My cat is TPing the bathroom! Help!
July 2, 2014 10:04 AM   Subscribe

My cat keeps unspooling the toilet paper. It is mildly frustrating, not the worst thing in the world but we have tried keeping the bathroom door shut, etc, but I know there are covers for toilet paper holders - I imagine they are for situations like this??

I have a handyman coming to my house tomorrow for some minor repairs in the house and am going to Home Depot tonight so if there is something I can buy to modify my current toilet paper holder or if you have a suggestion for a new one that I could buy at Home Depot and get installed that would be wonderful.

Thanks in advance!

PS: Here's a picture of the naughty kitty!
posted by timpanogos to Pets & Animals (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is probably too obvious to be a solution, but could you put the roll on so it unspools from the back?
posted by mchorn at 10:09 AM on July 2, 2014 [9 favorites]

The standard solution is to simply reverse the orientation of the roll so that a downward swipe on the roll doesn't allow momentum to unroll the spool.

It's harder for humans to unroll too, and cats could certainly pull on the free end carefully. But it would end the "bat at the spool and unwind all the fun" incidents.

Evidently my office has naughty cats as well, because our TP dispensers have a curved steel cover on a hinge so that it lies on the top of the roll and provides gentle braking action.
posted by Kakkerlak at 10:11 AM on July 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

That is a feature of the kitty, not a bug. Here is a possible solution on Amazon
posted by 724A at 10:12 AM on July 2, 2014 [4 favorites]

On initial search, it looks like Home Depot does not have very good options. If you have a Toys/Babies R Us you will probably find something there.

Turning the roll around only stops unspooling. It does not stop the little vandals from sharpening their claws all the way to the core.
posted by Lyn Never at 10:12 AM on July 2, 2014

Looks like a kitten. Kittens are made cute because they have gobs kitten energy which manifests as bad behaviors.

There is this one which might not thwart a kitten. Most of the covered ones are for commercial use and would look out of place.

For now, put the TP on top of the toilet. Lil' Dutch will outgrow it...eventually.
posted by 26.2 at 10:16 AM on July 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

Low-rent solution is just a rubber band which lives next to the TP when you want to unroll it and then you just snap it over it when you are done. Kitty gets no purchase, decides to go somewhere else and play with something else.
posted by jessamyn at 10:18 AM on July 2, 2014 [11 favorites]

Another solution, though not as convenient, is simply storing the TP in a pretty but small lidded garbage can by the toilet.
posted by HeyAllie at 10:19 AM on July 2, 2014

Keeping the toilet paper on a shelf out of kitten reach is a solution, but requires remembering to grab the TP before you sit down. Also, if you have a determined and growing kitten, you'll have to keep moving it to higher shelves. Ask me how I know this....
posted by gingerbeer at 10:28 AM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

The hang down the back trick really does work for many cats. It doesn't stop the scratching, true, but it does stop the muggins from covering the entire room with toilet paper.

A holder with a flap can work really well. That's an Amazon link, but I've seen similar designs at Home Depot too. You can get them with springs to hold down the TP too.

Many TP holders (likely including yours, from your picture) have a metal boss that screws into the wall, then the TP holder attaches to that. If that's the case, it can be an easy swap to make, no wall drilling needed. All that you need is the right kind of screwdriver, almost certainly a star/Phillips.

Finally, give the cat a distraction it is allowed to use, if you haven't already, a scratching pole. Cats seem to respond to positive reinforcement much more quickly than negative, in my experience. Lavish praise when using an approved scratching pole may help give your little ball of trouble an outlet.
posted by bonehead at 10:30 AM on July 2, 2014

My adorable jerks are 10 years old and haven't grown out of this behavior, despite also being willing to scratch on other approved items. We have to keep the TP on a shelf above the toilet. You get used to it (although we do have to remember to tell guests where it is and why, so they don't "helpfully" put it on the holder for us).
posted by dorque at 10:49 AM on July 2, 2014

I balanced a small paper cup half full of water on top of the TP roll (leaning against the cabinet). The kittens went into the bathroom to play with the toilet paper, I heard a commotion, and two wet kitties ran out of the bathroom and sulked under the couch.

I maybe had to repeat this once, but it hasn't been a problem since. At the very least, it's extremely entertaining.
posted by castlebravo at 10:54 AM on July 2, 2014 [33 favorites]

Nthing the "under" roll. I'd suggest that pet (or toddler?) problems are the only reasons to not orient your toilet paper in the over position.
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:57 AM on July 2, 2014

If reversing the roll orientation doesn't work, sometimes hanging a strip of duct tape sticky-side-out across the paw contact area will do the trick. The smooth side of the tape allows the paper to roll without incident if you have opposable thumbs with which to grab the non-protruding end of the roll.
posted by komara at 11:01 AM on July 2, 2014

We don't have cats, but all three of our dogs are interested in removing the entire roll from the holder. The first one likes to chew it up, the second one prefers to spread it around the house, and the third has magically figured out how to remove the cardboard core without unrolling the paper. Which she leaves for the first one to chew up.

We have given up. Our toilet paper lives in one of these on the back of the toilet. If we have lots of guests coming over, I will put a roll on the holder and try to keep an eye on the dogs.
posted by thejanna at 11:35 AM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

I know that problem. Note where TP would be: "Due to certain naughty kitties, TP can be found in the middle drawer next to you." Problem solved. Benefit, easy to refill drawer!
posted by lois1950 at 11:44 AM on July 2, 2014

How about tucking the end of the TP into the cardboard tube?
posted by alphanerd at 12:14 PM on July 2, 2014

Toilet paper holders on the floor.
posted by mitschlag at 12:55 PM on July 2, 2014

Rubber band.
posted by adamrice at 1:17 PM on July 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

My apartment has something sort of like this (designed for sailboats, because the toilet is in a "wet room"). The TP is completely covered by the holder.
posted by three_red_balloons at 1:19 PM on July 2, 2014

A friend used to keep the loose TP rolls in a floor basket within arms' reach of the toilet for this reason. This only works if your cat doesn't also shred TP off the roll, like my cats do.
posted by cabingirl at 1:30 PM on July 2, 2014

What if you just keep your TP in one of those extra roll holder things? I don't use the roll thingy -- I don't know why. I like just grabbing a roll from the stand, unwinding some TP around my hand and putting it back on the stand. i.e. this or this.
posted by AppleTurnover at 3:26 PM on July 2, 2014

You could try placing the roll vertically on an L or U shaped hook stationed on the wall. Also, I cannot hyperlink right now, but this is kind of funny:
posted by analog at 3:28 PM on July 2, 2014

So my darling cat Little Kiwi didn't unspool the TP. She bit huge chunks out of it. I got a Blomus Sento. I actually didn't get it from Amazon because I needed the special mounting hardware that didn't require a drill. It's expensive, but it looks really nice and it does the trick. Little Kiwi has stopped what was a very frustrating habit.
posted by janey47 at 5:24 PM on July 2, 2014

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