Cat eating newspaper

Our question this week was:

My two-year-old cat has recently begun to eat and shred newspaper. Is this healthy and why would she do this all of a sudden?

Cindy Schawalder


Hi – thanks for your email. Interesting problem! So your 2-year-old kitty has suddenly started to eat and shred newspaper. This is not a common problem!

I’ll tell you my thoughts. I’m trying to figure out if this is a behavioral problem, a play behavior or a nutritional issue. Ingestion of nonfood type items is called “Pica”. It would be uncommon for a cat to have “pica” because of nutritional deficiencies. You never know, so I’ll mention it (no stone unturned, right?).

For some cats, shredding and chewing newspaper could be a new game. It could also be a way of playing and “fun” for him.

It could be a behavioral problem, such as he is bored.

Other causes include: Gastrointestinal maldigestive and malabsorptive disorders (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency, severe inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal lymphosarcoma), diseases that cause an increased appetite such as hyperadrenocorticism, or diabetes mellitus, or Iron deficiency anemia.

This is what I recommend: