Have you ever noticed your cat chewing on a cardboard box? Cats are known to do a wide range of behaviors when chewing on objects and surfaces. For instance, they can be seen gnawing at the corners of books or shredding paper. Why does my cat eat paper? Sometimes, cats will also bite, chew, and even eat paper. This cat behavior is usually harmless, but it can be dangerous to your cats’ health if it gets out of control. If you feel worried that your cat might be eating paper, do not worry too much, there are plenty of explanations out there.
But, it is vital to make yourself familiar with the signs of overdoing it to identify if your cat is doing it or if you need to intervene.
Why Do Cats Eat Paper?
Cats are known to love paper and cardboard, and this behavior is not unusual. The appealing texture of both materials makes them incredibly enticing to cats. Cats love to scratch at the paper, and shredding it is a great activity for them. Some kittens also like to teethe on cardboard and paper.
As your cat plays, he may sometimes reach for a piece of paper. Although it is not a cause for concern, it is important to monitor his behavior. Also, it is not ideal for him to start chewing on paper again.
Cats are known to be incredibly eager animals, and they often get into random encounters to identify what’s going on in their surroundings. Even though cats are known to eat paper, there are still many reasons why they do so, such as:
Anxiety or Stress
When a cat is under stress or experiencing a traumatic event, it tends to get agitated and react to everything around it. This behavior occurs when a cat is not very excited about a new addition to their lives. For instance, they might not want to move to a new environment or have a new pet.
In order to attract attention, cats commonly eat paper. Cats use this strategy to cope with the trauma they have experienced. Aside from attracting attention, the paper also helps cats deal with their trauma.
Read also: Do Cats Pant When Stressed?
The Toys Are Not Accessible For Them
Not making the appropriate toys available for cats can cause them to get into trouble with chewing and eating habits. A pet needs to play with toys and has sufficient playtime to decrease aggression.
However, since there are so many things to do in a short time, it can be challenging for people to keep track of their toys. This is why they must make sure that they are accessible to them.
They Have a Pica Syndrome
A condition known as Pica syndrome is characterized by cats displaying an urge to eat non-food items such as cardboard, plastic, and paper. Some breeds that exhibit this behavior are the Tonkinese and the Siamese. By early in their development, some other breeds are more prone to getting this syndrome.
Pica syndrome is a type of animal behavior disorder that affects the functioning of a cat’s pica. Various factors affect this behavior.
1. Dietary Problem
One of the most common reasons cats seek out supplements is that they are not getting enough nutrients from their diet. This is because they are hungry and want to eat something to satisfy their appetite.
2. Medical Problem
The most common reason cats have pica syndrome is their existing medical conditions. Some of these include cancer, immunodeficiency viruses, and diarrhea.
3. Exaggerated Behavior
The primary reason why your cat develops pica syndrome is due to the presence of compulsive or exaggerated behavior. This behavior can be the leading cause of the condition.
Is Paper Safe For Cats?
Although cats usually only eat small amounts of paper, they can still develop health problems if they eat large pieces. Paper is made from cellulose fiber, which is extracted from wood or other materials. It can contain various chemicals. Some of the chemicals used in the papermaking process include dyestuffs and ink. The finished paper usually contains these chemicals.
Some paper products are toxic if they contain too many chemicals. If enough paper gets ingested, it could cause harmful effects. Fortunately, it takes a lot of paper to make products toxic.
Also, cats that regularly eat paper are at risk of developing gastrointestinal obstruction. Small amounts of paper can be ingested into the stomach. Although paper can absorb liquid, Large amounts of paper can cause various problems, such as gastrointestinal tract and bowel issues. If there are too many pieces of paper in the GI tract, they can block the food from passing through. The body will try to remove the paper or expel it.
Your cat may vomit all or parts of the paper. However, it can also cause an obstruction in the GI tract, which can require immediate veterinary attention. This condition is usually caused by the underwear becoming logged in the gastrointestinal tract.
GI obstruction is a type of abdominal pain that can manifest in nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It can also cause a bloated abdomen. If you see your cat has eaten something that is not edible, it is important to immediately take it to the nearest veterinarian.
A GI obstruction is a common cause of discomfort detected through imaging. It can also be removed with a surgical procedure. If a foreign object is in the stomach, it can be removed with an endoscopy procedure. It can be removed through abdominal surgery if it is in the intestines.
If your cat is eating paper or displaying other signs of illness, then you might want to talk to your veterinarian. However, it is essential to rule out a medical issue before you try to treat the behavior.
Should I Worry If My Pet Cat Ate Paper?
In most cases, your cat will eat paper while playing, and it should pass through his digestive system without issue. However, if your feline eats a lot of paper, his health could be at risk. If your cat has a huge amount of paper ingested, it could cause a digestive obstruction and require emergency surgery. Some paper has bleaching agents and dyes, which could harm his health.
How Can I Stop My Pet Cat From Eating Paper?
Keep your cat’s favorite books and magazines out of reach by putting them in a drawer or a cabinet. Also, you need to ensure that your cat does not eat plastic, and if your cat also likes to eat boxes, keep them in plastic folders or drawers. Take steps to improve the environment for your cat and reduce boredom. Play with your cat and spend time with your cat.
Keep your cat occupied by placing toys and scratchers around the home. You can also add vertical space to the house by putting cat shelves on the wall. Your cat may be more likely to stop eating paper if you train them to use the clicker. Some cats are very stubborn and will only eat paper if they are hungry, while others can respond well to training.
Try to teach your cat specific behaviors using the clicker and the cue words. After you have trained your cat to respond to the clicker, use a pre-trained word to distract it so that it can not see the paper.
Read also: Toys For Cats That Like To Chew
So, why does my cat eat paper? Cats can become bored or stressed out when they eat paper or cardboard, so try to find ways to help them feel secure in their home. Aside from regular playtime, you can also provide your cat with toys when you leave the house. If you’ve recently gotten a new family member or plan on adopting a pet, you might need to support the animal in various ways. Some of these include giving him his own room, providing him with a lot of attention, and ensuring that he gets enough exercise.
Getting your cat to stop chewing on cardboard and paper can be a bit challenging, especially if you have to try different things to get it to stop. However, it’s important to remember that all of the work will be worth it in the long run.