Why Do Cats Chew On Cardboard?

Why Do Cats Chew on Cardboard?

Most cats chew cardboard because it’s entertaining and presumably feels good on their gums. Cats are presumably further motivated to chew on cardboard because of the attention they receive from you when they do so. A cat may consume cardboard owing to a multitude of factors that vary from teething to dietary deficits to sickness and conditions among many more. Maybe you’ve been wondering if you should be concerned or whether it’s simply your cat acting strangely. While many cats seem to like nibbling on cardboard boxes, it’s crucial to double-check the causes behind this habit.

Why Do Cats Chew on Cardboard?

Compulsive disorder

It might also be the outcome of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is exclusively tied to heredity. It is more frequent in some breeds than others.

Alternatively, it might be an indication that the sufferer has a compulsive condition that can only be traced back to their genes. Certain breeds are more likely to suffer from it than others.


Cat pica might potentially indicate a serious illness, such as feline leukemia or the feline immunodeficiency virus. Make sure that cat doesn’t display any aberrant feeding and chewing habits.

Feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus are two possible causes of cat pica. Keep an eye on your cat’s feeding and chewing habits.


If you see your cat not only chewing but also devouring bits of cardboard boxes, this might indicate a nutritional shortage. It might indicate that your cat’s food is lacking. When they attempt to consume grass or leaves, this anomaly will become apparent. The cat may even consume cat litter if it has anemia.

Your cat may be suffering from a nutritional shortage if you notice that he is not only chewing on cardboard boxes but also consuming some of the fragments. It might be a sign that your cat isn’t getting the nutrition it needs. When they attempt to consume grass or leaves, this anomaly will be evident. It’s possible that a cat with anemia may consume kitty litter.

Marking Their Territory

She could be rubbing on the boxes in the same way she rubs on everything in sight (even your legs) to claim her territory. Chewing on household things is a terrific method for a cat to spread her fragrance all over the place. If your cat seems to be rubbing her face on the box in between gnawing sessions, it’s likely that she’s claiming these boxes as her own. This is nothing to worry about, as long as she isn’t aggressive about guarding her area.

Your cat may be marking her territory by rubbing on the boxes in the same way she does on anything in sight (even your legs). A cat’s favorite technique to mark her territory is to gnaw on things around the home. You may tell whether your cat is claiming her boxes if you see her rubbing her face against them as she’s munching. In the absence of a vigorous defense of her area, this is of little concern.


Cats use their teeth to eat and drink, therefore chewing on card boards and other materials may be beneficial to them. Kittens, like humans, have baby teeth, but they develop quicker! If your cat is eating cardboard because her adult tooth is coming out, it may be comforting to her painful gums. When their thyroid levels are off, some cats start consuming nonfood objects, causing irritation of their gum tissues! Contact your veterinarian immediately if you’re worried.

If a cat likes to gnaw on cardboard or other materials, it may be a positive thing for them. Kittens, like adults, have baby teeth, however they develop much more quickly! Because her adult tooth is coming out, your cat may be chewing on cardboard to soothe her painful gums. It’s very uncommon for cats to chew non-food objects when their thyroid levels are out of whack, causing gum irritation! If you’re worried about your pet, contact your veterinarian immediately.


If your cat gets bored quickly, chewing on cardboard boxes might be a fun way for her to pass the time and burn off some energy. She might be attempting to get your attention. Cats, like a kid that acts out to attract a parent’s attention, can sometimes behave mischievously to grab your attention. When you pay attention to your cat when she’s doing something bad, you’re essentially teaching her that if she continues doing it, she’ll always receive your attention. So, when your bored kitty acts this way, try to ignore them.

If your cat is prone to boredom, you may want to encourage her to chew on cardboard boxes as a kind of entertainment. It’s possible she’s doing all she can to get your attention. Cats, like a child that tries to obtain a parent’s attention by acting out, may occasionally be naughty in order to win your attention. Giving your cat attention when she does something detrimental teaches her that she will always receive your attention if she continues to do so. So, when your bored cat acts in this manner, do your best to ignore them.

