It is no secret that cats have a love for paper. They can be seen rolling or sitting on it, shredding it or sometimes even eating it. Attempting to provide them with a comfy cat bed is usually met with them choosing the box or a newspaper on the floor instead. And, cats always seem to lay right in the middle of whatever papers you’re working on. Why do our frisky felines exhibit this bizarre obsession for paper?
The Nature of the Beast
Cats are naturally both very active and curious, with a hungry appetite for playing, hunting and a need for affection. Paper tends to satisfy some of these natural instincts. Sometimes their love of paper is due to the crunch it makes when they step on it. This can be a satisfying sensation for such inquisitive animals. It piques their interest and ignites their playful side, especially when a wad of paper becomes a toy.
Cardboard can also provide stimulation as it meets the insatiable need to crunch, shred and tear with their claws or teeth. Cardboard (along with other paper products) is also said to help regulate their body heat, yet another reason for them to love paper.
Is it More Than Just for Fun?
It can definitely be for more than just fun. It has been well documented that cats rub on objects in order to release a chemical substance called pheromones. This is for the purpose of claiming it as his territory. It can be said that when you see your cat rubbing on the book you’re reading or on the box he’s currently inhabiting, he is making sure that any other pets or people know this is his box or you are his human.
Why is My Cat so Aggressive with Paper?
The next time you find your companion ripping up paper, keep in mind he may simply be bored or restless. Some cats show their frustration in tangible ways such as shredding or chewing the paper off a wall. When their need for play or attention go unnoticed, your pet may choose a more tenacious approach to receiving what he desires. Curbing this behavior is best done when understanding the reasons behind their actions.
If you find that Garfield is bored and becoming destructive, it is always helpful to invest in toys and regular play time for your feline friend. Cats need attention, not to mention both mental and physical stimulation just like we do. A set amount of time each day for play and affection can go a long way in curbing this unwanted behavior.
Possible Sign for Medical Issues?
There are times when an obsession with paper can go beyond being comical. If you notice your cat excessively shredding or chewing on paper, this may be a red flag that something else is amiss. Talk to your veterinarian as your cat could ingest enough paper to cause internal blockage. Excessive shredding or chewing can also indicate dental problems or nutritional deficiencies that are worth mentioning to your veterinarian as well.
Please ask your local veterinarian or one of us at Union Lake Pet Services if you have any questions regarding possible medical issues.