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Why Does My Cat Destroy Cardboard Boxes? (Can It Stop?)

If your cat has been messing with your cardboard boxes you may be getting frustrated and trying to understand why and what can be done about it…

Why does my cat destroy cardboard boxes?

It is believed that cats destroy cardboard boxes to let off excess energy, play, and follow their hunting instinct. The cardboard box is an easy victim for your cat to practice its hunting ability and keep itself entertained at the same time.

Use these to protect your cardboard boxes

Description Image My Rating
01. Bitter Lemon Cat Spray (My Best)
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
5 stars
02. Double-Sided Tape
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
03. Cat chew toy
Click here for the price on Amazon #Ad
4 stars

So, now you know. But, is there a chance my cat will eat it? Can cats digest cardboard? What can I give to my cat to distract it? Keep reading for these answers, and much more…

How can I prevent my cat from destroying cardboard boxes?

Why does my cat destroy cardboard boxes?

A black & white cat in a cardboard box.

If you want your cat to stop ripping up your cardboard boxes there are several ways to do this. Some are easier than others to implement, so see which one works best for you:

01. Hide the boxes

The first and easiest method is to simply hide any cardboard box from your cat. As simple as this may sound, for some people it may not be. Why? Because, if you are like me, you will get several deliveries per week into your home and they can be located all over the house.

Meaning, it can be hard to keep all these boxes hidden all of the time. However, if this is not your situation, then give this a try.

02. Spray citrus spray on it

Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad

Another technique is to repel your cat from the cardboard box. This can be achieved by spraying citrus-based spray on it. These sprays take advantage of the fact that cats do not like citrus. When it is sprayed on an object, like your cardboard box, it can help to keep them off it.

03. Put double-sided tape on it

Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad

Double-sided tape is another tactic to keep your cats off your cardboard boxes. This works by repelling them from it. How? Well, the sticky top-surface of the tape is annoying to most cats. Therefore, when applied to a surface, like your cardboard box, it can keep them off of it.

04. Block entry to the room

Another, more drastic, measure is to shut your cat out of any room that has cardboard in it. This definitely works, that’s for sure. But, implementing it can be tricky. Why? Because some cats may meow and moan outside the room (click here if they do this near your bedroom) begging for entry.

Also, the type of home you have can affect this. How? Well, if you live in a small studio flat with little, or none, connecting doors this can be tough or bordering on impossible.

Will some cats try to eat cardboard boxes?

Some cats may try to eat cardboard. This is known as “Pica”. It is not limited to cardboard though. Basically, any consumption of non-food items is classed as pica. It can be linked to nutritional deficiencies or even anxiety in your cat.

However, some cats may appear to be eating it but they are merely chewing on it (more on this later). But, it can be still worrying if you see their mouth on it anyway.

How do you know if your cat has pica?

It is quite easy to identify if your cat has pica. This is simply by catching them eating any non-food item. Once you see this you know there is an issue and needs to be investigated, ideally by your vet.

In some cases, it’s not a problem but some objects can be eaten that can cause internal damage that will need urgent medical attention.

Is it normal for cats to chew cardboard?

A ginger cat in a cardboard box.

A ginger cat in a cardboard box.

It is quite common to see a cat chewing on cardboard. This is often done for entertainment. It is different from eating cardboard which can be a real issue. Although this behavior is not always desirable many cats have been known to do it.

However, just because it’s quite common does not mean you have to accept it. That is a personal choice and also how important that cardboard is to you. For example, these boxes could be used (used for a cat? click here) for your home business and causing you some issues.

Can cats digest cardboard?

Cats will not digest cardboard because it’s not food. If you are lucky it will pass through their system and no damage will be done. But, there is a chance it can become blocked and cause your cat pain and potential injury. So, if there is any chance this has happened it’s best to get it checked out with your vet.

As they say, it’s better to be safe than sorry and once the cardboard is blocked it can a painful experience. It is also not a good idea to manually remove a blockage even if it’s visible so it is not a nice experience.

What can I give my cat to chew on?

An alternative for your cat to chew on can be a cat chew toy (Click here to see the price, on Amazon #Ad) or even a frozen spare rib bone. There are also many other chew toys available. They work as a great way to distract your cat away from your cardboard and keep them entertained.

Once your cat is chewing on one of these it can hopefully keep them away from your cardboard and any other important item you may have n your home.

How to stop a cat from eating cardboard

If your cat is eating cardboard, rather than just ripping it up, you may be researching other ways to stop this from happening. Here are a few suggestions for you:

01. Offer them a distraction

The first way is to offer them a distraction. This can be a cat chew toy (Click here to see the reviews, on Amazon #Ad), a cat tree (Click here to see my best one), or another object to move their focus away from your cardboard.

02. More quality playtime

Another simple method is to offer more quality playtime with your cat. This will help them to calm down and also allow you to improve your bond with your cat. Cats appreciate these simple bonding sessions so don’t underestimate their impact.

Is it safe for cats to eat cardboard?

It is not safe for your cat to eat cardboard. They may get away with it a few times but it can easily cause a blockage or cause internal damage. If you see your cat attempting to eat cardboard you need to help to make sure that this doesn’t;t happen.

If it does then you need to seek advice from your vet to see what you can do to help your cat.

Why does my cat bite cardboard and spit it out

Your cat may bite cardboard and spit it out (click here if your cat is spitting randomly) because they do not actually want to eat it. They should spit it out than trying to eat it. But, either way, it’s still not desirable to have chewed-up cardboard around your home.

Lindsey Browlingdon