Why Do Cats Chew on Cardboard?

Cats love to chew on cardboard.

It may be tempting to throw some of it away, but it’s essential to save it for the benefit of your cat and your family. It may help to do not seem to your cat as a strange and new thing.

Just make your cat comfortable with the cardboard box and they’ll gladly attack it.

Most cats chew cardboard because they need a substance called an irritant to help release some plaque on teeth.

Cats are presumably further motivated to chew on cardboard because it is a totally risk-free substance and they enjoy chewing.

A cat may consume cardboard owing to a multitude other factors such as boredom, anxiety or stress, or they can chew on cardboard if they need to vomit.

Some cats endeavor to chew on cardboard because they are simply exploring their environment and attempting to feel textures with their mouths. A cat may enjoy chewing on cardboard as it gives them a textural sensation when rubbing their jowls against it.

Cardboard box is a good toy for kittens to train their hunting skills.

Maybe you’ve been wondering if you waste money on buying a cat scratching post or if you need to just hide all the cardboard around the house.

While many cats seem to like nibbling on cardboard, some cats will pick some other material to gnaw on besides cardboard, including plastic objects.

Why Do Cats Chew on Cardboard?

Compulsive disorder

Alternatively, it might be an indication that the feline is bored and needs an occupation to help keep its mind active and busy.

Certain breeds are more predisposed in consuming items that they don’t like. It is a natural behavior though, which is why cats can also chew on other materials aside from cardboards.


Feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus infections can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms may be subtle.

Blood tests can help detect these diseases, but a positive result may not occur until after all your cat’s testes have shrunk away and cysts have developed in its abdomen and bone marrow. Cats with either of these diseases often have weakened immune systems that can’t fight other infections or parasites.

Another possible cause of your cat’s cardboard consumption is boredom or anxiety, especially if your adult cat has been an indoor-only animal for most of her life.

Keep an eye on these behavior changes daily and if symptoms of illness persist, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately.


Your cat may be suffering from a nutritional shortage if it begins to exhibit these strange behaviors.

Cats can try to regulate their water consumption (if you give your cat water) to maintain a body that is healthy by thirst. But this behavior may also become hard to understand if your cat drinks excessively and incessantly.

It might be a sign for you to consider adding wet food to their diet or to changing the type of dry cat food they eat.

When they attempt to consume grass or leaves, this anomaly will become apparent.

It’s possible that a deficiency in vitamins or other nutrients is to blame, so you need to check your cat’s diet or consult with a vet.

Marking Their Territory

Your cat may be marking her territory by rubbing her body on the furnishings and walls, as well.

A cat’s favorite technique to mark her territory is by rubbing her chin and cheeks on objects and people.

You may tell whether your cat is claiming her territory by her rubbing behavior or the way she weighs in on the objects she’s licking and pawing.

If your cat is upset by unknown people coming over, she may resort to chewing in order to get rid of her insecurity. If she’s doing this with your shoe boxes you may not need to feel ashamed.

In the absence of a vigorous and constant flow of energy inside the body, your cat may resort to the worst thing she can think of: chewing things she shouldn’t like cardboard for instance.


Toothing is the time when baby cats develop their adult teeth at about 4 to 7 weeks of age after the old milk teeth have fallen out.

Cats may also chew on objects to help get rid of any pain they may be feeling as they develop their new permanent teeth.

This is another reason why it is so important for owners to save all of their favorite boxes and other cardboard items during these times because they will offer your cat great comfort while they develop their teeth.

Because her adult tooth is coming out, it may be comforting to her painful gums. It’s very uncommon for cats to chew on objects as a symptom of hyperthyroidism.


Boredom is one of many reasons why cats chew on cardboard.

It can lead to destructive habits such as scratching furniture or destroying household items.

Another reason why cats chew on cardboard is that when your cat has nothing better to do, it just starts to chew on something – anything – to relieve its boredom or stress.

Predatory Behaviour

Cats have unique predatory behaviours that aren’t limited to just catching mice and birds.

