Why Does My Cat Eat Paper and Cardboard: An In-Depth Look


You may have observed your feline buddy nibbling on paper, cardboard, or other similar objects as a cat owner. Cats frequently engage in this activity, which many pet owners find peculiar and unsettling. We’ll explore in-depth at why cats eat cardboard and paper in this blog post and what that means for their health.

Understanding Cat Eating Patterns

Cats are scavengers and hunters by nature, and they will hunt, chase, and gnaw on objects that catch their attention. Due to their propensity for being more fun and active, kittens and young cats exhibit this behaviour particularly well. Additionally, some cats will chew on objects out of boredom, frustration, or worry.

Cats have a reputation for chewing on non-food objects like cardboard and paper. Consuming non-nutritive things is what is referred to as “pica” in this habit. Pica may indicate a food deficiency, gastrointestinal disorder, anaemia, or other underlying health concern.

Concerns about Health When Consuming Paper and Cardboard

While it might seem safe for your cat friend to chew on paper and cardboard, doing so can have a serious impact on their health. The following are a few possible problems to be aware of:

Choking Hazard

Choking is one of the biggest risks associated with cats chewing cardboard and paper. These materials’ threads have the potential to tangle in the teeth and throat of the cat, impairing their ability to breathe. Choking on paper or cardboard can be lethal in extreme circumstances.


There is a chance that cats who eat a lot of paper and cardboard will get digestive obstructions. If these obstructions are not removed right away, they can result in excruciating pain, agony, and even death.


Cats may be poisoned by certain papers and cardboards, including those that have been treated with chemicals or inks. These substances can be ingested and cause severe health issues, such as kidney failure, liver damage, and even death.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Cats who substitute cardboard and paper for their normal chow risk developing nutritional deficits. These deficiencies can cause severe health issues, such as anemia, a compromised immune system, and growth retardation.

Why Do Cats Eat Cardboard and Paper?

So why do cats initially devour cardboard and paper? Here are a few possible explanations:

In order to pass the time, bored or unstimulated cats may start chewing on paper and cardboard. This is especially typical among indoor cats that don’t have access to the outside or playthings.

Demanding attention
To catch their owner’s attention, attention-seeking cats may chew on paper and cardboard. Try giving your cat extra playtime, love, and attention if they are acting in this way.

Anxiety and stress
As a coping mechanism, worried or anxious cats may chew on paper and cardboard. Changes in the cat’s environment, such as the addition of a new pet or family member, or a shift in habit, may cause this behavior.

Food Insufficiencies
If their meal is lacking in the nutrients they require, cats may chew on paper and cardboard to make up the difference. Your veterinarian can assist in identifying the underlying cause of this condition, which frequently indicates a dietary shortage.

How to Stop Your Cat from Eating Cardboard and Paper?

To protect the health and safety of your cat, you should take action if they are eating paper and cardboard. Here are some suggestions to assist you keep your cat from consuming cardboard and paper:

Offer a lot of stimulation

Make sure your feline buddy has plenty of toys and activities to keep them engaged since bored cats are more likely to chew on paper and cardboard. This can include playtime with you, interactive toys, and scratching posts.

Addressing anxiety and stress
It’s crucial to deal with the underlying problem if your cat is chewing on paper and cardboard out of stress or distress. This can be done by creating a safe and tranquil environment, employing pheromone diffusers or sprays, or talking with your veterinarian about available medications.

restricting the use of cardboard and paper
Make sure your cat cannot get paper or cardboard by keeping them out of their reach or putting them in a secure area. This can be done by covering trash cans, keeping toilet lids closed, and putting paper and cardboard in covered containers.

Offer a wholesome diet
If their meal is lacking in the nutrients they require, cats may chew on paper and cardboard to make up the difference. Make sure your cat is eating a healthy, balanced diet, and if your veterinarian suggests it, think about adding a vitamin supplement.


Although it is a typical behavior, cats eating paper and cardboard can have major health consequences if left unchecked. You can maintain your feline friend’s safety and well-being by comprehending the reasons behind their behavior and taking precautions to stop it. Consult with your veterinarian for an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan if your cat is displaying this behavior.


Why do cats eat paper and cardboard?

Cats may eat paper and cardboard due to a lack of dietary fiber or simply out of curiosity. Some cats also chew on these items to clean their teeth or to relieve stress.

Is eating paper and cardboard harmful to cats?

Yes, eating paper and cardboard can be harmful to cats. These items can cause blockages in the digestive system, leading to severe health problems.

How can I stop my cat from eating paper and cardboard?

You can discourage your cat from eating paper and cardboard by providing them with plenty of toys and treats, as well as plenty of attention and affection. You can also try distracting them with other activities, such as playing with a toy or grooming them.

What should I do if my cat eats paper or cardboard?

If your cat has eaten a small amount of paper or cardboard, they may be able to pass it without any problems. However, if they have eaten a large amount or if you notice any signs of discomfort, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Are there any dietary supplements that can prevent my cat from eating paper and cardboard?

Providing your cat with a balanced diet that includes enough fiber may help prevent them from eating paper and cardboard. Some veterinarians may also recommend supplements or special diets that can help with this behavior.

Can eating paper and cardboard lead to behavioral issues in cats?

Yes, eating paper and cardboard can sometimes indicate behavioral issues in cats, such as anxiety, stress, or boredom. If your cat is exhibiting this behavior frequently, it is best to consult a vet or a feline behaviorist to determine the underlying cause and find a solution.

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