Harm reduction: the cat loves to unroll TP
March 2, 2023 2:07 PM   Subscribe

Are there any cat toys that will simulate the extreme satisfaction my cat gets from unrolling toilet paper? I've switched the paper to go 'under', but I feel bad depriving her of what's apparently a really great time.
posted by BuddhaInABucket to Pets & Animals (17 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Paper tape keeping the roll together?
posted by mhoye at 2:09 PM on March 2

A cat exercise wheel, maybe? These are like a hamster wheel, but cat-sized at a bit over a meter in diameter, and usually have a floor mount. Seems like it would scratch the "I paw at it and it moves and stimulates more pawing" itch?

This question would be easier to answer with a photo of the cat in question.
posted by momus_window at 2:13 PM on March 2 [15 favorites]

Ha, I have a TP-unroller too. We stopped keeping toilet paper on the thing for a while to break the habit. I think she likes doing things that are sneaky? Her favorite is to dash through doors that she's not supposed to go through, so once a day, I let her dash out the back door with the dog. She likes fetching little treats, but she also likes breaking into things (like the treat cabinet). So maybe some puzzle toys that she has to bust into or manipulate?
posted by bluedaisy at 2:19 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Not paying the cat tax was a really amateur move; my apologies.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:26 PM on March 2 [30 favorites]

If that's a Bengal, you are in trouble ;-). An exercise wheel could help.
posted by Ferrari328 at 2:39 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Something like this or this? I googled "roller cat scratcher" and came up with a couple different shapes.
posted by GrimmblyTuna at 3:42 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]

Could you put rolls with only a little bit left on them in a different area, and designate that as Cat Paper? I'm saying this so questioningly, because I'm not sure if cat redirection works as well as (some) child redirection....

I hear you on sneaky cats getting joy from things that are frustrating to people! One of mine figured out how to open my sock drawer and now leaves socks scattered all over the place.
posted by Guess What at 3:43 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]

What about a roll of 3+ inch wide ribbon (not narrow ribbon, that's not much like toilet paper and also a recipe for bowel obstructions)? I'd also avoid anything with wire in it, that seems like it could cause problems.

Something like this 5" burlap ribbon seems like it would be very satisfying to unroll. Obviously 20 ft of ribbon is not as epic as a whole roll of toilet paper but it would make a nice pile. You could probably even roll it around an old TP roll and put it on a TP holder, maybe one of those freestanding ones so no one accidentally uses the burlap as TP while half-asleep.
posted by mskyle at 3:51 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: GrimmblyTuna, those are EXACTLY what I had in mind.
(Everyone else’s suggestions are good too, thanks!)
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 3:56 PM on March 2 [1 favorite]

I mean have you TRIED unrolling toilet paper?
posted by bendy at 5:45 PM on March 2 [2 favorites]

Please read the sizes on any online purchases! I ordered a rolling cat scratcher and they'd shrunk a normal sized cat with photoshop and it was actually sized for a hamster.
posted by cyndigo at 8:33 PM on March 2 [7 favorites]

Our dear departed Nimbus was a champion unroller, and he really liked having a turboscratcher. I suspect that for him it wasn't the unrolling per se, but being able to sit in one place and play that he liked, and the turboscratcher satisfied that.
posted by penguinicity at 12:38 AM on March 3

That is an awesome cat, who deserves an awesome (but yes $) rolling cat scratcher toy like this.
posted by nkknkk at 6:24 AM on March 3 [1 favorite]

Is she shredding the TP as well? My cat loved shredding toilet paper and paper towel. The unrolling was a fun side effect. I got her a Kitty Kong cardboard ramp and she'd happily shred the crap out of it multiple times a day.
posted by Stoof at 12:59 PM on March 3

The rolling cat scratcher linked to by nkknkk is exactly what I was talking about: the dimensions are 4"L x 4"W x 2"H which is TINY.
posted by cyndigo at 4:24 PM on March 3 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Cyndigo, the one I bought says it’s 6” and has customer photos of cats playing with it- it is smaller than the obviously photoshopped pictures but does look like the ball is actually 6” across… if it *is* tiny we’ll all have a laugh when it comes and I post the pictures here!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:27 AM on March 5 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Good news! The toy arrived and it's a great size for my cat!

Also, my cat who plays with literally everything on earth has completely rejected this barefaced attempt to get her to stop playing with toilet paper, and has written a letter to management about it.

God bless cats.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:19 PM on March 23 [4 favorites]

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