In fact, many cats spend a lot of their free time chewing on objects they find around the house, including cardboard and plastic products; this is known as predatory behaviour.

Cats are predatory for many reasons.

They like to imitate the movements of other animals when they’re hunting or eliminating prey, and a cardboard box can be an excellent substitute to a mouse or a bird toy. A cardboard box allows your cat to pounce on its prey and walk around with it endlessly.

Also, cats are expected to engage in predatory behaviour to learn how to hunt effectively, so this may also be one of the reasons why your cat enjoys chewing on cardboards.

However, you need to realize that cats also engage in predatory behaviour when they can’t find another adequate source of food to satisfy their hunger.

Cats that are malnourished or are simply unable to make themselves vomit may resort to chewing on objects just to keep themselves occupied and satisfied until they can find an adequate source of food.

Is It Normal For Cats To Chew Cardboard?

Cardboard boxes are central to our lives and cats’ lives too!

Cats love to chew on cardboard, and they often use it to sharpen their claws. They also love to use it as a scratching post for their back paws and whiskers.

Cardboard boxes may seem common and uninteresting to us, but to cats they are exotic and stimulating objects! Cats love playing with boxes and often chew on them.

However, it is important not to throw away cardboard that your cat can use to sharpen their claws or scratch their backs or whiskers on because cats can become distressed when they can’t use their favorite toys.

Cardboard boxes can scratch the back paws, so it is essential that you save your boxes and use them for scratching posts or as toys for your cat (it is a good idea to keep them away from children).

Cardboard boxes are also essential for different cat games such as ‘fetch’. Our best advice is not to throw away the cardboard that you find around your house and consider buying some new ones if the old ones get damaged.

In addition, when a cat is licking and chewing on cardboard, it is a sign that he is stressed and needs some attention. It’s a natural tendency; cats enjoy licking and chewing on their feet so chewing on cardboard is an inevitable occurrence for them.

How Do You Stop Your Cat From Chewing Cardboard?

Remove the Cardboard

Simply removing the cardboard boxes from your house can stop your cat from chewing cardboard.

In order to prevent your cat from getting into the boxes, you may always place a saran wrap over the boxes and tape it shut so that your cat won’t be able to get into them.

Deter the Behavior

Box-gnawing cats may be behaviorally encouraged by the way you interact with them.

There are sprays for animals that have a bad smell that might annoy your feline.

For example, you may use a vinegar and water mixture to apply a coating to certain cardboard surfaces to keep them from smelling too appealing to the cat.

Redirect the Behavior

It’s possible to stop your cat from chewing cardboard effectively while at the same time reducing stress in your household and conveying more positive messages about your household expectations concerning her behavior using positive reinforcement.

Scolding your cat will make her fear you and will probably make her do the behaviour more as a source of attention.

Trying to find out why your cat is chewing cardboard and addressing the situation through appropriate means may save her from urinating on the cardboard and ultimately a veterinary visit for UTI treatment.

Play with your cat more often and make sure she has appropriate toys and other activities to keep her engaged.

The more fun your cat has, the less likely she is to engage in undesirable acts around the house (such as chewing cardboard) and the more likely she will play fetch with you (or chew on your mouse!).

Also Read: Can Cats Eat Onion Powder?


Keep an eye on your cat while she’s making the ritual move with her cardboard ball to make sure she’s not hurting herself with this activity.

The cardboard that cat chews could be toxic to cats if it contains chemicals or substances that could harm them, such as varnish or glues. If you’re not sure what’s in the cardboard, keep it out of her reach for a while to be safe.

Likewise, if you’ve used a box for something toxic such as mothballs, you may want to stop your feline friend from eating it.

You want to make sure she’s safe though and not choking on cardboard bits or ingesting any harmful substances from the packaging.

As a last precaution, make sure there are no cords or strings that can become lodged in her mouth and could prevent breathing or swallow a potentially dangerous piece of cardboard.