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I have a three year old Siamese cat. She's a love, and very well-behaved normally. But recently she's started an annoying habit-- she wants to eat paper and cardboard. She's been gnawing on the covers of books, and picking paper out of the trash to play with it, and then eat it. And yesterday, she ate a big piece of wrapping paper and then got massively sick all over my basement.<br><br>
I'm at the point where I'm yelling at her and shutting her in my bedroom, when I catch her at it, and clearly that's not going to work. It's just making me resent her.<br><br>
I'm wondering two things, really. Could there be something missing from her diet? She eats standard cat foods from the grocery store-- I really can't afford much more than that. Also I wonder if there's something I could try, in terms of behavior modification. (Other than cat-proofing-- that's hard, because we own thousands of books, and I have three kids who are all into doing paper crafts. And DH is a writer.)<br><br>
Edited to add: I have other cats, and they don't do this. It's just this one cat.
 

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<p>I doubt it's because of something missing from the diet.  I have three cats too and two of them eat weird stuff often.  One likes to chew rubberbands from a rubberband gun my son owns, the other youngest one eats the foam nerf darts and pretty much anything he thinks is interesting!  I try to keep the house picked up but it's hard. </p>
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<p>Perhaps she needs more fiber?  A tray of oat grass might be worth a try - provides trace nutrients, fiber, and something fun to chew!</p>
 

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<p>My youngest does this, but I think it's mostly about the biting on the strange texture or maybe even scenting the object. Do you think the cat might go for a disposable target? (I got a month out of the chomping of a small Zappo's box recently.)</p>
 

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<p>Oh my, the stories I could tell about my Siamese male and his crazy issues.  I was told by the breeder and our vet that some Siamese are prone to pica, the urge to ingest inappropriate material.  We tried all sorts of diet modifications, supplements, etc.  Nothing worked.  We did introduce another cat intot the house but you already have other cats so that isn't a fix. </p>
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<p>Our male completely destroyed our couch by ripping off pieces and chewing, would chew and ingest any shoelaces left out, craved wool in the from of socks, sweaters and blankets.  It drove us crazy for years.  At its worst, he "ate" one of my bathing suits (dug it out of the hamper) and needed an operation.  A year later, he again openned the cabinet and pulled out DH's hunting socks and again ended up at the vets.  Until it was all said and done, he had three seperate operations.  The behavior tapered off around year 10 and he is now 18 yo and it has been years since he chewed on anything.</p>
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<p>I don't want to be all negative but it was so bad, we had child locks on all the doors as he could open the doors by engaging the door knobs.  After a while, he learned how to release the child locks.  It was freaking crazy.  I didn't worry too much about the cardboard and paper chewing/puking but we had all hardwood and tile floors so it wasn't hard to clean up.  He had a regular diet of crumbled up magazine insert cards.  Sounds nuts but we ran out of options.  The vet was at a loss for other options, we introduced another cat into the house, we spent a ton of money on diet changes and in the end, nothing worked for us.  18 years later, he is none the worse for wear.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I also heard about the issues with Siamese cats, too, but DH showed up one day with this cat, and it was no use trying to talk him out of having her. And up until now she's been very easy to live with.<br><br>
The main trouble is the books. We're book collectors-- I have thousands and thousands of books, and my kids also have huge collections. They're in every room but the bathrooms, and it's impossible to keep her away from them.<br><br>
I'm thinking I like the idea of providing "decoy" paper for her-- she seems to really like the corners of things, like the spines of books or the corners of boxes, so maybe a steady diet of pizza boxes and packing boxes might be the thing.<br><br>
I'm really thinking that if we can't manage this problem, I'm going to have to find her a new home. A cat who can't coexist with books is a real problem for us.
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Llyra</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1287436/annoying-cat-behavior-open-to-suggestions#post_16139918"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
The main trouble is the books. We're book collectors-- I have thousands and thousands of books, and my kids also have huge collections. They're in every room but the bathrooms, and it's impossible to keep her away from them.<br><br>
I'm thinking I like the idea of providing "decoy" paper for her-- she seems to really like the corners of things, like the spines of books or the corners of boxes, so maybe a steady diet of pizza boxes and packing boxes might be the thing.<br><br>
I'm really thinking that if we can't manage this problem, I'm going to have to find her a new home. A cat who can't coexist with books is a real problem for us.</div>
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<p><br>
I have three cats, and two of them are chewers. One likes paper/cardboard, and the other likes wires and plastic bags.</p>
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<p>The paper chewer satisfies himself by chewing up the <a href="http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=4201585" target="_blank">corrugated cat-scratcher boxes</a> we have. He doesn't often chew anything else. Of course, we have to deal with bits of cardboard all over the floor, but nobody hear is a neat-freak so it's not too bothersome.</p>
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<p>The wire chewer is much more of a problem. He has destroyed two sets of computer speakers, the charger for the Wii remote, several PS3 controllers, and most recently we found exposed wires on one of our space heaters. He was worse as a kitten but apparently is still chewing (he's a little over a year old). He's the one in my avatar. :)  He will also root around in wastebaskets if you throw away anything plastic like the outer wrapper of a new DVD, and loves to play with coins. Loose change is his favorite toy. I found $0.77 under the fridge the last time I cleaned there.....mostly pennies. He will come running if he hears change jingling in your pocket.</p>
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<p>Oh, and all of our cats are mutts, so I don't think this is a breed-specific problem. I've had lots of cats over the years and they have all been mutts and have all had their quirks.</p>
 

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<p>to the PP-- I have a cat that likes plastic bags and wires too.  I was able to cure her of the wires by rubbing dish soap on my hands, then rubbing my hands on every exposed wire in the house.  She just *smells* it and is repulsed.  I had to repeat it 3 months later once, but that's been it.  </p>
 

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<p>I would at least try suppling chewable paper. Maybe having her own stash might distract her from the books.</p>
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<p>My cat likes to chew on packing tape <img alt="eyesroll.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/eyesroll.gif"> Christmas time is such a joy with all those Amazon bowes being ripped open.</p>
 

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<p>Well, I think you could adapt the space to protect the books. We are book lovers and actually had a bookstore in our home at one point with two book eating rabbits in residence. It can be done. I think a good cat is worth the effort to put the books out of reach. You can isolate special collections in off-limit rooms or closets, avoiding using the bottom shelf of bookshelves for books (put cat paper there), and teach kids to shelve books up high when not in use. If you have massive shelved collections, hinged plexiglass could protect them too.</p>
 
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