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Cher, Feline Specialist
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 20852
Experience:  Feline Healthcare & Behavior Specialist 40+ years Experience
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why does my cat eat toilet paper and only picks at her own food

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Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.

How old is your cat?

When did she start only picking at her food?

Is she drinking and eliminating normally?

Does your cat go outside at all?

For how long has she been eating toilet paper?

Does she eat any other non-food items?

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
She is a year and a half old.
She has never really been crazy about food. I think she is a grazer when it comes to food. The problem is I have 2 cats. If Bryce walks away from her food Zion will finish it. Now I pick it up and a little while later I give it back to her and she eat a little more.
She is drinking and elimating normally.
Neither cat goes outside.
She always been fascinated with playing and eating toilet paper.
We keep the bathroom door shut all the time now. About 1-2 months ago she began eating the napkins on the kitchen table.
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.
Hello again, and thanks for your additional information.

I'm glad to hear she's not having any intestinal problems or blockages from eating the paper products!

Some cats love to eat paper; my cat, when he was younger, and it was 'available', would love to eat tissues, Q-tips (from the trash), and once I was made aware of it, of course, kept all these things out of his reach, so I'm glad you did this with the T.P. Just in case someone forgets to close the bathroom door, you can take the toilet paper off the roll and put it in a cabinet next to the toilet, or something, or keep it in one of those tall, plastic, covered holders that sits on the floor next to the toilet and holds several rolls.

Don't keep the napkins on the kitchen table, either, all the paper goods must be out of her reach, behind closed doors, unless you're actually eating at the table, and of course, you should have a tight fitting cover on your kitchen (and other) garbage bins.

Some cats are just picky and don't eat all their food at once; they ARE natural grazers, and dry food is best for those kinds of cats, so they can eat when they're hungry. If you're able to continue to pick up her food so your other cat won't eat it, and then put it back down when she's ready to eat more, that's great! I'm assuming this is canned food? They say when a cat walks away from the food, if she doesn't return within 15-20 minutes, she won't return for more at that meal; but, considering Zion will finish Bryce's food, you are doing the best thing in offering her some more, later, under your watchful eye.

As long as she does have an appetite, is drinking, urinating and defecating normally and is active and alert, just continue to prevent her access to the paper goods and keep an eye out for any constipation or signs of intestinal obstruction, if she does get to something paper.

I hope all goes well with your two cats!

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
She really isn't very heavy either. I do not want her to be obese but there is no extra meat on her at all. She is not skin and bones but there is no plump at all. What should a cats weight be at her age?
Expert:  Cher replied 9 years ago.
Hi again, and thanks for your reply.

If she's a tabby cat, a normal weight would be about 7-10 lbs., but if she's never been a big eater, being on the 'lean' side is most likely normal for her. Some cats are just skinnier and/or smaller than others, and some cats are larger and love to eat (MINE! : )). As long as she's showing an interest in food, albeit not 'great', but usual for her, and she's eating and all her other functions/actions are normal, there shouldn't be anything to worry about. If you see a change in her normal eating or other functions/behavior, that's when a vet visit is required.

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