A cat owner once told me that her cat would chew on her hair when she was feeling anxious. The cat owner started giving her cat more attention and playtime, and the chewing stopped. Another cat would chew on her shoes when she was bored. Giving the cat more toys solved the problem!
Chewing on nothing and purring is a common behavior in cats, but it can be concerning for pet parents. There are many possible reasons why your cat might be doing this, including boredom, stress, anxiety, dental problems, or even a medical condition.
In this article, we’ll discuss the most common reasons why cats chew on nothing and purr, and we’ll offer some tips on how to stop this behavior. We’ll also discuss when you should see a veterinarian about your cat’s chewing
Table of Contents
Common Reasons Why Cats Chew on Nothing and Purr
There are several reasons why cats might chew on nothing and purr. Here are some of the most common:
1- Instinctual Behavior
Cats are naturally curious and have a strong instinct to chew. Chewing helps them to explore their environment and to keep their teeth clean. Kittens are especially prone to chewing, as they are learning about their surroundings and how to use their mouths.
2- Stress or Anxiety
Chewing can be a way for cats to relieve stress or anxiety. When cats are feeling stressed or anxious, they may start to chew on things, or on nothing at all, as a way to self-soothe.
This is especially common in cats who are stressed by changes in their environment, such as moving to a new home or the arrival of a new pet.
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If your cat is not getting enough mental stimulation, it may start to chew on things out of boredom. Cats need to be kept entertained, just like humans do. If they don’t have enough to do, they may start to chew on things to relieve their boredom.
4- Medical Condition
In some cases, chewing on nothing and purring can be a sign of a medical condition, such as gum disease or dental pain. If your cat is chewing more than usual and you are concerned, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical problems.
Some cats may chew on nothing and purr as a way to get attention from their owners. If your cat only chews when you are around, this may be the reason.
Cats are social creatures and they crave attention from their owners. If a cat is not getting enough attention, it may start to engage in attention-seeking behaviors, such as chewing on nothing and purring.
If a cat learns that these gestures get its attention, they’re more likely to do that again in the future. This is especially true if the cat is getting positive attention, such as being petted or praised.
6- A learned Behavior
If a cat has been allowed to chew on things in the past, it may continue to do so even if it’s not a natural behavior for them.
Cats may learn to associate chewing with positive experiences, such as getting attention from their owners or being given treats.
For example, if a cat chews on a toy and then gets praised or petted by their owner, it may learn to associate chewing with positive reinforcement. This could lead the cat to chew on other objects in the future, even if they are not toys.
When Is a Cat’s Chewing on Nothing and Purring a Cause for Concern?
Here are some situations when a cat’s chewing on nothing and purring may be a cause for concern:
- If the chewing is causing damage to your belongings. If your cat is chewing on furniture, cords, or other objects that could be damaged, it is important to intervene.
- If the chewing is accompanied by other behavioral changes. Behavioral changes such as aggression or hiding. These changes could be a sign of a medical problem or a behavioral issue.
- If the chewing is sudden and out of character for your cat. If your cat has never been a chewer and suddenly starts chewing, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical problems.
- If chewing is painful for your cat. If your cat is chewing on their paws or other sensitive areas, it’s important to take them to the vet to rule out any medical problems.
- If your cat is a kitten. Kittens are naturally curious and may chew on things as a way to explore their surroundings. However, if a kitten is chewing on things that are dangerous or harmful, it’s important to stop the behavior.
Some Medical Conditions That Cause a Cat’s Chewing on Nothing
If your cat is chewing on nothing and you are concerned that it may be due to a medical condition, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for a checkup. Your veterinarian can rule out any medical causes and recommend treatment options if necessary.
Here are some medical conditions that can cause a cat’s chewing on nothing:
- Gum disease: Gum disease is a common problem in cats that can cause pain and discomfort. If a cat is experiencing gum disease, it may chew on things, or move its jaws, as a way to relieve the pain.
- Dental pain: Dental pain can also cause cats to chew on things. This is because chewing can help to numb the pain.
- Feline Orofacial Pain Syndrome (FOPS): FOPS is a rare condition that causes cats to experience chronic pain in their mouths. This pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including dental disease, gum disease, and allergies.
- Nutritional deficiencies: A deficiency in certain nutrients, such as taurine or magnesium, can also cause cats to move their mouths. This is because these nutrients are essential for healthy teeth and gums.
- Metabolic disorders: Some metabolic disorders, such as hyperthyroidism, can also cause cats to chew. This is because these disorders can cause changes in the cat’s metabolism that lead to increased thirst and hunger.
- Pain from other medical conditions: Pain from other medical conditions, such as arthritis or cancer, can also cause cats to chew. This is because they may be trying to relieve the pain.
- Feline hyperesthesia syndrome (FHS): FHS is a neurological disorder that can cause a variety of symptoms, including excessive grooming, biting, and chewing.
- Feline hyperthyroidism: This is a condition that causes an overactive thyroid gland. Cats with hyperthyroidism may chew as a result of the increased metabolism and energy levels that come with the condition.
- Feline Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome: This is a condition that affects older cats and can cause a variety of behavioral changes, including chewing. If your cat is older and has started chewing on things, it is important to rule out this condition.
- Anxiety or stress: Anxiety and stress can also lead to chewing in cats. If your cat is feeling stressed or anxious, it may start chewing on things as a way to self-soothe.
How to Stop Your Cat From Chewing on Nothing and Purring?
Here are some tips on how to stop your cat from chewing on nothing and purring.
- Identify the cause of the chewing. The first step is to figure out why your cat is chewing on nothing and purring. Is it boredom? Stress? Anxiety? Or something else? Once you know the cause, you can start to address it.
- Provide your cat with plenty of toys and activities. Cats need to be entertained, just like humans do. Make sure to provide them with plenty of toys to chew on, such as scratching posts, balls, and wand toys.
You can also try giving them interactive toys that require them to work for their food.
- Make sure your cat is getting enough exercise. A tired cat is less likely to chew on things out of boredom. Aim for at least 30 minutes of playtime each day.
- Spend time with your cat. Cats crave attention from their owners. Make sure to spend time with your cat each day, petting them, playing with them, and talking to them.
- Redirect the behavior. If you see your cat starting to chew on something they shouldn’t, redirect their attention to a toy or other acceptable object.
- Be patient and consistent. It may take some time to break your cat from the habit of chewing on nothing and purring. Be patient and consistent with your efforts, and eventually, your cat will learn what is acceptable behavior.
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Here’s an interesting fact: Kittens are more likely to chew than adult cats. Also, Some breeds of cats are more prone to chewing than others. Chewing on nothing and purring is a common behavior in cats, but it can be concerning at times.
If you’re concerned about your cat’s chewing, it’s always best to talk to your veterinarian. They can help you to determine the cause of the behavior and recommend treatment options.
To help you stop your cat from chewing on nothing and purring; be patient and consistent. It may take some time to break your cat of this habit. Do not punish your cat for chewing. This could make the behavior worse.
It’s also important to show your cat lots of love and give it your undivided attention. These fluffy creatures are incredibly emotional and sensitive.
I’ve been living with cats since 2008 and I can confidently say I have more feline friends than humans lol. I currently live with 5 cats in different life stages; two of them are less than one year old, one is 2-ish years old and the oldest two are 9-ish years old. I’ve developed a strong bond with cats over the years and I’m eager to share my experience through this blog. You can learn more about my cats here.