Predatory Behaviour

We may have learnt to domesticate cats, but their species has been in the wild for a long time. They still maintain their hunting and predatory characteristics. Wild cats usually bite their prey into pieces before devouring the flesh; they also acquire a lot of bones to chew on. Domesticated cats, on the other hand, don’t have a chance to hunt and kill their prey thus they prefer to replicate this behavior by tearing and shredding cardboard boxes.

It’s possible that we’ve domesticated cats, but they’ve been roaming the wild for a long time already. They still have a predatory and hunting nature. Prey is often chewed into pieces by wild cats, and they obtain plenty of bones to chew on in the process. To mimic hunting and killing animals in the wild, domesticated cats shred cardboard boxes to reenact hunting and killing.

Is It Normal For Cats To Chew Cardboard?

Cats seldom nibble on cardboard, particularly if they are already chewing and cleaning their paws. Cats often find it entertaining because the textures feel nice on their teeth and produce a pleasing noise. It is a natural tendency for the cat since it deems it an enjoyable pastime.

When a cat is licking and chewing on their paws, it is unusual for them to eat cardboard. Cats are drawn to it because the textures and noises are appealing to their senses. It’s a natural tendency for cats since they find it amusing.

How Do You Stop Your Cat From Chewing Cardboard?

Remove the Cardboard

Keeping the cardboard boxes out of reach of your cat is one of the simplest things you can do. You may always break down boxes right immediately and recycle them or store them in a location of the home where your cat won’t be able to get them, such as the garage.

Simply removing the cardboard boxes from your cat’s reach is an easy solution. In order to prevent your cat from getting into the boxes, you may either break them down immediately and dispose of them or store them in an area of your home that your cat cannot reach.

Deter the Behavior

There are methods for preventing your cat from chewing on boxes. If your cat is chewing on boxes that need to remain place, there are sprays designed for animals that have a horrible taste and will deter your cat from gnawing on them. Bitter apple spray, for example, might be sprayed on a surface to keep your cat calm.

Box-gnawing cats may be deterred using a variety of methods. There are sprays for animals that have a bad taste and will keep your cat away from boxes that need to be kept in place. For example, you may use a spray of bitter apple to deter your cat from misbehaving.

Redirect the Behavior

You can distract your cat if you spot her engaging in this activity. Keep in mind the toddler rule. If you chastise your cat, she will likely interpret it as a source of attention and repeat the act. It all begins with you trying to find out why your cat is chewing on the cardboard. If your cat is bored, play with her more and make sure she has appropriate toys and other activities to keep her engaged (access to gaze out of windows, etc). (access to look out of windows, etc.). Finding a playmate for your cat, ideally another cat, may help her halt a number of bad habits and offer her with lots of opportunity to play, making her less likely to feel bored.

It’s possible to stop your cat from engaging in this kind of behavior if you discover it early on. Keep in mind the “toddler rule” while making decisions. Scolding your cat will make her more inclined to do the same thing in the future. Trying to find out why your cat is eating cardboard in the first place is the first step in solving the problem. Play with your cat more often and make sure she has enough toys and other activities to keep her engaged if she’s feeling bored (access to look out of windows, etc.). The more fun your cat has, the less likely she is to grow bored, so finding her a playmate, ideally another cat, will help her stop a variety of bad habits.


While a cat chewing on cardboard boxes is considered natural and harmless activity, keep an eye on her while she does it. You want to rule out any medical concerns and make sure she’s not injuring herself in any manner. Make sure the package is empty and hasn’t been treated with or contains any hazardous substances. Allow your cat to have her fun as long as you know she is secure and you don’t mind little bits of cardboard strewn over your home. Cats and boxes are, after all, like peas and carrots.

Keep an eye on your cat while she’s chewing on cardboard boxes, even though it’s considered typical and harmless activity. You want to make sure she isn’t self-harming and rule out any medical issues. As a last precaution, make sure the package is clean and free of dangerous substances. Insist on letting her have her fun as long as you know she is having a good time and don’t mind a few bits of cardboard strewn around your home. Cats and boxes go along like peas and carrots, after all.