It is a strange phenomenon that when you have an object that crinkles, your cat comes running.
Like putting your groceries away, unwrapping gifts, and opening wrappers always seems to call your cat to you. There are even toys designed to crinkle for your cat to enjoy.
Cats have sensory receptors all over their body. To hear something crinkle draws them in because it is a different sound, it’s comforting, or it means playtime.
Why cats like crinkly things might be somewhat of a mystery, but a lot of it seems to come from instinct.
Cats have quite a few things they like to do, like rolling on the ground, playing with string, and purring.
Playing with crinkly things is just a bonus, but everything has a reason. To a cat playing with something that crinkles is more about instincts than anything else.
Why Does My Cat Like To Play With Crinkly Things?
No matter what kind of cat you have at home, you can be sure they love crinkly things. Cats tend to find something that crinkles for their amusement.
It is not uncommon and expected that your cat would play with a bag lying on the floor.
Cats have instincts much like their ancestral, larger cats at the zoo. To hear something or see something move sporadically can send your cat on a hunting spree.
They are naturally curious and look for things to occupy their time.
In their best efforts, cats jump and pounce about, sometimes to get a reaction from something or someone.
Whether they are chasing a mouse, string, or pouncing on a plastic bag, they find ways to stimulate their senses.
There is no way to fully understand why your cat loves crinkly things, but you can guess. Cats are fun to own and just as fun to watch as they play around, so why not enjoy them?
Crinkling Is A Different Sound
Along with their sensitive body and face, cats have an ultrasonic hearing ability that gives them an advantage.
That means that your cat can hear even the tiniest sounds, much like a mouse crawling on the floor. Humans have a deeper tone of voice, and so do cats, but cats can hear the voice of a mouse.
Mice have such a high-pitched squeak that most humans cannot hear it, but your feline can.
Studies say that the crinkly bag or paper simulates that sound and intrigues your cat. Your cat will come in search of that which it naturally hunts.
Cats are eager and excited for a challenge, and hunting a mouse is their favorite. They love a good hunt and playing even better.
Playing like this can cause them to be attracted to anything in your house that may pique their interest.
Cats Like Crinkling Because It’s A Comfortable Sound
Cats are natural-born predators, and some believe they were never meant to live inside. This may be because most cats prefer to pounce, play and romp in the great outdoors.
For some cats, strictly indoor cats, their instincts are missing something.
Cats love the feel of leaves on the ground and scratching. Scratching posts are great for the daily scratch, but what about the leaves?
Crinkly items, such as boxes, bags, and paper, remind your cat of the sensation of leaves.
The sound gives them comfort and a feeling of their primal side. This reaction causes your cat to react and seek out the crinkly item for themselves.
They find great pleasure in rolling and frolicking about on a paper bag as they would the leaves outside.
Crinkling Tells Your Cat Its Play Time
There is no doubt a large selection of cat toys at your local pet store. Some toys simulate a mouse and the smell of catnip which sends your cat in a frenzy.
These toys are to encourage their hunting side along with allowing bonding between owner and pet.
Cats have an instinctive trait to hunt. Some crinkle toys give them the satisfaction of hearing the sound, giving them the need to pounce.
When cats play with a crinkle toy, mouse, or ball, it activates their instinctual behavior.
When you go to the store and buy your cat a toy, consider one that crinkles and moves. Your cat will love to play with it and with you as you spend time tossing it around.
To hear something crinkling may mean playtime for your cat.
Cats are lazy and sleep anywhere between 12 to 16 hours a day, but they will not hesitate to play. A crinkle toy gets your cat engaged with all their senses and sends good vibes all around.
Your cat will thank you with endless play and constant paw shaking of approval.
Extra Considerations For Your Cat and Crinkly Things
Not all crinkly objects are safe for your cat. It is important to limit what your cat has access to play with.
Some Crinkly Things Can Be Dangerous For Your Cat
Certain things can be toxic or even deadly to your cat. Plastic bags are good for sound and quick play but never leave your cat alone with a plastic bag.
Much like a child, your cat can get caught in a plastic bag and suffocate. Plastic is crinkly, but your cat may not be able to get out of the bag on their own.
Other things that crinkle are candy wrappers. Candy wrappers are small, and if your cat swallows some, they can choke.
Even with larger items, your cat can bite off more than they can chew if you don’t watch them carefully.
Therefore, be sure to always watch your cat when playing with certain crinkly objects like wrappers and bags.
Along with choking on the wrapper, some candy is toxic to your animal friends and can cause serious illness. Know the signs that your cat may be in distress after playing with a bag or toy that crinkles.
Vomiting, coughing, and a high temperature can be sure signs that your cat has swallowed something they shouldn’t have. If you think your cat swallows part of a crinkle toy or plastic bag as your vet for help.
Some Crinkly Sounds Stress Your Cat
Some cats shy away from loud noises, and some noises can even cause them to react poorly. For example, aluminum foil can cause your cat to go into sensory overload.
It can be so upsetting for your furry friend that the noise can even cause physical distress.
So, when playing with certain crinkly items with your cat, observe how your cat reacts. If they seem uncomfortable, stop immediately.
It is important to have fun with your cat but never forget to watch all objects not designated for play. Cats love a good chase, and hearing that tantalizing crinkle can cause them to go on a frenzy.
But, your cat needs your protection from certain things, and you should always have a safe environment for your cat. So, be careful of what you give your cat to play with.
Why does my cat lay on paper or paper bags?
A paper bag creates a similar sound to something your cat instinctually loves. If your cat is an outdoor feline, you will find them rolling in the dirt and on leaves. The paper bag simulates this for your cat.
A cat that has never been in leaves still knows the sound. It is a sense of comfort in their home, and it can also be a fun game of peek-a-boo.
You may see them rolling and even sleeping on a paper bag for extended periods because of this.
Why does my cat love catnip?
Catnip is known as a cat’s drug because it seems to make them go crazy. Catnip is just a plant that contains an oil called nepetalactone.
This oil has a distinct smell that sends your cat into a frenzy. This is because all their senses are in overload; after all, it simulates pheromones.
Catnip can give your cat a feeling of happiness and pure ecstasy when they smell catnip. Most cat toys have this plant in them to keep your cat happy and engaged. Catnip is a happy pill for your cat, so just sit back and enjoy the play.
Why does my cat enjoy being outside?
Cats love to roam because they are animals of instinct. They love the great outdoors, and once they get a taste of outdoor life, it is hard to stop them.
The outdoors is full of possibilities, and your cat would love to explore. Some cats are timid and fearful of the outside, and sitting on a windowsill is perfect.
Venturing outdoors could be a sensory overload and cause your cat some distress. Being outside may result in them getting disoriented and lost.
Be sure to read your cat and understand its limitations. If your cat seems to be venturous and craving the outdoors, then that is what you should give them.
If your cat is content staying safe and warm, then a cozy lap will do just fine.
Stacy is a lifelong animal lover who truly believes life just isn’t complete without pets. She’s had pets her whole life (including three dogs and a cat living under the same roof, somewhat harmoniously). She currently resides in NOLA with her husband, son, and two pups, Scooby “Dooby” Doo and Zoey. Stacy always makes a point to learn everything she can about her fur babies, and she has been writing about the pet-parent life for over two years.