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Why Do Cats Like to Sit On Plastic Bags? 6 Likely Reasons

Codee Chessher

By Codee Chessher

cat lying inside a plastic bag

Most cat owners just accept the fact that their feline companions are entertained by the most random things, including plastic bags. Some of us have tons of them and some of us hate them, but cats are fascinated by them. If you’ve ever taken a moment to wonder what exactly draws cats to plain old plastic bags, you’re not alone.

There are actually several compelling reasons why cats love sitting and frolicking with plastic bags. Check them out down below to better understand what makes your cat tick.


The 6 Likely Reasons Cats Like to Sit On Plastic Bags

1. Insulation & Warmth

Cats are attracted to warmth and prefer being insulated from the ground because it contains their body heat. Even a thin plastic bag serves as a barrier between them and the cold ground in a pinch, but thicker plastics or fabrics are even better. Rather than sitting on the bare ground, a cat might stop for a rest on a random loose bag that happens to be nearby or even tuck it away with others to make a makeshift plastic bag nest.

2. They Like the Noise

Cats adore novelties that make noise, and plastic bags can keep them occupied for longer than you’d think. Kittens and adult cats alike have been known to roll around with plastic bags on the ground and seemingly relish the crinkly noise it makes. The noise seems to activate their hunting instincts and encourage play, which you can take advantage of with other toys too.

grey cat inside a plastic bag
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

3. They’re Snug & Secure

As solitary critters, cats seek out dark, private spaces where they can relax and even observe their surroundings. A cat can just pop in a plastic bag, lie down, and check out the area for any prey to stalk. The confines of the bag make them feel safe and like nobody can sneak up on them while they’re watching for threats. Unless you have a very large bag or a very small cat, it’s unlikely any other animals are fitting in there with your kitty undetected.

4. They Smell the Beef Tallow in the Plastic

Cats have been caught not only playing with plastic bags but chewing them as well but why? It turns out that plastic bags contain trace amounts of rendered beef fat, also called beef tallow. With a sense of smell more than a dozen times keener than ours, cats may be smelling that tallow in the plastic bags that they go crazy for. It’s crucial that you stop your cat from actually eating plastic, though, because it’s very toxic for them. Playing with them is ok at times, but eating plastic bags is definitely a kitty no-no.

anxious siamese cat inside a plastic bag
Image By: pynit, Shutterstock

5. Playing With Bags Gets Attention

Cats are intelligent and can naturally understand things like cause and effect, so they quickly learn that playing with plastic bags gets them attention from their humans. It’s noisy, showy, and adorable, so they figure out that playing with bags makes you give them love and attention. It’s a cute way to say they want to play with you, which makes it a good time to break out your cat’s other favorite toys.

6. Bags Have Tactile Appeal

From carpet to corrugated cardboard, all cat parents know felines love things with interesting textures. They can’t resist touching them with their paws, rubbing on them, and even rolling around in them, which must seem like Space Age technology to cats. Supplement plastic bags with other toys with a focus on textures to keep them entertained and reduce the chances of getting bored by any one item.

black shorthair cat inside a plastic bag
Image Credit: guruXOX, Shutterstock


Cat Safety Tips for Playing With Plastic Bags

Plastic bags aren’t safe for cats to ingest, but it’s fine for them to play around with them sometimes as long as you supervise them. To help your cat enjoy playing with bags safely, follow some of our handy safety tips.

Plastic Bag Safety Tips for Cats:
  • Keep plastic bags put away when you’re not at home.
  • Only let your cat play with plastic bags when you’re nearby to supervise them.
  • If they start eating plastic, redirect them to a safe, non-toxic toy they can chew on.
  • Don’t let young kittens play with plastic bags at all to prevent suffocation.



Cats don’t discriminate with their toys, and plastic bags tick a lot of their boxes. With a sense of snug security, beef tallow traces, and the ability to get your attention, it’s not hard to see why cats love messing around with crinkly plastic bags. We’d suggest redirecting them to a safer toy if they seem interested in eating it just to be safe, though!

Featured Image Credit: Nadinelle, Shutterstock

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