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Have you ever found yourself researching for a "cat-proof toilet paper holder" in order to protect your toilet paper (TP) from the wrath of kitty claws? When you welcome a cat into your home, you may not expect needing to buy something special to protect your toilet paper — but in some cases, it might be necessary. Read on to learn why cats love to unravel toilet paper and how you can go about making a protective toilet paper holder.
Why Do Cats Unravel Toilet Paper?
Cats will unravel a roll of TP for a few reasons, but mainly because it's a way to engage their hunting instincts and to alleviate boredom. As the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine emphasizes, your feline friend isn't "out to get you" when they mess around with household items like toilet paper. To them, it's playtime! In certain situations, a cat may chew on toilet paper because they aren't feeling well. If you notice your cat ingesting toilet paper, speak with your veterinarian to discuss any possible underlying health issues.
Most often, your furry friend is just goofing around with TP because it's fun: It's soft and pliable, and your kitty can "catch" it like prey. A cat-proof toilet paper holder is the easiest and most efficient way to keep your TP out of harm's way.
Making a DIY Cat Toilet Paper Holder: What You'll Need
There are plenty of cat-proof toilet paper holders on the market that can do the job, but with minimal time and a few materials, you can create a DIY cat toilet paper holder cover that protects your TP and your bank account. For this project, you can either repurpose items already found in your home or purchase a plastic container — and it'll only take about 10 to 15 minutes from start to finish.
Before you start this project, make sure that you have all of the materials you need, including:
- A large plastic tube container (disinfecting or antibacterial wipe containers are great options, as are plastic beverage bottles)
- A ruler
- A pair of scissors or a box cutter
- Stickers, markers or duct tape for decorating (optional)
Be sure to use a large container because a small one won't leave enough room for the toilet paper to unroll.
How to Make a Cat-Proof Toilet Paper Holder
Once you have your materials, follow these steps to complete your project:
- Clean and rinse the container thoroughly. If using a container for wipes, rinse well with water to remove all traces of the cleaner.
- Remove the lid and label from the container. Pro tip: Olive oil is a great non-toxic way to help remove label glue.
- Cut off the bottom and top edges of the container so that you're left with a four-inch wide tube. This four-inch tube is your TP cover. A roll of toilet paper is four inches wide, and you want the cover to align with the roll and fit onto a standard toilet paper holder.
- Cut a straight line along the length of the plastic tube.
- Trim the corners of one end of the four-inch wide strip. Bend back and crease that end along a line that's about half an inch wide.
- The plastic strip tends to curl. Coil it tightly with the trimmed corner end on the outside to help shape the roll cover.
- Decorate with stickers or markers that match your bathroom decor. Or, go all out and decorate with cat stickers!
- Slip the roll cover over the toilet paper roll. The cover will slide a bit around the roll, but this is what you want; this allows the end of the roll to be retrieved from under the creased edge of the cover.
If your cat is clever (and aren't they all?), they will probably try to push or pull the roll off the holder entirely, but this DIY cat-proof toilet paper holder cover will discourage them. A holder that is secure on both sides, coupled with this cover, reinforces your security system.
Cats of all ages can get into mischief, often when you're not at home or if you're not giving them your full attention. Having a cat-proof toilet paper holder guards your TP and also helps to redirect your feline friend to play with other fun toys, like catnip mice, jingly balls or even crumpled up pieces of paper.
Christine Brovelli-O'Brien, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer, researcher, and long-time cat mom. She's a professional member of the Cat Writers' Association (CWA) and writes about pets, lifestyle, and education. Find and follow Christine on Instagram and Twitter @brovelliobrien.