Why Does My Cat Eat Toilet Paper? – 4 Reasons

Written by

Amy Sawy

Veterinarian. DVM


Joseph M. Plummer

Veterinarian, DVM, MVZ

why does my cat eat toilet paper

If you’re scratching your head thinking, “Why does my cat eat toilet paper?” you are at the right place. This quirky behavior has both amused and perplexed many cat owners.

The reasons why cats eat tissue paper are because of the following: Hunting instincts, playfulness and curiosity, pica syndrome, boredom, or lack of mental stimulation. Hence, they end up destroying countless paper towels and even harm their health.

Discover more about them as you read further.

Why Do Cats Like Toilet Paper So Much?

1. The hunting instinct


One of the primary reasons cats tear up toilet paper is due to their innate hunting instincts. Cats are natural hunters, and catching and pulling at the loose end of a toilet paper roll can mimic the thrill of the chase.

The pliability of toilet paper, how it flutters in a breeze, and how it rolls away when batted can all trigger a cat’s predatory instincts.

2. Playfulness and curiosity


Cats are notoriously playful and curious creatures. They are attracted to objects that offer sensory stimulation.

Toilet paper isn’t the only paper product cats may be attracted to. Some cats rip up paper, or cats eat tissue paper. The texture and sound of paper towels can be enticing to cats, leading them to chew or even consume them.

3. Pica syndrome in cats


One potential explanation for your cat’s paper-eating behavior is a condition known as pica syndrome. Pica is the compulsive need to eat items that are not food.

If you observe your cat chewing paper but not swallowing it, this could be a sign of pica. It’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian if you suspect your cat has this condition, as it can lead to serious health complications.

4. Boredom or lack of mental stimulation


Cats are naturally curious and require mental stimulation. If they’re bored, they may resort to playing with—and sometimes eating—toilet paper. Offering your cat a variety of toys and a scratcher can help redirect their attention away from the bathroom rolls.

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Is It Bad for Cats to Eat Toilet Paper?


While it might be entertaining to watch your cat playing with toilet paper or your cat unrolling toilet paper, eating it can be harmful.

Ingesting large amounts of toilet paper can lead to blockages in your cat’s digestive tract. If you notice your cat regularly consuming toilet paper, it’s important to seek veterinary advice.

How to Stop Cat From Eating Toilet Paper


So, what happens when cats destroy toilet paper, and how can you prevent it? Here are some of the things to consider:

  1. Toilet paper guard for cats. These guards protect the roll from being unrolled or destroyed by your curious feline.
  2. Give them toys: Offer your cat their favorite toys and play with them more to keep them occupied and satisfy their hunting instincts.
  3. Use Aversive Sprays: Some cat owners have found success using aversive sprays, which emit a scent that cats dislike, to deter their pets from shredding toilet paper.
  4. Close the door to your Bathroom: You should close the bathroom door behind you, as it can prevent access to the tempting toilet paper rolls.


Deciphering “why does my cat eat toilet paper” can help address concerns and guide you towards practical solutions. Whether your cat is simply drawn to the texture and sound of toilet paper, exhibiting signs of pica syndrome, or is bored, it’s essential to ensure their safety and health.

Consider using a toilet paper guard or providing different forms of stimulation to keep both your toilet paper—and your cat—safe.

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