When you lay out your newspaper to read in the morning, chances are Fluffy will show up and plop right down in the middle of it. Don't be offended by this behavior, it just means that she wants your attention and enjoys the soft, warm texture of that paper.
When you focus your attention on the newspaper while reading it, your kitty takes notice of this. Wanting you to pay attention to her instead of whatever it is you're reading, your cat may come over and sit on top of the newspaper, laying all over it. Your kitty simply figures that by sitting on the paper, you'll have to pay attention to her because that mysterious paper seems so fascinating to you. Keep in mind that your kitty isn't trying to annoy you by doing this, she just wants to spend time with you. Felines show their love for us by hanging out near where we are and trying to get out attention.
Newspapers provide a fairly soft and warm surface for your feline friend to sit on, which is part of the attraction for Fluffy. In fact, veterinarians use newspapers to provide clean, soft bedding for domestic animals in their care, including cats, and many farmers use shredded newspaper to provide warm bedding for their livestock. Recycled newspaper materials themselves provide excellent protection against the elements and are even used as a form of insulation by professional contractors. Kitties love sitting on warm spots, which provide them with comfort. Thus, Fluffy will seek out warm spots to snuggle on, like newspapers and your lap.
Our feline friends have scent glands on their face and tail that they use to mark their territory. When your kitty lays on your newspaper, she deposits her scent on it. Newspaper itself is pretty absorbent because it's made from wood pulp, which is why it works well with high-speed presses. This high absorbency means that newspaper absorbs your kitty's scent and even your own scent when you handle it. A kitty's own scent, along with your scent, is very comforting for her to have around her, which is why she'll sit on newspapers that retain that odor.
In the past, newspapers were printed using toxic inks containing heavy metals, but today's newspapers are made primarily with water and soy-based inks. These plant-based inks are safer to use around pets like your kitty, especially if she rolls around on the newsprint, getting the ink on her fur. Keep in mind that some kitties enjoy shredding the newspaper with their claws while laying on it or even chew on it out of boredom. While it's safe for these purposes, discourage your kitty from actually ingesting the paper by engaging her in play daily and giving her treat balls filled with food to occupy her time.
- Cat Behavior Associates: Why Kitty Always Sits on the Paper You’re Reading
- Vetstreet: How Can I Tell If My Cat Likes Me?
- Ohio State University Extension: Myths About Using Newspaper Bedding for Livestock
- Canadian Journal of Zoology: Methods of Scent Marking in the Domestic Cat
- State Library of Victoria: Storing Newspapers
- Cornell Composting: Frequently Asked Questions
Based in Las Vegas, Susan Paretts has been writing since 1998. She writes about many subjects including pets, finances, crafts, food, home improvement, shopping and going green. Her articles, short stories and reviews have appeared on City National Bank's website and on The Noseprint. Paretts holds a Master of Professional Writing from the University of Southern California.