, if you are worried your cat is ingesting the plastic, or see them chewing on the bag, I recommend hiding the bags. Keep your little feline friends safe and healthy!

Thanks for reading this blog post! If you learned something new, or found this helpful in any way, please share it on social media to help other cat owners like yourself!

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