FABCat has been tearing up paper for quite a long time now and nothing is safe if it is left on the floor. I have no idea why she does it but once or twice when I have encouraged her to stop she has growled at me. DH thinks she is playing as she is old and ill so not able to run around the garden like she could so this is her alternative.
I think your DH is right. Mine are much younger than Fabcat (5) but will still pounce on and shred any bits of paper left lying around. They've even been known to drag the newspaper out of the letter box and rip it up, dog-style!
I still find books that my cat shredded, and he died 8 years ago this month. I think cats just like the way they can really shred the paper. In helly cats case he would unsheath his claws, look at me, miaow, and if I didn't respond by shaking his food dish, and talking to him while he ate, he would shred my magazines and books!
Mine quite like a bit of paper. Impossible to do any present wrapping on the floor with them about.
One especially likes biting holes in anything cardboard - the harder the better They both love boxes and biting holes in them is one of the most satisfying things ever apparantly. It sets my teeth on edge though hearing them do it.
TodayCAT is terrible with the newspaper I leave next to the fire for fire-lighting. I have to put it on a shelf or it gets relocated round the room in little pieces. TodatCAT can't go out either since we moved in July, I think he's a bit bored now.