Why Do Cats Lie Down On Paper?

If you drop a piece of paper, it won’t take long for your cat to lie down or sleep on it. The same goes for a paper bag lying flat. Although paper is not actually a toy, it seems to fascinate cats. There are several reasons for this.

Cats like to sit on paper because it insulates heat and makes an interesting sound. Since cats rarely interact with paper, it has novelty value. The texture is different than carpet or wood floors, and cats are instinctively attracted to unusual surfaces. Also, cats see a piece of paper on the floor as virgin territory and mark it with their scent.

Cats may eat paper, but this is rarely harmful. Paper passes through the digestive tract and is excreted in the cat’s feces.

However, excessive consumption of paper should be avoided.

However, keep cats away from paper coated with ink, dyes, or wax, especially if they have a disorder such as pica syndrome.

Why Do Cats Sit Or Lie On Paper?

A piece of paper on the floor triggers a reaction in most cats. What is it about paper that makes it worthy of such attention?

Typically, cats only lie down on things they think are essential. As with most cat habits, there are several explanations.


Many cat behaviors can be traced to curiosity, including lying on paper or newspaper.

Cats are fascinated by new experiences. Learning what something is and how it feels, sounds, smells, and tastes is irresistible to them.

Place a sheet of letter-size paper on the floor of your living room and take a few steps back. Your cat will probably immediately wander over to the paper.

The cat has spotted an outlier in the familiar arrangement and wants to know what this new item is.

If you have a particularly nervous cat, it may sniff or poke at the paper and then run away.

However, your cat will probably sniff the paper, lick it, and lie down on it. This satisfies all of the cat’s essential senses.

The sense of sight is already taken care of. The cat has seen the paper, and that has caught its attention.

Next, the cat wants to know how the paper tastes. To do this, it must lick and nibble on it.

By pushing the paper, the cat learns what it sounds like. Sniffing usually reveals a neutral odor.

The final hurdle is the sense of touch. The skin on a cat’s lower abdomen is sensitive, so many cats don’t respond well to touching the belly. By laying on the paper, the cat learns a new texture.


In the mind of a cat, everything in your home belongs to him. Therefore, it is annoying for the cat when the owner sets rules.

For example, if your cat is not allowed on the furniture, it will look for another territory. This may include a piece of paper.

For humans, waste paper is trash that has not yet ended up in the garbage. For a cat, it is a treasure that it must claim for itself.

A piece of paper usually smells completely neutral, but a cat can change this by applying its scent. From that moment on, the piece of paper, paper bag, or newspaper becomes their territory.

Cats always notice when something is out of place. In this case, the foreign object is considered prey to be grabbed.

The cat may be unable to claim the entire living room floor since the human also uses this space. However, the piece of paper belongs exclusively to the cat.

If your cat is lying on the paper, you should not remove it and throw the paper away. This could lead to aggression.

From the cat’s point of view, you are taking away its personal property. Some cats may take this as an act of dominance and become aggressive.

Let your cat enjoy her territory because she will soon lose interest and move on. Now is an excellent time to put the paper in the trash.

It is doubtful that your cat will remember the paper’s existence the next day.


Cats like crumpled paper because they find the sound it makes fascinating.

Many cats can spend countless happy hours playing with crumpled paper, batting and petting it.

The crumpling of paper also triggers the cat’s hunting instinct. The sound is not unlike the crumpling of leaves underfoot.

This, in turn, reminds cats of prey animals running through their territory.

If a cat only plays with paper in its paws, there is nothing wrong with that.

If the cat starts swallowing paper, be a little more careful.

A cat should not swallow large amounts of paper, as this can cause a blockage in the digestive system.

Small pieces of paper are not a problem. These will dissolve in your cat’s digestive tract and eventually be eliminated in the feces.

However, the ink on newspapers can be toxic, so offer regular, unprinted paper whenever possible.

Why Do Cats Like Paper Bags?

A cat can play with and nibble on a paper bag for hours. It’s a nice, simple toy that can entertain your cat.

But paper bags have other attractions for cats.


A paper bag may have once contained food. This means it retains the smell of food, increasing a cat’s curiosity. So don’t be surprised if your cat starts licking the bag.

Even if your cat is not interested in eating the food that was or is in the paper bag, the smell is still enticing.

For example, most cats are not interested in the taste of strawberries because they cannot taste sweetness but love the smell.

Heat Insulation

Paper is a natural heat insulator, so a cat will be drawn to a sheet of paper when the ground is cool.

The cat does not place its sensitive belly skin on a cold surface using paper. This prevents the cat’s body temperature from dropping uncomfortably low.

Stone floors can get cool, but not if the cat is lying on paper or newspaper.

As soon as the cat lies down, the paper becomes warm. It retains this heat and acts like a makeshift wool blanket.

Often, the heat insulation works in conjunction with other reasons cats like paper.

Carpet, for example, should be much warmer than paper. Even so, a cat is likely to rest or sleep on a sheet of paper in the middle of a rug.

This indicates that the feeling of security is more important for the cat.


Never underestimate the possibility of a cat lying on paper to get attention.

Cats like to pick and choose when they want your company. If you overlook other signs, your cat may begin to lie down on something valuable to you.

This behavior is likely if the cat believes the paper is important to you. She will watch you and take note of the items you interact with.
If you are reading a newspaper or magazine instead of petting the cat, this is not acceptable to her. The cat will pounce on the newspaper as soon as you put it away.

The same applies if you are paying household bills or looking through paperwork. This will likely require your full concentration, which the cat will not miss.

She may jump up on the table and sit on your letters.

How you react to this will affect your cat’s further behavior. Scold your cat, and it will sit on the paper again when it wants attention from you.

The cat does not know that you are scolding her. It only knows that its behavior is causing a reaction. However, if you ignore the cat, it will seek other ways to get your immediate attention.

This can be not very pleasant, but try to see things from your cat’s perspective. She’s probably looking for attention for a reason.

Some cats are more needy and affectionate than others. However, make sure you haven’t missed a scheduled feeding or playtime.


Paper is easy for a cat’s hard claws to crush, unlike cardboard. If your cat plays with toilet paper, you know how much fun it is for cats.
Shredding gives cats pleasure for the following reasons:

  • Stimulation of the hunting instinct by mimicking the tearing of prey.
  • Fun, crackling sounds
  • Relieving tension, anxiety, or nervous energy
  • Claiming a new territory with their scent glands.

Only be concerned about this behavior if your cat crumples the paper exclusively to eat.

As mentioned earlier, this could be related to the cat’s hunting instinct, but it could also be a sign of pica syndrome.

If your cat doesn’t eat his meals but only devours scraps of paper or other non-edible items, he could suffer from this eating disorder.

Summary: Why Do Cats Lay Down On Paper?

In many ways, cats lay down on paper for the same reason they lay down on dirty laundry.

Paper offers a unique texture different from regular flooring they can claim as their own.

Let your cat have fun with the paper. In most cases, it is a harmless activity.

Just don’t leave paper coated with chemicals such as ink or dyes.