Why Do Cats Eat Paper?

Have you ever caught your furry feline friend chomping on a piece of paper?

Don’t fret, it’s not just your cat – many kitties have a peculiar penchant for paper products. But why exactly do cats eat paper?

Let’s delve into the fascinating world of cat behavior and explore this strange habit. To start off, let’s consider the texture of paper.

It’s thin, crispy, and oh-so-easy to shred – all qualities that can be highly appealing to cats who love to play with and chew on objects that provide a satisfying sensation in their mouths. Additionally, certain types of paper products like toilet tissue often have a slightly perfumed scent that cats find irresistible.

Moreover, some experts believe that munching on paper could simply be a form of play for cats. These natural-born hunters adore batting objects around and pouncing on things that move – and what better target than a flimsy sheet of paper?

It’s an affordable and readily available option for indoor playtime. However, while eating small amounts of paper may not harm your kitty, ingesting large quantities could lead to digestive issues or blockages.

So it’s always best to intervene and provide appropriate toys and chews that are safe for feline consumption. In this post, we’ll delve deeper into the various reasons behind this unique behavior and offer some tips on how to keep your cat entertained in a healthy way.

Whether you’re an avid cat lover or simply curious about feline behavior, get ready for an enlightening dive into the world of paper-eating cats.

What is Pica?

This behavior is known as pica, and it can affect not just cats but other animals and humans too.

Pica in cats is often seen in those that are bored or under-stimulated, and it could also signal underlying medical issues. So what drives a cat to eat paper?

It could be the texture of the material – some cats prefer rough and crunchy textures, which could explain their attraction to paper. Alternatively, cats may be looking for something to chew on or play with, or they might simply be drawn to the smell or taste of paper.

While pica might seem like a harmless quirk, it can have serious consequences if left untreated. Consuming non-food items can cause blockages in the digestive tract or damage the intestines.

Therefore, it’s vital to seek advice from your veterinarian if you suspect your cat has pica. They can rule out any underlying health issues and come up with an appropriate treatment plan.

To prevent pica in cats, there are several strategies you can employ. Providing plenty of toys and activities to keep your cat mentally stimulated is one such tactic.

Feeding a balanced diet is another way to ensure your cat doesn’t develop nutrient deficiencies that could contribute to pica. And lastly, keeping non-food items out of reach and supervising your cat can help discourage them from eating things they shouldn’t.

If you do catch your cat munching on something they shouldn’t, redirect their attention to appropriate toys or activities.

Boredom and Anxiety

While it may seem like a quirky and harmless habit, it could be a sign of boredom or anxiety in your cat.

In this post, we’ll explore how these two common issues can lead to paper-eating behavior and what you can do to prevent it. Boredom: A Risk Factor for Paper Eating

Cats are naturally curious creatures and love to explore their environment. However, when they feel bored or lack stimulation, they’ll seek out ways to entertain themselves, even if those activities are harmful.

Eating paper might seem like a harmless pastime, but it can cause severe health problems such as gastrointestinal blockages that require immediate treatment. To prevent boredom in your cat, you should provide plenty of mental stimulation.

This can be done by providing scratching posts, interactive toys such as puzzle feeders, laser pointers, feather wands, and spending quality playtime with your furry friend. Anxiety: Another Culprit of Paper-Eating Behavior

Aside from boredom, anxiety is another reason why cats turn to paper-eating behavior. When cats feel anxious or stressed, they may engage in destructive behaviors like chewing on household items like paper.

This behavior is often a coping mechanism for them to relieve stress and anxiety. To prevent anxiety in your cat, create a safe space where they can retreat when feeling anxious.

You can also use pheromone sprays that help calm cats and reduce anxiety. In severe cases, consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist to determine the underlying cause of the cat’s anxiety and develop a treatment plan is necessary.

Overall, it’s vital for pet owners to recognize the signs of boredom and anxiety in their cats and take steps to ensure their well-being.

Cats Enjoy the Texture and Taste of Paper

While this behavior may seem odd, it is not uncommon, and there are reasons why cats enjoy the texture and taste of paper.

For starters, cats are known for their inquisitive nature, and they love exploring their environment. The roughness of paper provides a unique sensation in their mouths that can be satisfying and enjoyable for them.

Why Do Cats Eat Paper-2

Additionally, the sound that paper makes when crinkled or torn can also stimulate their senses and pique their curiosity. Furthermore, the taste of paper is another reason why cats may find it appealing.

Paper is made from wood pulp, which has a mild flavor that some cats find delicious. Some cats may also be attracted to the taste of ink or other chemicals used in the production of paper.

While eating paper may not be toxic to cats, consuming too much can cause health problems. Eating paper can lead to intestinal blockages, which may require surgery to remove and cause vomiting, diarrhea, and discomfort for your furry friend.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s behavior and prevent them from consuming excessive amounts of paper. Providing appropriate toys and distractions can help redirect their chewing and prevent them from eating non-food items like paper.

Additionally, ensuring that your cat has access to a safe space and ample mental stimulation can also help prevent destructive behaviors. In conclusion, cats enjoy the texture and taste of paper because it satisfies their curiosity and provides a unique sensation in their mouths.

As always, consult with your veterinarian if you have concerns about your cat’s behavior or health.

