Why Do Rats Chew on Paper?

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Rats chew on paper for various reasons, including building comfortable nests, obtaining food if it is present on the paper, such as glue, and maintaining the length of their constantly growing incisors. Additionally, they may engage in this behavior for playful or exploratory reasons, or simply because they enjoy the texture of the paper.

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Why Do Rats Chew on Paper?

Rats are known for their gnawing behavior, and one of the things they often chew on is paper.

But why do rats chew on paper?

There are several reasons why rats may chew on paper.

One of the main reasons is to keep their constantly growing incisors worn down. Rats’ incisors grow at a rate of about 5 inches per year, so they need to gnaw on hard objects to keep them at a manageable length. Paper is an easily accessible material that can provide this gnawing behavior.

Another reason rats may chew on paper is for nesting material. Rats are known to use paper, along with other materials such as insulation and fabric, to build nests. The paper provides a soft and comfortable bedding for the rat and its young.

Rats may also chew on paper as a form of exploration and play. Rats are curious creatures, and they may chew on paper as a way to investigate and understand their environment.

Lastly, rats may chew on paper as a means of obtaining food. If a rat smells food on a piece of paper, such as a food wrapper or packaging, it may chew through the paper to get to the food.

It is important to note that while rats may chew on paper for these reasons, it can also be a sign of a rat infestation and the need for pest control. If you suspect a rat infestation in your home, it is important to contact a professional for assistance.


In conclusion, rats chew on paper for a variety of reasons including, keeping their incisors worn down, using it as nesting material, exploring and playing, and obtaining food. It is important to understand the reasons for this behavior, but if you suspect a rat infestation, it is important to contact a professional for assistance.

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