My neighbor, who loves to care for stray cats and dogs, recently faced a unique problem. She has a habit of feeding stray cats, which attracts them to her garden.
However, she found the cats would overturn her trash bins and mess in her garden. This got me intrigued about cats eating garbage.
I learned that domesticated cats don’t eat garbage but stray cats will and it is not the garbage they eat, but the leftover food that they find in the trash.
Why do cats eat garbage?
Cats, especially stray cats, love to go through the trash to find food. So, they do not eat garbage but spoiled food that’s found in the garbage.
As a result, stray cats often become scavengers to survive by looking for food everywhere.
Also, cats have an excellent sense of smell and are natural hunters. This makes it easy for the felines to find food in the unlikeliest places.
Hence, you will often find cats walking around dumpster bins and eating leftover food inside garbage dumps.
Should cats be allowed to eat garbage?
If you are wondering if garbage is healthy for cats, you are correct if you have concluded that it is unhealthy for the feline.
According to the website, Papillion Sanitation, proper sanitation is essential to prevent animals like cats from gaining access to the garbage.
In addition, consuming garbage can cause health problems in cats because of the mold or germs that might have latched onto leftover food in the garbage bins.
Can consuming garbage prove to be dangerous to cats?
The answer to this question is yes. Cats often suffer digestive distress if they consume contaminated food from trash dumps.
Despite their excellent sense of smell, they cannot differentiate between fresh and contaminated food.
Hence, it would help if you prevented the cats from gaining access to the garbage dumps by ensuring that the garbage bags are well sealed and disposed of into trash cans with lids.
What garbage is most dangerous to cats?
When we dispose of garbage, we usually put the waste in plastic bags and throw it in the dumpster.
However, this can be dangerous for cats because they can easily tear plastic bags with their sharp claws and teeth.
While trying to eat the food inside the plastic bag, the creature can unknowingly eat pieces of the plastic. and this is not just dangerous but fatal for stray cats.
Can you prevent cats from entering garbage bins?
You can prevent cats from entering garbage bins by using citrus peels or coffee grounds.
The scent smell of coffee grounds or citrus peels is a deterrent, and you will find that cats avoid rummaging through the garbage.
Another method of preventing cats from getting into your garbage bin is to ensure that the lid is fixed tightly.
Finally, it would help if you carefully dispose of the waste.
It is best to put the waste in eco-friendly trash bags so that it does not harm critters even if they unknowingly consume it.
Do cats eat garbage due to the lack of availability of suitable food?
When you think of stray cats, it is natural to think that they are drawn toward garbage because they do not get access to suitable food.
However, cats are excellent hunters, and while living in urban and suburban areas, cats can hunt creatures like rats, mice, and other rodents.
They usually look for food in trash cans as these are places where they are likely to find leftover food discarded by humans.
In addition, waste bins offer easy accessibility to food that cats can consume without needing to put in the effort to hunt.
Hence, there is no relation between cats eating garbage and the lack of suitable food.
Do pet cats eat garbage?
According to a friend, her pet cat tends to rummage through her garbage bin. When I inquired about this habit of her pet feline, I discovered that her cat used to be a stray.
According to the website, Kitty Help Desk, cats, originally strays, tend to eat leftover food in waste dumps, so when they are adopted into foster homes, it is highly possible that they will attempt to get into trash cans.
What do cats look for in garbage?
Humans have domesticated cats like dogs; over time, most feral cats have become opportunistic feeders.
For most of them, garbage has become the primary source of food. The leading food cats look towards finding in the garbage is human scraps.
For instance, you have discarded cooked or leftover food from your kitchen into covered trash cans.
You will find that this will attract more alley cats and stray cats than usual.
Cats tend to search for food discarded by humans as these are edible food for felines.
Can cats avoid inedible things in the garbage?
Cats are pretty intelligent and have a strong sense of smell. The one thing that they can do is differentiate between edible and inedible food.
Cats are primarily carnivorous, and they will eat only animal-based food.
You will find that even if a stray cat is rummaging through trash cans, it will avoid any food that is plant-based or made with vegetables. It will avoid fruits as well.
Feral cats will gravitate only toward the food they find edible, which can be meat or fish.
Should you prevent your pet cats from going through your garbage bin?
It would help if you never allowed your pet cat to rummage through the dumpster bin.
If your pet cat tends to go out and rummage through the disposed rubbish in your garden or backyard, you should prevent it.
One of the reasons is that it is unhealthy for your pet feline and can lead to your cat consuming food that can make it unhealthy.
Also, your cat can get into fights with stray cats, which can be dangerous. Your pet cat can get injured or disease from a stray cat.
Curious about learning what other animals eat garbage? Check out that article we wrote for more details.