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Why does my cat eat the sand?

Maybe you’ve ever seen that your cat eats the sand out of its box and you do not understand this behavior. This is due to a disorder called pica, which consists of the intake of non-nutritional objects, since, in addition to sand, they can eat anything else such as plastics, fabrics, etc.

This disorder can be due to many things, from a bad diet to problems of stress and, even, to some more serious illness. The best is that take your cat to the vet so that I can give you the necessary recognitions and help you discover what is the cause of this behavior, but in this article we want to give you some answers to the question of Why does my cat eat the sand?

Pica disorder

If we see that our cat has a tendency to chew and eat all kinds of objectsWhether it is food or not, like the sand in the sandbox, for example, we can begin to suspect that it has pica. This disorder, also called malacia, can cause serious health problems in the animal, since the ingestion of objects can lead him to suffer health problems of all kinds.

Generally, this behavior indicates that the cat suffers from a lack of nutrients and minerals in its diet and therefore begins to ingest other things. Also environmental factors such as boredom or stress can lead our cat to suffer from this problem and may even have a more serious illness that only the veterinarian can diagnose.

Feeding problems

If you are not feeding your cat well you may have a lack of nutrients and minerals that will try to supply eating other things, even if it is not food. In this case you should study your diet, what kind of food you are giving, if it is of good quality and covers all your nutritional needs; how many times a day do you feed it and do you need a supplement?

If you wonder why your cat eats the sand and you think it may be a feeding problem, it is advisable to take it to the veterinarian, since an analytical You will be able to know what your furry one needs and can recommend a more adequate diet to improve your health and end this behavior.

Stress, anxiety or depression

If you have ever wondered why my cat eats sand? And you know perfectly well that he ingests the necessary nutrients in his diet, the stress may be the answer. Anxiety, stress and depression cause many behavior problems and they can take your cat to eat the sand from its box, among other things.

Ask yourself what can cause the cat stress, if you have recently moved, if you are spending too much time alone or if a loved one has died recently, for example, and try to encourage him by spending more time with him and giving him games and love.


If you observe the symptoms of a bored cat and you see that he does not find any way to hang out, he will look for “alternative activities”. These animals are very curious and they love to play, they scratch, they climb, they chase things, they hunt, they bite, but if your feline friend does not have these entertainments You can start to eat sand from the sandbox, simply out of boredom.

If you spend many hours alone at home make sure to leave toys and objects to entertain, you can even find a new partner to play with.


Cats are very curious animals, especially when they are small, and they want to know everything that surrounds them. One way to do this is through experimentation, so it is possible that they lick or ingest some grains from their sandbox.

If the cause is curiosity, you will see that, even if it swallows some grain, it will spit out the vast majority and this behavior It will not happen again many times more. You do not have to worry, you will learn that it is not food and you will not try it anymore.

Other diseases

Sometimes the reason is none of the above, but then why does your cat eat the sand? exist some diseases that can cause your cat to eat stones and sand, in addition to other objects, and that a veterinarian must diagnose. These diseases can cause lack of nutrients, minerals or vitamins and cause them a voracious appetite, such as diabetes, leukemia or peritonitis.

How to avoid this behavior

While the intake of sand persists, the most important thing is remove the stones from your sandbox and put newspaper or kitchen paper in its place. Then you will have to investigate what is the problem that your cat may be suffering from.

If you think the problem may be stress, boredom or depression, you should try to spend more time with him, create a quiet environment at home and provide games and entertainment.

In case of a feeding problem you will have to buy good quality food and feed that covers all the nutritional needs of the kitten. In addition to take him to the vet to do analytical and recognition, in case you had another disease. An expert is the one who can best help you with this type of problem.

This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my cat eat the sand?, we recommend that you enter in our section of Other health problems.

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