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Why Do Cats Love Paper So Much? 10 Reasons for This Behavior

cat in a wrapping paper

Ever left the room for a few minutes only to find your cat sitting on your letter, newspaper, or piece of paper?

If you have witnessed this more than once, you must be wondering why cats love paper so much. Luckily, there are reasons for the eccentric behavior, and they include:

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10 Reasons Cats Love Paper:

1. Paper is a Great Insulator

Did you know that cats feel cold at most times? They have a higher thermoneutral zone than humans. What does this mean?

A thermoneutral zone is the temperature range where your cat does not need to expend additional energy as they try to stay warm or cool off.

A cat’s normal temperature range is 86 to 101 degrees Fahrenheit, while a human is 64 to 72. This explains why your cat is always looking for warmer surfaces.

But what is the connection between paper and heat?

Well, paper comes from trees, which means it has some insulating properties. Papers, especially newspapers, are warm for cats, help regulate their temperature, and reflect their body heat. Therefore, your cat will prefer sleeping on paper instead of a concrete, hardwood, or tile floor.

However, this theory is questionable for pet owners with fluffy carpets. Even then, their cats leave the warm carpet and prefer to sleep on paper.

kitten lying on a pieces of paper on the table
Image Credit: birgl, Pixabay

2. They are Seeking Attention

What is the weirdest thing you’ve ever done to get someone’s attention? It turns out that cats use tricks, in this case, sleep or play with paper, to capture your attention.

Cats are intelligent and learn through conditioning. If your pet observes that you pick them up any time they lie on paper, it will be more inclined to repeat the behavior.

Cats love attention. And if a bill, letter, or newspaper is what’s taking away their attention, they sure will sit on it.


3. They are Checking Out the New Object

Your cat’s curious nature will draw it towards the paper in the room. The quiet, still, and harmless nature of the object will attract your cat to look. When they discover it does not particularly belong, they sit or lie on it to mark their territory.

black cat sitting on pile of papers
Image Credit: Nathan Riley, Unsplash

4. They are Marking Their Territory

Cats are territorial and curious animals. So, when you bring a piece of paper to your home, your cat will sniff, knead, or lie it for some time. The reason behind this behavior is, your cat is naturally bestowing its scent onto the paper.

A sheet of paper has a neutral smell. So, when your cat kneads paper, it claims it by covering it with its scent. Unknown to many, cats have scent glands in their paws, forehead, cheeks, and chin. When the cat deposits its pheromones and oils on the paper, it becomes part of its territory.

But what should you do if you find your cat lying on a piece of paper on the floor? The best thing is to let your cat enjoy its new territory. Taking the paper away can inspire aggression. Besides, cats lose interest fast. So, wait until their interest shifts, then toss the paper.


5. Cats are Fascinated by the Noise Produced

Crinkly paper fascinates cats because it is noisy. Therefore, your cat will spend several happy hours batting and pawing a piece around.

In addition, the crinkling noise triggers a feline’s hunting instincts. It is like the crushing of leaves, or the noise produced by rodents as they scamper, which reminds your cat of the outdoor territory.

You need to be alert in case your pet starts to swallow paper. If your cat ingests large pieces of paper, it may suffer digestive blockage. In addition, some prints are toxic to cats.

tabby cat sitting on pieces of paper on the table
Image Credit: PxHere

6. They are Enjoying the Sensation of Different Textures

As previously mentioned, cats are curious and like to experiment with new things. They will want to feel the texture of the paper on its paws.

This is why it is not uncommon to find your cat sitting on paper that has been in the room for weeks. Doing so helps it enjoy the sensation of the paper’s texture that its paw pads have not felt in a while.


7. They Associate Small Enclosed Spaces with Warmth

Like humans, cats have evolved over the years. They have come to love small, well-defined spaces because these would be warm if they were outdoors. The tighter the enclosed space, the warmer it will be.

Likewise, you’ll find your kitty curled up inside a small cardboard box because it keeps them warm. In addition, the box gives them a sense of safety and security.

Do cats associate a piece of paper with warmth, too? Yes, they do. Researchers have concluded that cats create an optical illusion that paper and boxes are similar.

So, the next time you find your cat curled up on a piece of paper, remember that it offers your pet an imaginary sense of security and safety.

black and white cat curled up in a pape bag with tissue
Image Credit: edbo23, Pixabay

8. The Paper Smells Like You

Did you know that you have 5 million scent receptors while cats have between 100 to 200 million? With this in mind, it is safe to say that your cat loves paper because it smells like you.

Your feline can identify your odor from the objects you touch. And since you are a source of your cat’s happiness, they will be attracted to anything that has your scent, including paper.


9. Childhood Memory Association

Lastly, it could be that your cat loves paper so much because it was litter-trained with newspaper as a kitten. If this is the case, your pet may like paper because it makes cats feel safe.

However, some researchers question this theory. This is because there are cats who were not litter trained with newspaper, yet they love paper.

black and white cat grooming itself while sitting on paper
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

10. It is Comfortable

Yes, sitting or sleeping on paper is comfortable for some cats. They will leave their cozy, soft bed and lay on paper. And if your cat is not resting on paper, you might find them inside a cardboard box.

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Final Thoughts

Now, you know why cats love paper so much. It is stimulating, comfortable, and it offers a sense of security. Should you find your cat playing, shredding, or sitting on paper, try to discern why they do so with the above reasons.


Featured Image Credit: Carla Luca de Tena, Unsplash