BEHAVIOR & TRAINING

Why Do Cats Sit on Paper: 9 Reasons That Explain Your Cat’s Paper Obsession

orange cat sitting on paper
Stella Noble
Written by Stella Noble

Cats are mysterious little creatures that do a lot of things we don’t understand. This fact simply contributes to their overall charm and is one of the reasons why cats are so alluring. A question many cat lovers ask is: why do cats sit on paper? You have probably observed this behavior on countless occasions, and you started to wonder if there is any hidden message behind it.

It isn’t still completely clear why cats are so attracted to paper, but there are a few possibilities. The fact remains that all cats love to sit or lounge on paper. Some cats will sit on the sports section of the morning newspaper, some prefer an empty A4 sheet, and others will plant themselves on a tiny candy wrapper paper. It seems that the type of paper and its size aren’t the things that attract felines to it. However, we have some ideas about why cats love paper, and we are going to share them with you.

In this article, we will try to explain one of the many quirky behaviors of your adorable feline friend and tell you why she likes sitting on paper. The reasons for this behavior can vary from one cat to another so check the list below to find out why your cat is doing it.

9 Reasons Behind Your Cat’s Papery Obsession

We are still in the dark when it comes to cats and their behavior, and one of the things that puzzle feline owners everywhere is why do cats like to sit on paper so much.

You were writing something on a piece of paper, and all of a sudden, your cat seemed unable to find a better place for her rump. Sounds familiar? You aren’t alone.

Cat owners over the world are baffled by what is causing their cats to ignore a perfectly cozy bed and settle on a simple piece of paper. Luckily we might be able to help and shed some light on this strange feline behavior.

#1: Your Cat Simply Wants Attention

cat wanting attention

Many people believe that cats are low key animals that don’t need as much human attention like dogs, but they are wrong. All cats crave attention and interaction with their human caregivers. Furthermore, some cats are very attention seeking.

You are probably wondering how this relates to a cat sitting on a piece of paper. Well, cats are keen observers of things, and it doesn’t pass your cat’s notice that you are overly interested in that paper sheet right about now. And there is no better way of turning your attention from the paper to her, than for your kitty to sit on it.

By removing your focus from the paper, your cat becomes the sole focus of your attention. The same thing happens when you decide to read the morning newspaper or your favorite magazine. Some cats even go so far and plant their whole bodies on the paper and simply decide to lay on the thing you are reading.

However, sometimes you will leave some papers on your desk or sofa for a few moments and come back into the room to find your cat sitting on them. Even though the paper wasn’t the focus of your attention at that precise moment, your cat realized that you will pay more attention to her if she sits on them.

At some point, you have probably been surprised and entertained by your cat’s actions, and you petted her for sitting on the magazine. Furthermore, maybe you run off for your phone to take some snaps of your kitty’s weird behavior. Cats remember things like that and repeat their behavior to get what they want, and that is your attention.

Sitting on paper can be your cat’s way of showing that she wants to spend some time with you. If your kitty started doing the paper routine recently, it might be that she feels left out and in desperate need of your affection.

On the other hand, your cat’s behavior may not indicate that she is lacking attention and affection—it might just be a clever way to gain even more.

See Also: How Much Attention Do Cats Need

#2: Cats are Naturally Curious and Interested in New Things

All cats are naturally curious creatures, so it comes as no surprise that they feel the need to investigate things that are new in their environment. If you don’t keep a stack of papers on your desk every day, your kitty will feel compelled to investigate the one that just now appeared.

Since this new piece of paper is something novel that doesn’t quite belong in the room, it will have a magnetic pull on your cat. And once your kitty is sure that this new object isn’t threatening, it is very likely that she will sit on it, and have a well-earned rest from all the investigating.

Furthermore, she may sit on that new piece of paper just to check how it feels on her fur. This theory might explain why cats are more interested in new pieces of paper and why are they more pulled to them, rather than the ones that have been sitting in the room for some time now.

#3: Your Cat is Marking the New Territory

kitten and paper

Cats are territorial animals that leave their scent all around your home without any real thought. Felines use their faces to rub pheromones onto you and around your home to mark it as their own. Cats also have scent glands on their paws, so when they are kneading things they automatically transfer their scent onto them, hence marking them as theirs.

You have probably noticed that sometimes when your cat is sitting on the piece of paper that she also uses her paws to knead it. If this is the first time that your cat has encountered that particular piece of paper, she will feel compelled to investigate it and to transfer her scent on to it, making it a part of her territory.

A cat may also lie on a piece of paper and knead it to mark it as her own, and after the paper is marked, your cat may feel the need to check in on her new territory from time to time and sit on it to relax a bit.

#4: Cats Love to Experience Different Textures

As we’ve said, cats are curious animals, and they like to experience different things. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that they enjoy the sensation of novelty on their paws too. And if you don’t have your house covered in paper, it is safe to presume that your kitty will be interested to find out how a piece of paper feels when she touches it with her paws.

This theory can also explain why cats love sitting on a piece of paper that has been in the environment for some time, and not just new papers. She may feel the need to experience its texture once again and remind herself about the sensation of it on her paws.

Furthermore, this may be the reason why come cats knead paper while they are sitting on it. A cat experiences different sensations on her paw pads, and maybe the sounds her claws make while ripping through it have some hypnotic properties.

#5: Your Cat Feels Comfortable

cat feeling comfortable on paper

The answer to your cat’s paper obsession might be as simple as that it feels good for your kitty to sit on it. When you find something that feels good you want to experience that feeling as much as you can, and cats are the same.

It is probably puzzling why a cat can feel more comfortable sitting on a piece of paper rather than a soft couch, but who are we to judge. If you can’t get over the fact that your cat prefers paper over that comfy bed you bought her, try stuffing it with paper. This trick worked for some owners, and now their cats can’t get enough naps in their new crunchy beds.

See Also: DIY Cat Bed

#6: Your Cat Feels Warmer

It is a widely known fact that cats like to sit in warm places, and paper is a great insulator. A study revealed that cats enjoy temperatures between 30 and 36 degrees Celsius because they don’t have to generate additional heat to keep themselves warm nor do they need to cool down.

A piece of paper can provide insulation from the floor or any other surface, and it also reflects the cat’s body heat right back at her. You may be thinking that the carpet is also a good insulator and a cat won’t be cold sitting on it, which is true. However, your cat probably enjoys the texture of the paper more than the texture of your carpet, and that is the reasons why she is sitting on it.

See Also: How Cold is Too Cold For Cats

#7. Cats Love Small Spaces

cat loving small space

Cats are famous for their ability to find their ways into small and confine spaces, and they enjoy being in them. This is probably so because the wild cats were in danger from bigger predators, and small, and confined spaces offer them security and a place to hide.

These types of spaces were well defined, and often they offered more than protection. They provided comfort and warmth for wildcats, so it isn’t surprising that this trait got passed on to domestic cats today.

Your cat may perceive a piece of paper as a safe place. It is small, well defined, and provides warmth. And even though the paper doesn’t provide any actual barriers from dangers, its small size makes your cat feel safe when she is sitting on it.

This doesn’t mean that your kitty feels threatened in your home. Sitting on paper may give her the same effect of calm and peace that she would get from curling up in a box or a basket left in the corner of the room.

#8. Your Cat is Showing Her Appreciation

Some cats will acknowledge their owners by joining in any activities that involve them. So if you are dealing with paper on a regular basis, your cat will start to associate paper with you. And what is a better way to show her appreciation for you than by sitting on something that is a part of your daily routine?

In this occasion, sitting on paper is your cat’s way of showing that she is in tune with you and that she is aware of things that are important to you.

#9: Your Cat is Reminded of Her Kittenhood

kitten sitting on paper

This theory suggests that the reason some cats enjoy sitting on paper is that they were paper trained when they were kittens. Some people use newspapers instead of litter to potty train kittens when they are very young.

If this is the type of training your cat received, it is completely normal for her to associate paper with her early years and sit on it. For these cats, newspaper or simple paper is a trigger for happy memories and a place they feel safe.

However, not all owners use the newspaper to teach their cats how to use litter boxes properly. So if this wasn’t the thing you did when your cat was young, then it isn’t the reason that can explain why she likes sitting on paper so much.

Wrap Up

cat sitting on notebook

Although there isn’t any scientific evidence that clearly explains why cats sit on paper, there are a few logical reasons that can explain this quirky behavior. It may be that your cat just wants more attention, but it can also be that she likes sitting on paper because it gives her a sense of security. Some cats sit on paper because it provides great insulation and others just like the feel of it under their paws.

It may take some time to figure out exactly why your cat is doing this, but in the meantime, lay out some paper bags and magazines so she can entertain herself.

What do you think is the most likely reason cats enjoy sitting on paper so much? Share your theories with us below. And if you would like your cat to spend more time in a cat bed than a piece of paper, check out our article on best cat beds.

About the author
Stella Noble
Stella Noble

Stella Noble lives in Warren, Michigan with her family and three cats. She is a Certified Cat Trainer and a member of the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants.

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