Health Risks of Eating Paper

However, before you let your kitty nibble on that piece of paper, it’s important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with this habit.

The most significant concern is gastrointestinal blockages. When your cat ingests too much paper or other non-food items, it can cause a blockage in their digestive system, leading to vomiting, diarrhea, and even more serious complications like intestinal perforation.

Moreover, ink and chemicals found in some types of paper can pose a danger to your cat’s health. Ingesting paper with harmful substances can cause poisoning and other health issues.

Another reason why your cat might be eating paper is as a way to compensate for a nutrient deficiency in their diet. If your cat is not getting enough fiber or other essential nutrients, they may turn to eating non-food items such as paper to fulfill their dietary needs.

If you notice any symptoms like vomiting or diarrhea after your cat has ingested paper, seek veterinary care immediately.

How to Discourage This Behavior

Many cat owners struggle with this behavior, but there are several strategies you can try to discourage it. In this post, we’ll explore five sub-topics that can help you to discourage your cat from eating paper.

Providing Appropriate Toys and Activities

Cats love to play, so providing them with plenty of toys and activities can help to redirect their attention away from paper products. Look for toys that allow your cat to climb, jump, and play, such as scratching posts, tunnels, and interactive toys. These toys can mimic the experiences cats enjoy in the wild and keep them entertained for hours.

Using Deterrent Sprays or Tapes

If your cat persists in chewing on paper, you may want to consider using deterrent sprays or tapes. These products work by making paper products unappealing to cats through unpleasant tastes or textures. Some sprays may contain scents like citrus or vinegar that cats find unpleasant, while others may have a sticky texture that makes it uncomfortable for cats to chew on paper. However, it’s important to note that not all cats will respond well to these products, so you may need to try different options to find what works for your feline friend.

Removing Paper Products from Your Cat’s Reach

Keeping paper products out of your cat’s reach is another important strategy to discourage this behavior. This means storing papers in closed cabinets or drawers and keeping books and magazines off of low tables or shelves where your cat can easily access them. If you have a home office, it’s crucial to keep all important documents in secure locations where your cat cannot reach them.

Providing Safe and Appropriate Chew Toys

As we mentioned earlier, cats have a natural urge to chew. Providing them with safe and appropriate chew toys can help to redirect their attention away from paper products. Look for toys made of durable materials that can withstand your cat’s chewing, such as rubber or nylon. Avoid toys that are small enough for your cat to swallow or that have small parts that could be a choking hazard.

Consulting with a Veterinarian or Animal Behaviorist

If your cat’s paper-eating behavior persists despite your efforts to discourage it, it may be necessary to consult with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist.

They can help identify any underlying medical or behavioral issues that may be contributing to the behavior and provide guidance on how to address them effectively.

Remember, understanding the reasons behind your cat’s behavior is key to finding a solution that works for both you and your feline friend.

Alternative Forms of Entertainment and Mental Stimulation for Cats

It’s time to provide your feline friend with some alternative forms of entertainment and mental stimulation to keep them happy and prevent them from eating non-food items.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to keep your cat entertained is through playtime.

Cats love toys that mimic prey, such as toy mice or feather wands.

Moreover, interacting with your cat during playtime helps strengthen the bond between you and your feline friend while providing all-important mental stimulation.

Another great way to stimulate your cat’s mind is through puzzle feeders. These toys require your cat to work for their food by pawing at or manipulating the toy in order to access the treats or kibble inside.

Not only do puzzle feeders provide mental stimulation, but they also slow down your cat’s eating, reducing the likelihood of them chewing on inappropriate items such as paper. Cats are naturally curious and love exploring new environments.

Providing them with plenty of vertical space to climb and perch can be a great way to keep them entertained.

Consider investing in a tall cat tree or installing shelves and perches on your walls to create a multi-level playground for your feline friend.

Finally, introducing your cat to new scents and textures can be incredibly satisfying for them. Provide them with safe and non-toxic materials to play with, such as crinkly paper, cardboard boxes, or even fresh herbs like catnip or valerian root.

This will help satisfy their natural curiosity while reducing their desire to chew on inappropriate items like paper. In conclusion, a lack of mental stimulation and entertainment can lead cats to chew on paper and other non-food items.


To wrap things up, it’s clear that cats eating paper is a common occurrence with various underlying reasons.

Whether it’s the texture or taste of paper that appeals to them, or they’re seeking a form of play or coping mechanism for boredom and anxiety, it’s essential to understand the potential risks involved with excessive consumption. These risks include gastrointestinal blockages and nutrient deficiencies, which can be detrimental to your cat’s health.

We must take steps to discourage this behavior by providing our feline friends with appropriate toys and activities. Deterrent sprays or tapes can also be effective in preventing cats from accessing paper products.

Safe chew toys are another option to consider, as well as consulting with a veterinarian or animal behaviorist if necessary. To prevent boredom and anxiety in cats, there are plenty of alternative forms of entertainment and mental stimulation available.

Playtime with prey-like toys, puzzle feeders, vertical spaces for climbing and perching, and introducing new scents and textures are all great options. It’s crucial to recognize the signs of boredom and anxiety in our furry companions so we can ensure their well-being.

By understanding why cats eat paper and taking proactive measures to prevent it from happening, we can maintain a healthy and happy relationship with our feline friends.