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What's behind the joy of unspooling that once-perfect roll of toilet paper?
Cats are stimulated by motion and "thoroughly enjoy the benefits of cause and effect," says Brenda Flaming, DVM, of Des Moines, Iowa. Toilet paper on a spinning roll simply may be too tempting for your cat to pass up.
"It's a big game. Initially, they may think it's an object for sharpening their claws, but soon they discover it's nothing more than a soft toy," Dr. Flaming says. "Shredding is only half the fun. Getting to the cardboard center is the real treat."
Mary Anne Miller rescues abandoned and abused animals in Oregon. "I don't know why cats like toilet paper, but they just seem fascinated by it. I had a cat who was always unrolling and shredding my toilet paper. She was relentless. As a matter of fact, she enjoyed ripping up toilet paper so much we decided to name her Ripley."
Nonetheless, Miller tried several tricks to keep Ripley and her other cats from redecorating her home with tissue. She placed rubber bands around the paper, but the cats just ate through them. She tried simply turning the paper around to make it more difficult to unroll – or so she thought. The only thing that truly worked was removing the entire roll from the holder and hiding it in a cabinet. This may seem like an inconvenience, but it's no more inconvenient than cleaning up after a T.P. tirade.
Although this game may be frustrating for you, your cat's paper trails are a playful sign of her good health.
Instead of punishing your cat for misbehaving, try the following:
If after trying these tips you're still doing T.P. patrol, contact your veterinarian to rule out possible medical issues.