Why Does My Cat Eat Paper?

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Have you ever seen your feline friends eating paper? Are you curious about getting answers to why your cats behave in such a weird manner and tend to chew paper despite all the good food you feed them?

 

Cats are playful little creatures and usually exhibit uncanny behavior that may seem pretty surprising for the cat parents. But chill, the act of chewing paper usually is due to their playful and bizarre nature. Whilst chewing paper does not pose any serious threats to your fur buddies, it can give rise to potential dangers if your cats become habitual of chewing paper.

 

Want to know why cats love to eat paper? Here are a few probable reasons behind such a mysterious behavior.

 

 

Teething

The habit of eating paper is more prominent in kittens than grown-up cats. Do you know the reason why? It is usually because of the teething parameter. Just like babies tend to chew anything that comes their way when they are likely to develop teeth for the first time, the same is the case with kittens. When their teeth are about to break out, kittens feel the urge to chew something to get rid of the irritation and pinching pain nearby the area.

 

Thus, papers are an easy target for them as chewing paper can get them some level of relief. Though rubber toys and materials are apt for chewing to overcome pain, cats chew paper and cardboard as they are easily available and accessible in any household. So, if you find your kitties chewing paper quite often, it’s time to check their mouth for signs of upcoming teeth and provide them with rubber rings to ease the pain.

 

Dental problems

Another reason that causes cats to chew paper is underlying dental problems and gum issues. Painful gums and teeth in adult cats can force them to chew cardboard and paper to cut down the irritation and pain.

 

So, if you find adult cats restlessly chewing paper and find them giving up on their favorite food and drinks, there are chances that your furballs may be suffering from bleeding gums or other dental problems. In such a case, make sure to rush them to a vet to get adequate treatment.

 

Thyroid issues

Sometimes chewing paper is the result of a genetic condition such as thyroid disorder. Thyroid problems can cause a cat to lose their appetite, develop itchy skin and weakness. It can also cause cats to chew paper.

 

These traits are more dominant in Birman and Siamese cats, who are often seen licking wool and woolen stuff such as sweaters and blankets in the initial stage. Further, such behavior is followed by chewing paper and other inedible items.

 

Fun approach

Sometimes cats gnaw on paper just for fun. Yes, you have heard it right. Cats are known to be quite playful and naughty, and sometimes they may peck on paper to inspect how it tastes. Also, some cats may develop a liking for the flavor of paper and thus may become habitual of chewing it.

 

In other cases, if you find your kitties nibbling on paper and spreading it all over into an entire mess rather than eating it, your cats may be taking paper chewing to be a game of fun. To help your cats overcome such a habit, you can buy them toys and other chews for munching purposes to prevent them from creating a paper mess. Also, do not forget to keep paper and cardboard out of their reach.

 

Boredom

Cats can also nibble paper due to boredom. When they do not have much to do and their human friends are not around, they tend to chew paper to kill their boredom. Taking measures to enrich the environment of your cat and keeping them occupied with scratchers and cat toys can be a hack to gain control over such a situation. You can also take out time and play with them so that they do not get bored and adopt the art of paper chewing.

 

Medical conditions associated with chewing paper

Pica is a condition when your cats develop a habit of eating items of nil nutritional value such as plastic, paper, clothes, fabrics, etc. Pica syndrome is witnessed in felines of all ages and can sometimes be dangerous enough to cause intestinal tract blockages in your cat.

 

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, medical disorders can also cause your cats to develop pica syndrome. Below we mention a few disorders that make your kitties crave paper and other inedible items.

CONDITION

REASON

Feline Leukemia Feline leukemia can cause anemia and also suppresses the immune system of felines. This may further hike the urge to chew paper.
Feline immunodeficiency Feline immunodeficiency virus, also known as FIV, tends to attack the immune system of cats and weakens it over time. Further, the weakening of the immune system develops a desire for chewing paper and other indigestible items.
Diabetes Adult cats who develop diabetes with aging also crave for inedible items such as paper.
Dental ailments Dental problems can also cause cats to exhibit such a chewing behavior to cut down on the pain that they experience in their gums and teeth.
Brain tumor Brain tumors impact a cat’s nervous system and can force them to behave weird developing pica trait.
Anemia Anemic cats lack iron and vitamins in their body, which may cause them to eat paper.

 

 

Conclusion

Seeing your cats munching paper and creating a mess all over your house can be quite a frustrating sight. Though the habit of eating paper is not serious in most cases, it can be a cause of concern if your cat develops such a habit due to an underlying health condition.

 

Also, if this habit continues and your cats end up regularly eating huge volumes of paper, the condition may worsen, causing them to fall sick. Hence make sure that your cats do not eat paper too much and buy them some toys and cat stuff that can work as a substitute for paper.