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Why Do Cats Like to Sit on Paper? 10 Interesting Reasons

Written by: Jeff Weishaupt

Last Updated on June 6, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

grumpy cat sits on a newspaper stack

Why Do Cats Like to Sit on Paper? 10 Interesting Reasons

If you’re a cat parent, you must have seen your pet often sitting on a newspaper or anything made of paper. Sometimes, they roll on these things, shred them, or eat them. While some cats assume paper bags as comfy beds, others may show this behavior out of curiosity or boredom.

Cats also sit on paper when they need their owner’s attention or if it smells like their favorite humans. Sitting on paper is usually not a cause for concern. But as a responsible pet owner, you should not overlook your cat’s behavior and instead find out the reason for it if you have any concerns. Visiting a vet is the best way to do this.

There are many reasons why cats love to sit on paper. Let’s check out the 10 most common purposes behind this unique behavior.

3 cat face divider

The 10 Reasons Cats Like to Sit on Paper

1. Paper Provides Insulation

You may have seen your cat enjoying sunbathing more than you do. Ever wondered why this is? That is because cats often feel cold due to their thermoneutral zones, which are even higher than humans. This zone is your cat’s temperature range, where they don’t have to utilize extra energy to stay warm in cold conditions and cool off in warm environments.

A cat’s average body temperature falls between 86°F to 101°F1. Meanwhile, this range is 97°F to 99°F for humans. It makes sense now why your cat needs more warmth than you.

How do heat and paper correlate? We all know paper is derived from trees, so it has exceptional insulating characteristics. That’s why paper-made products, especially newspapers, provide warmth to your cat. They also regulate your pet’s temperature and maintain their heat.

Therefore, your cat will sit or sleep on paper instead of on the floor. However, many pet owners question this because they find their cats leaving the perfectly-insulated carpet and sleeping on paper. After all, a paper product can’t provide better insulation than a fluffy carpet, right?

2. Your Cat Needs Attention

Let’s be honest, we all have done weird things to get someone’s attention. When it comes to cats, they try different tricks to capture their owner’s attention, including sitting and sleeping on paper and even shredding it.

Cats are intelligent creatures that learn a lot through proper training and conditioning. If your feline friend sees you pick them up every time they lie or sit on paper, they will try to repeat this behavior to capture your attention.

3. They’re Just Curious

Cats are one of the most curious pets out there. You will always find them playing with household items, biting different things, climbing curtains, or simply running here and there. Cats usually look for harmless things, and paper is one of them.

If a piece of paper is lying in your room, your cat will go close to it to see what the object is. When they are sure that it is harmless, they will sit on it and see how it feels. It’s just that simple!

Cat on paper
Image By: StockSnap, Pixabay

4. To Mark Their Territory

Another reason why cats like to sit on paper is that they are territorial animals. This means cats will mark their territory no matter where they live and won’t want anyone entering it. So, once your cat finds a piece of paper lying on the floor, they will sit or lie on it for some time out of curiosity or because of its smell.

When your cat sits on a piece of paper, they leaves their unique scent all over it. Since cats possess scent glands in their chin, paws, and forehead, they quickly identify their smell on the paper. They mark their territory this way, even if it is over something so silly.

5. Paper Produces a Fascinating Noise

Some cats love the crinkly noise of paper when they touch, sit, or shred it. If your cat has similar interests, you will often see them spending many hours pawing a piece of paper.

In many cats, the crunchy or crinkly noise of paper activates their hunting instincts. This sound is similar to the crushing of leaves or scampering of prey in outdoor areas. So, playing with paper can keep your cat mentally and physically stimulated.

However, you should keep an eye on your cat when they’re playing with paper. If your pet swallows massive pieces of paper, they may have a digestive blockage. Not only that, but the printing ink is also toxic for cats.

Image of adorable white-light orange cat having a nap on old newspaper
Image By: MailHamdi, Shutterstock

6. Your Pet Loves the Texture

Since cats are curious animals, they like to feel different textures on their paws and stomach. That is why many cats sit and lie on various paper types for weeks.

If you find your cat showing the same behavior, just know that they love the sensation of the paper’s texture. So, let them have a good time!

7. Cats Find Warmth and Safety in Narrow Spaces

Cats have come a long way and evolved over the years. They now prefer small, narrow spaces since they keep them warm. The more limited an area is, the warmer it will be. That’s one reason you see your cat sitting in a small paper or cardboard box. They just need warmth!

Some cats also feel safe in enclosed spaces. Many also associate paper with warmth, which is why they curl up inside boxes. So, the next time you find your furry friend sitting or lying on a piece of paper or in a cardboard box, remember that they are just looking for safety and warmth.

8. The Paper Has a Similar Scent to You

Cats have around 200 million scent receptors, making them quite sensitive to different smells. These animals are also experts in linking odors of varying things with their owners. They do the same with a piece of paper.

When you touch a piece of paper, you leave your scent on it. Your feline identifies your smell just from the things you touch. So, when they come across the paper, they immediately detect your smell and stay close to it to stay connected to you.

Cats love their owners, and sitting on paper can be their way of showing their affection to their human parents. All you have to do is spend more time with your furry friend to make them stop sitting on paper.

cute ginger cat sitting in a paper bag and looking curious sideways
Image By: Chaiwat Hemakom, Shutterstock

9. Your Cat Was Trained With Paper in Their Childhood

One reason behind your cat’s love for paper could be that they were trained with the newspaper in their childhood. Many owners litter-train their kittens with paper products. As the cat grows up, they begin feeling safe with the sensation of the paper’s texture.

So, whenever a cat finds a piece of paper lying nearby, they sit on it for some time to relieve their childhood memory. However, this reason only applies to some cats. That’s because many cats are not litter-trained in their childhood with paper, but they still love to sit on it.

10. Your Cat Is Comfortable

Some cats find comfort in sitting, lying, and even playing with paper. They find paper so comfortable that they even leave their cozy beds to lie on the newspaper. When they don’t see a piece of paper anywhere, they look for small cardboard boxes to curl up in them. It’s just in their nature!

cat inside a paper bag
Image By: Pixabay


Cats naturally like to sit, lie, and curl on paper because they love its smell and texture. These adorable animals have millions of scent receptors in their chin, cheeks, and shoulders that help them identify their owner’s smell on different objects. When your cat detects your scent on a piece of paper, they prefers sitting or sleeping on it to stay close to you.

Some cats sit on paper because they were litter-trained with a newspaper in their childhood. Many felines also feel safe in small cardboard boxes.

The best way to find the real reason your cat is sitting on paper is to consult a vet. They will perform different tests on your pet to ensure there isn’t any underlying health issue.

Featured Image Credit: r.classen, Shutterstock

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