Why Does My Cat Chew on Cardboard
Cat Behaviour

Why Does My Cat Chew on Cardboard?

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Having a cat simply raises a common question, why does my cat chew on cardboard? Some cats chew, while others don’t. For cats who enjoy chewing, cardboard boxes might be just the thing. It can be an empty box, a moving box, or the goods you just received from your online shopping spree.

Why Does My Cat Chew on Cardboard?

If your cat has been acting strange lately, you may be wondering if you should worry. Yes, cardboard boxes seem to be an enjoyable snack for cats, but we need to double-check the reason for their eating habits.

Cats chew and rip cardboard for a variety of reasons, including entertainment and transportation. However, coming home to a ripped box or finding cardboard scattered all over the apartment can be frustrating.

Some cats will refuse to eat when given the wrong kind of food or the wrong batch or consistency. For example, she chews on cardboard if she’s hungry but won’t eat the food she’s given whenever she is hungry. 

The truth is, this is one of the most annoying characteristics of cats, given that we have been trying to feed her for several hours, but she refuses to take it. This information is also useful because it helps us see whether or not cats have eaten enough from their previous meal, as there are cats that leave their meals even when they are still hungry. 

There’s A Difference Between Chewing and Eating!

Chewing and eating cardboard are two very different things. It is possible for cats who enjoy chewing cardboard to consume some of it but rarely do so actively. In this case, the cat is not eating cardboard. A complex condition known as pica could be responsible for eating cardboard. 

An animal will eat things other than food when compelled to do so. Despite the occasional occurrence of pica in cats, it is still essential to be aware of the condition. Consider consulting your veterinarian if you notice that your cat appears to be consuming cardboard (as opposed to chewing on it properly).

Sore Gums Are a Common Reason

If you have a kitten that has a preference for chewing on cardboard, it may be because she’s teething. Like humans chew on teething rings to ease their pain, kittens chew cardboard boxes to provide relief.

Your adult cat may be gnawing due to gum disease or other issues with her teeth. Your cat is chewing to relieve discomfort when experiencing digestive problems, just like a teething kitten. The redness of your pet’s gums may require a veterinarian’s attention. Providing chewable toys and dental treats are also good options.

It’s The Hunter’s Instinct in Cats

Despite seeing your cat as a cuddly, soft-meow machine, your cat is actually a predator. So, your cat has a deep-seated urge to hunt and stalk prey, and cardboard may be able to satisfy this desire. The cats sometimes hold in their claws to cardboard-as if they were dissecting their prey or delivering a killer bite. Your cat may perform the same behavior after a successful hunt as it does when tearing up cardboard.

Your cat might enjoy some toys designed specifically to satisfy its prey drive if they seem to be engaging in this behavior. For example, while your cat chases it, this cheap (and simple) pet toy from Amazon slowly releases dry cat food. So even though your cat can’t be chowing down on a plastic toy, you can satisfy his desire to chase and eat!


Thus, the question why does my cat chew on cardboard has an answer! It’s normal and harmless for cats to chew on cardboard boxes; just make sure you keep a close watch on them when they do so. Check to see if she’s healthy and ensure she’s not hurting herself. Additionally, ensure that the box does not contain hazardous chemicals or has been treated with them.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does It Make Sense for Cats to Chew Cardboard?

Some cats chew on cardboard to ease their pain, but these behaviors may relate to pica. Cats could choose to munch on cardboard for any number of reasons, but it’s most likely simply that they enjoy doing it.

What is the reason for my cat’s chewing?

Cats chew because they get bored most of the time; it provides the stimulation they need. Chewing is a compulsive behavior for some cats, as it allows for sustenance for themselves comfort and can even be an expression of OCD. However, cats chew instinctively as part of their nature. It’s in their DNA!

What is the purpose of a cat biting then licking?

Overgrooming is an instinctive reaction to stress, anxiety, or boredom, as licking and grooming are soothing behaviors for your cat. There are many causes of overgrooming behaviors in cats, so try and identify them so that you can help your kitty!

Related Post: How To Wean a Stubborn Kitten?

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