Why Do Cats Sleep on Paper? (Hint: Not Just to Annoy You)

Why Do Cats Sleep on Paper

It’s funny isn’t it, you can leave a sheet of paper in the middle of your room, desk, kitchen side, wherever it may be, and a few minutes later you’ll see your cat sitting or sleeping on it.

But, why do cats sleep on paper when there are plenty of other places more convenient and comfortable to settle down?

Like all cat behaviors, when we delve a bit deeper, do some research, and try and take a look into the complex mind of a feline, we can find some rational reasoning behind what they do.

Here are some of the most likely reasons why your cat likes to sleep on bits of paper you leave out:

Why Do Cats Sleep on Paper?

Your Cat Wants Your Attention (And I Bet It Worked)

Cats are very aware of what we like to do and the things that we need and use often. This is why cats often sit on or rip up the newspaper – they know that the newspaper is getting in the way of their attention.

One of my cats sits on my desk watching me work and will always go and sit on a piece of paper she sees me placing to the side.

Then through the process of getting her off the paper, we end up fussing and playing for a while. Makes me wonder if it’s a deliberate attention seeking action…

Cats Are Attracted to Anything Different

Cats Are Attracted to Anything Different

It might not be the paper they feel compelled to check out and sleep on. A lot of the time cats will go and sit on just about any object you put in the middle of a room or an empty space.

There have been numerous ‘studies’ into cats and things placed in the middle of a room. Some of which just draw or make a circle on the floor, only to find cats have to go and investigate and sit in it.

I use the term loosely as it’s mostly done for fun rather than scientifically, but the results are pretty conclusive. Cats are curious, and they will check out things, try it and see.

Paper Acts as an Insulator

Most cats enjoy warmer spots to sleep and relax in, and they are very good at finding and feeling for that little extra warmth.

We can hardly feel the difference, but paper is a really good insulator and feels warmer to sleep on than the surface below it.

It stays warmer and reflects some of a cats heat, so the longer the sleep there the warmer and more snuggly they are. (Think about that when you’re moving them off!)

They like the Texture and Noise

Some cats like the noise and/or the texture of paper. I had a cat that had to scratch the insides of cardboard boxes. As much as the scratching noise drove me mad, she couldn’t get enough of it.

Toilet paper is another example. It’s almost impossible for some cats to resist playing with it. The feel and way it moves on the floor as they claw and tear at it is so much fun for them.

If your cat likes the feel, noise, or gets any other enjoyment from hogging any paper you leave laying around expect to find them on it.

If your cat attacks your toilet paper and you’ve had enough, check out my review of some cat proof toilet paper holders.

It Helps Them Feel Secure

Cats need to feel secure, especially when they are sleeping. Some cats will find the highest perch possible like the top of their cat tree or a cupboard, some like to be in a box, some have their back to the wall or sleep face down, and some like to lay on something.

It’s part of their natural instinct to find somewhere they feel safe while they sleep. Even though they are domestic cats safe from predators in your home, it’s still in their DNA.


I hope this article has helped answer, why do cats sleep on paper? Or at the very least has given you some insight into the behavior of our lovely, complex, and interesting companions.

Does your cat sit and sleep on any bits of paper they can find around your home? Do you find it funny or annoying? Feel free to drop me a comment below.

2 thoughts on “Why Do Cats Sleep on Paper? (Hint: Not Just to Annoy You)”

  1. this is so true! I actually put a piece of old newspaper down in place where I know my cat wants to sleep overnight (like my nice clean kitchen counter tops) so it’s easier to clean up in the morning. So you can use their love for sleeping on paper to your advantage if you think about it.

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