Cats, it seems, are always full of some type of antics that cause us no end of amusement. However, it is reasonable to question how much is too much when it comes to some of your cat’s odder habits.
Why do cats eat toilet paper?
In most cases, cats eat toilet paper out of boredom, although a few cats might do so because of compulsive behavioral urges.
This video demonstrates how the feline fascination with toilet paper happens at an early age. You will want to know why your cat is playing with toilet paper to know if it is a problem.
Do Cats Ever Play with Toilet Paper Out of Boredom?
According to Purrfect Post, cats without enough mental stimulation may play with toilet paper or similar objects.
Cats have strong hunting instincts, and objects that move in ways similar to prey are sure to attract their attention. The fluttering movement of toilet paper, especially when hanging on a roll, may seem like a bird to a cat.
When a cat attacks a roll of toilet paper and makes it unravel, the motion provides a form of reward. Unfortunately, what rewards your cat might leave you with a big mess to clean up. You will need to find a happy medium for your cat.
What Can You Do to Keep Your Cat Away From Toilet Paper?
Pet Wellbeing indicates that some training is possible for cats. However, cats lack the desire to please their owners that dogs do, which complicates things a little.
Discouraging a cat from acting on its instincts is not helpful for the cat emotionally. With this being the case, mitigating nuisance behavior is a better solution. Everyone in your family, including your cat, will appreciate the effort.
The easiest way to prevent your cat from shredding your toilet paper roll is to keep the bathroom door closed when you’re not in there. Any unused rolls should be kept in the original wrapper or stored out of your cat’s reach, such as in a cabinet.
Consider installing a cat guard on your toilet paper holder. This handy device keeps the paper easily accessible while preventing your cat from unrolling it. One of the advantages this device offers is being able to deter even the most stubborn cat.
An even better alternative to mitigation is giving your cat more options at playtime. Choosing this option for your cat offers benefits for the cat, as well as other members of your family.
What Types of Interactive Games Can Keep Cats Out of Toilet Paper?
Interactive playtime that naturally appeals to cats’ hunting instincts is a good way to keep them occupied and away from your toilet paper. Examples of interactive toys that allow you to take charge of your cat’s playtime include wand toys.
According to Blue Cross for Pets, interactive play is a necessity for cats who don’t go outdoors. Inside cats with play a less prone to obesity and related problems.
There are many types of interactive toys that cats will enjoy. Make sure these toys lack smaller attachments that might break off. Adult cats, as well as kittens, might try to swallow these smaller parts.
Motorized toys resembling birds or rodents encourage cats to play, as well as toys that reflect the light. Balls, scratching posts, and cat trees can help provide extra amusement when you’re outside the house.
Food puzzle toys are interactive games that cats will enjoy whether you are home or not. Because most cats are somewhat food-responsive, your pet’s mind will not be as focused on the toilet paper roll.
Another form of interactive fun that many owners enjoy is dividing up their cat’s daily portion of kibble and placing it in different areas around your house. Your cat will get its exercise, as well as work its hunting instincts and stay busy.
How Can Games That Encourage Hunting Behavior Discourge Attacking Toilet Paper?
Most cats that have something to do to occupy their time are unlikely to create their own fun. According to Amy Bojo of LoveMeow, certain cat breeds, like Abyssinians and Bengals, are more likely to attack toilet tissue.
Remember that cats have evolved as predators who must consume meat. Thousands of years of survival instincts have persisted because of this need. The key to putting a stop to destructive feline behavior is giving them another venue for their energy.
Toys and games that cats find enjoyable will help them forget about things that ought to be left alone, like toilet tissue. Playing with your cat helps it burn off that excess energy and stay calmer.
When cats have access to food-based interactive toys or have a chance to “hunt” for food around the house, the predator instincts will not kick in as much. You can think more about where to leave bits of cat food and less about cat-proofing the bathroom.
Can Eating Toilet Paper Indicate a Health or Behavioral Problem?
There is a behavioral issue behind some cats’ fixation with toilet tissue, known as Pica Syndrome, according to Petcetera Animal Clinic.
Pica Syndrome goes beyond the urge for cats to “hunt” toilet paper. In most cases, the cats are kittens or young adults under age three. These cats have a desire to eat inedible things like toilet paper, plastic, cardboard, fabric, and elastics.
Although cats will often chew inappropriate objects during play, most won’t cross a line into swallowing these objects. A cat living with Pica, on the other hand, will willingly eat the things that they have chewed, sometimes with deadly outcomes.
Stress or a compulsive disorder best addressed by a veterinarian may be responsible. Genetics or dietary deficiencies may also play a role. In many cases, boredom or a lack of regular mental stimulation is to blame.
If your cat has been diagnosed with Pica Syndrome or you have reason to think it has Pica, a consultation with your veterinarian is a good idea. Your vet will have a better idea of how to help the cat the most effectively.
Is Eating Toilet Paper Harmful to a Cat?
Asthma Cats points out that eating paper can be dangerous for a cat. Two of the biggest dangers include intestinal blockages and ruptures.
Paper can easily cause a blockage in the intestines. When a cat has a blockage, it cannot pass food or water properly. There is also an infection risk with a blockage.
Sharp objects like staples or paper clips also pose a risk. These types of objects can rupture a cat’s esophagus, stomach, or intestines. The bleeding from these ruptures is often life-threatening, with a poor prognosis.
Whenever your cat refuses to eat, a visit to the vet to rule out a swallowed inappropriate object may be a good idea. Even if this is not the case, you still want to have your cat refusing to eat check out.
When You Understand Why Your Cat Eats Toilet Paper, You Know What to Do
Cats eat and shred toilet paper for many reasons that range from boredom to Pica Syndrome. Most cases of cats being attracted to toilet tissue are easily contained by using toilet paper guards, removing bathroom access, or alleviating boredom.
Because cats with Pica may ingest toilet paper for many reasons, an exam by your vet will help determine the cause. Swallowing paper can lead to unintended, severe consequences that include blockages and ruptures that require prompt attention.
You will likely want to rule out the possibility of your cat having Pica. When your cat’s obsession with toilet paper has a behavioral basis, you will be glad to know that there are plenty of options that you can use to alleviate this behavior.