Have you ever noticed your feline friend’s tendency to gravitate toward any piece of paper in the vicinity, be it a newspaper, a book, or even a receipt? Why do cats like sitting on paper?
Some theories suggest that it is the texture or the sound that attracts them, while others believe it has to do with their natural instincts. In this blog post, we will explore the fascinating world of cats and their affinity for paper. From the scent factor to the association with humans, we will delve into the reasons why the paper is a go-to spot for cats to relax and unwind.
Why Do Cats Like Sitting on Paper?
1. Temperature Maintenance
Papers are made up of insulating material and thus become an absolute heaven for cats if they are living in a cold environment. Cats are descendants of desert creatures and hence have a penchant for seeking warmth. Cats are naturally programmed to survive best when it is cozy.
Regardless of their breed and hair length, they actively look for warmth. The normal body temperature for cats is 102 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning thereby that they have to compensate for heat loss more than we human beings have to. Even a piece of paper can be a boon in this situation!
Cats are highly territorial animals, and this trait is often exhibited in their behavior toward paper. When multiple cats are living in the same household, everything must be in its designated place, or it will be seized and marked. This is because cats establish their claim by leaving a small mark using the scent glands on their body.
These pheromones act as a signal to other cats that the area has been claimed and should be respected. As a result, when a cat sits on a piece of paper, they are actually marking it as its own. This behavior is especially common in busy areas of the house, where the cat wants to assert dominance and ensure that their scent is the most prominent.
3. Box Reminder
Cats are famously fond of boxes, which may be one reason they enjoy sitting on paper. Newspapers, in particular, are square in shape, just like boxes, albeit in two dimensions. Cats may perceive these as makeshift boxes and seek to sit “in” them to enjoy the sense of security and warmth that actual containers provide. This is because boxes are often associated with safety and comfort for cats. They create a small, enclosed space that makes them feel protected from the outside world. Furthermore, the hunting instincts of cats may also come into play here. They may use the box as a hiding spot to ambush their prey or simply lurk behind the walls of the container so that their prey cannot spot them.
4. Seeking Attention
While some cats tend to be aloof, most cats crave the attention of their humans. And to get the attention of their busy owners, cats do many weird things. So, if your cat is bored and you are busy reading a newspaper or going through some important office files, she might jump onto the newspaper or into your files to get your attention.
No harm will be done if your cat starts kneading on paper, except that it will ruin the paper. But if your cat starts nibbling on paper, you have got to intervene. You do not want your cat eating a lot of paper because it can cause an intestinal blockage.
How to Stop a Cat From Sitting on Paper?
Several sources state that creating a no-cat zone is the best solution to prevent your cat from wandering and lying on paper. But why would someone want to stop a cute, furry kitty from doing an innocuous task such as sitting on a paper?
Well, cats can often become very irritating and start disturbing their owners whenever they try to focus on their work. Newspapers are not alone: your cat might hunt even your mobile phone or a laptop when you are using those.
Particularly with the newspaper, you can do a bunch of tricks to keep your feline pal away. Here these are:
- You can spray some citrus fruit juice, such as orange and lemon, on the newspaper. Cats hate citrusy smells. Though the smell can be pleasant for you, it will surely be too much repelling for your pet. Read the news in peace while your cat stays away!
- Place a separate newspaper on the floor. While you engage yourself in reading the latest edition, you can provide your cat with the older version to sit on. Ideally, she should be okay with that, and the trick should work great—unless she is seeking your attention.
- Turn the ceiling fan on while you read the newspaper. Due to the airflow, the sides of the paper will hit the cat constantly, and she might be compelled to get up and leave.
- Cats love to sit in cozy and comfortable spaces. So, providing them with alternative warm and soft spots to sit in, such as a cozy cat bed or a fluffy blanket, might reduce their interest in sitting on a newspaper.
- If you want to read or use the paper, try to keep it out of your cat’s reach. Store it in a cabinet or drawer, or simply pick it up and move it to another location.
- If your cat insists on sitting on paper, consider giving them their own designated paper to sit on. This way, they can enjoy their favorite spot without damaging your important documents or interfering with your reading.
Caution: Keep Watching the Cat-Paper Interaction
As mentioned earlier, if your cat eats paper, it can cause health issues. Similarly, if she is showing any kind of aggression toward it, it may indicate a mental problem. Eaten paper pieces can lodge into the stomach and intestines, leading to blockage. However, the problem can become more serious because of toxicity. Printed papers have inks and dyes that are poisonous to cats if ingested. But the good news is that it requires a large number of such substances to cause such issues. If your cat is tearing or destroying the paper, she might be feeling bored or sad. You should try to give her attention and toys in such circumstances. But if nothing works, you need to contact a professional.
Some other reasons why a cat sitting on a paper can be a bad idea are:
- Damage to Paper: Cats have sharp claws and can easily scratch or tear the paper when they sit on it. This can be especially problematic if the paper is important or valuable, such as a document or a book.
- Hygiene Concerns: Paper can be a breeding ground for bacteria, especially if it has been sitting around for a while. If your cat sits on the paper, it can be exposed to harmful germs and bacteria that can make them sick.
- Allergies: Some people are allergic to cat dander, which can accumulate on paper when a cat sits on it. This can be a significant concern if you or someone in your household has allergies.
Conclusion: Why Do Cats Like Sitting on Paper?
Cats’ love for sitting on paper can be attributed to several factors, including the insulating material that helps regulate their body temperature, their territorial instincts, the box-like shape of paper that gives them a sense of safety and comfort, and their need for attention and engagement. While it might be annoying at times to have a cat sitting on a paper you need to read, there are simple solutions to prevent this, such as providing alternative warm and soft spots for them to sit on or using citrusy scents to repel them. Ultimately, cats are mysterious and fascinating creatures, and their affinity for paper only adds to their allure. So, the next time your furry friend sits on your newspaper or book, remember they are simply cats!