Can Cockatiels Eat Paper? (Is it Safe?)

Yes, it is ok for cockatiels to eat paper. You don’t need to worry that can cockatiels eat paper because they actually enjoy scratching and shredding around. Eating paper doesn’t matter to them as they can chew items without swallowing them. 

Paper is also harmless to these birds. But it is recommended to change the paper inside the bird’s cage regularly to protect them from poop-filled paper.

Why is my cockatiel shredding paper in the cage?

Don’t worry if you see your pet cockatiel shredding the paper every other day! Cockatiels love to rip a range of items. So, sometimes these birds start ripping paper due to boredom. Usually, they also tear the paper in the mating season to use it as a nesting object. 

How is shredding paper helpful for cockatiels?

Firstly, cockatiels maintain their beaks by shredding paper. Also, this activity helps stimulate their brains as they always like to stay engaged. Cockatiels are very intuitive and active birds, so they need to exercise their brains and bodies not to become bored or develop behavioral problems, like plucking their feathers or becoming aggressive.

What types of paper are harmful to cockatiels?

Paper roll inners, colored paper, laminated paper, and cardboard are harmful to cockatiels to chew. So, when the question arises, that can cockatiels eat paper, only ensure to secure your pet from these four types of papers.

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Let’s understand in detail what makes these papers dangerous for your birds.

Paper roll inners:

Paper roll inners also consist of glue made of zinc and other toxic chemicals. Thus, it can be poisonous to your cockatiels.


Cardboard is not safe to place in your bird’s cage because the glue used to stick them can be harmful to them. So, it is better not to use cardboard inside your bird’s cage.

Colored paper:

Colored paper is also not usually safe for cockatiels because the color in these papers can often start running due to contact with saliva when birds chew them. It can even stain your pet’s feathers.

Laminated paper:

This type of paper contains glue or chemicals that can be toxic for cockatiels. So keep them away from your pet.

Is laser-printed computer paper safe for cockatiels?

Yes, laser-printed computer papers are safe for your cockatiels because this kind of paper doesn’t contain any toxins harmful to birds’ health.

Is newspaper safe for cockatiels?

No, newspapers are not always safe for the cockatiels. 

Try to keep your pet away from chewing ink-printed newspaper because it has toxic chemicals used for printing.

How can I stop cockatiels from shredding paper?

Cockatiels love to play, which signifies that your pet is active, curious, investigative, and normal. Thus, buying different toys for your pet would help save them from boredom. This way, you can distract your pet from chewing paper.

They can spend hours exploring and playing with toys. Thus, they will always stay engaged and happy. Check out the available options here.

Best Toys for Cockatiels

There is an array of toys in the market for cockatiels to play with. Some of the toys you can consider keeping for your furry friends are:

Foraging toys:

The most common toys that cockatiel owners buy to keep their pets entertained. These toys imitate the wild behavior of building nests and hunting for food that grabs the bird’s attention.

Foraging toys can be made from a wide range of materials. Popular choices include plastic, wood/bamboo skewers, and sisal rope. Some foraging toys use multiple compartments to hold items, such as millet sprays or other treats. 

Besides, others only offer one compartment with a hidden object to make it more interesting for cockatiels. For example, there are toys covered in a fabric that your bird needs to pull back for eating the food inside.

Cockatiel perches:

Cockatiel perches come in a plethora of shapes and materials nowadays, including rope perches, natural wood perches, etc. The rope is the best toy for cockatiels for your bird to chew.

Cockatiel swings:

Cockatiel swings can be beneficial if they spend much time alone since they prevent boredom. Such toys typically come with one or more hanging chains. Besides, some toys also feature wooden frames with several fabric ‘wings’ attached, flapping in the breeze.

Cockatiel mirrors:

Cockatiels love to look at themselves and often spend hours preening and grooming their feathers in front of a mirror. Make sure you keep a mirror where the cockatiel can see itself from its cage, so it can have its share of admiring glances.


Your bird needs a grooming kit. So buy this one! A cuttlebone is a calcium-rich, porous bone popular among birds to keep their beaks trimmed and healthy. Cockatiels will also enjoy picking at it to file their nails regularly.

Food puzzles:

Food puzzles are similar to foraging toys in that they require the bird to work at getting its food out of this toy. However, food doesn’t come all at once like a foraging toy. Instead, your cockatiel will pull out food gradually as it plays with them and manipulates them.


Another way to keep your cockatiel entertained is to provide it with some form of water play. This trick can be as simple as filling up a dish or cup with water and adding a few small objects for the bird to splash around and dunk its head inside. Be sure to supervise closely if doing this. Alternatively, you could buy or make a birdbath specifically for cockatiels.

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Fiber and cloth toys:

Fiber and cloth toys are the best chewable options to give to cockatiels. However, constant chewing can uproot tiny fibers. If the birds consume these fibers mistakenly, these may cause a blockage in the crop and can be fatal. So ensure you don’t let them chew for long hours.


If you’re thinking, can cockatiels eat paper? Fret not! Your pet cockatiel is only shredding paper, not swallowing. It is just a fun activity for them. However, there is a better way to feed their intuitive behavior. Toys are undoubtedly the best choice for cockatiels to play. 

But it’s also important not to overload the birdcage with too many objects at once. It will become overwhelmed and won’t play with any of them. So, try to keep switching toys inside the cage now and then to keep your cockatiels interested for long.