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Cats eating toilet paper
meowmajsw posted:
I have several cats that eat toilet paper. Is this harmful and why do they do it? Should I secure the toilet paper so that they do not have access?
Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM responded:
Hi there,

Cats love to play with toilet paper. As with anything other than food, I would not allow them to consume much. I have never heard of an obstruction with toilet paper, but if they ate enough it could occur. Usually they just swallow small pieces that pass easily.

But again, if they are really eating alot of it, I would limit their access to this play item!!

Dr. Sandy
saintsblack replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
My cat love to play and rub on toilet paper. He never consumes it, I would keep an eye on on him/her and limit him/her because some toilet paper contains chemical and perfume which could be harmful. If he/she take a very little bit then look at if as fiber to help them pass stool. Definately monitor how much they consume.
Annie_WebMD_Staff responded:
My cat likes to play with toilet paper, he's interested when the air vent blows air and moves the paper back and forth.

My cat has lately taken to chewing on paper when he's in my office -- I figured out that he's doing this to let me know that his dry food bowl is empty and he wants me to refill it!

I think Mr. Chuck is like the "dog who ate my homework" -- he would chew up a cash register receipt that's on the floor!

- Annie
Trician13 responded:
Use unscented, undyed toilet paper and just be sure they are not eating too much. My cat LOVES to unroll the toilet paper; so I have learned to keep the end at the top of the roll--no loose end floating in the breeze to attract his attention.

Also, are they really eating the toilet paper, or just tearing it up? My cat loves to tear up paper and cardboard boxes. He bites into it and tears off little bite-sized chunks, then tosses his head to throw them on the floor. At first, I was really concerned, but by closely observing him, I found out that he wasn't eating it and that he just really likes the sound of the paper tearing and being crinkled up. Now I have a box full of crinkled, unprinted newsprint sheets. He plays in the box, tears the paper, and loves it when I hide a toy under the paper in the box.
Lily1939 responded:
Are they only getting to the roll that is up? If so, just turn it from "over" to "under" and they cannot unroll it. You might not like it as well but they get bored and eventually leave it alone.
babyboy76 responded:
  • my dog likes to chew on the paper and even eats it and passes it un digested
4cats1dog responded:
My cat has a card board box fetish also. He likes to sit in it & tear bit after bit off until there is no straight lines on the box anymore & there is a giant pile of cardboard bits all around him & on the floor.
I bet your cats aren't really eating the paper, but like everyone said just watch it if they do.
thistleberry replied to Sandy Willis, DVM, DACVIM's response:
Not a very knowledgable answer. Not all cats that eat toilet paper do it because they are playing with it, that's not alway a precursor. My cat eats toilet paper whenever she can get it. She never plays with it, her sole intent is to consume it. If I forget to shut the bathroom door she'll consume a quarter of a roll. She eats kleenex too. Would really love to know why. But playing has nothing to do with it.


William Draper, DVM, better known as "Dr. Will," is a well-known small animal practitioner in the Atlanta, GA area. He grew up in Inglewood,...More

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