Ask a Vet

Q: Why does my dog/cat chew and destroy stuff?

A: I’ve heard from clients that their pets destroy their new toy right away, and then lose interest in the toy.

In my opinion this could be related to a dog’s predatory behaviour that includes watching, stalking, pouncing, biting, shaking, killing, and disemboweling. Play behaviors are often modified predatory or fighting behaviors (social play). The squeaker toy is a live talking prey to them and intact eyes means they are looking at them and still alive. So it’s in their instinct to kill the prey by stopping the squeak with no eyes. Once they are ripped out/dead they lose their interest get bored and leave the toy.

Cats usually like used hair bands. It is likely due to the owner’s smell and the consistency of the material. Hair bands are easy to chew/swallow, and they can hold one part with the paw and pull with the mouth similar to prey.

Dr. Navjot Gosal BVSc & AH, MVSc Practices at the Delton Veterinary Hospital and co-hosts the listener call-in show Pet Talk, heard every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on AM630 CHED.