Why Is My Cat Sucking on My Blanket?

Although not all cats have the urge to suck on soft fabrics, such as wool, it can become an obsession for others. Most commonly, this behavior develops in kittens that are removed from their mother too soon. It may also develop into a habit in mature cats that are feeling anxious or stressed out and turn to sucking wool for comfort.

It’s unknown how genetics are involved, except that Siamese kittens require more time before weaning than other breeds of cats. This can be done by trying multi-day feedings in food puzzle or scheduled interactive games like laser chasing, hide and seek or wand play which may divert its attention long enough for the impulse to pass.

Loads of love, patience, and creative trial and error may be required to help your cat either desist or cut back on its wool sucking. Keep in mind that if the behavior isn’t causing any harm, you may just need to put your cat‘s emotional comfort first and learn to accept it.

Why does my cat suckle on blankets?

Comfort: Suckling at wool may provide cats with a sense of comfort or relaxation any time they feel stressed or just want to settle in to sleep. Nuzzling up to and suckling on something fuzzy harkens back to the nursing instinct in cats, which is closely linked to feelings of comfort and safety.

How do you stop a cat from nursing on blankets?

Remove the object of the suckling : sometimes just removing the blanket or toy will end the suckling, but, beware that this could cause too much trauma, so you may need to do it slowly over time. Sometimes you’re the one being suckled, so you will need to get up and remove yourself from the situation.

What is it called when cats suck on blankets?

It’s no secret that cats exhibit many strange behaviors. … A cat or kitten suckling on blanket, or wool sucking, is one such behavior. A cat or kitten might suckle on a blanket, called wool sucking.

Picture this: you are sitting on the porch enjoying the sunset, and suddenly the weather gets chilly. You rush to get your favorite cashmere sweater only to find a few holes in it. You dismiss it thinking your house has a rat that needs to be dealt with so you reach for the blanket on the couch only to find it in a worse condition. If you have a cat in the house, then do not blame the holes on the sweater and blanket on the rodents; blame your feline friend. However, before you vow to get rid of the cat, you should understand there are reasons why the cat sucks on blankets. Here is more regarding your predicament, and what you can do to eliminate the bad habit. Here are some reasons for cat sucking on blankets:

Symptoms that your cat has intestinal blockage as published by MyPetNeedsThat.com include lethargy, diarrhea, reduced appetite, constipation, and vomiting. Treating pica is not an easy task; you will have to avert the behavior by providing more safe toys to chew on instead and hope the cat forgets about the blanket.

Eliminate the blanket There is no way you can tell a child not to eat cookies yet leave them in full view; temptation will kick in, and there will be no going back.

Pet Wellbeing’s own Dr. Jan has been in veterinary practice for over 30 years. Since receiving her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine at the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, she’s founded two veterinary clinics and lectured extensively on pet herbal therapy, nutraceuticals, acupuncture, rehabilitation and pain management.

Why Do Cats Suck Wool?

Genetics may play a role. Wool sucking most often occurs in kittens who are taken from their mother before they’re fully weaned. Kittens should be kept with the mother cat at least until the age of 8 weeks and ideally until they’re about 12 weeks old. Although they should outgrow this behavior once they’re introduced to kitten food, many continue to try to suckle the mother cat for a few weeks longer.If you adopt a kitten that’s younger than 12 weeks, you become the surrogate mother. The mother’s nipple is no longer available, so the kitten may find other “nipples”—kneading while sucking your earlobe, for example. This would be a natural step in the kitten’s development.Wool or other similar fabrics can easily become a cat‘s second choice because of its soft warmth, which is also reminiscent of the mother cat. Some cats may try to suckle other cats or even their own fur, a habit comparable to that of a human child sucking its thumb.Even for mature cats, wool sucking may become a regular behavioral issue or a habit that periodically comes and goes. Other factors that may provoke or help sustain this behavior are:

Early Separation from Mother

If you notice that your cat is sucking on blankets, you might have separated it too early from its mother, which affects the kitten’s emotional state. All young ones need to be with their mothers for a certain period, and for cats, the recommended time frame is the first eight weeks. By then, kittens will have had enough of their mother’s attention as they suckle and knead on the breasts; the colostrum also enables the kittens to get enough immunity.A bottle’s teats may feel like a nipple, but it can never replace it. Therefore even if you choose to bottle feed the kitty, you will most likely see it behaving like it is sucking on the mother’s nipples by kneading as it used to as a newborn. Consequently, without the nipple to suck on, a kitten will choose to suck on the next cuddly thing it finds, which is usually the blanket. If not stopped, the behavior goes on even in adulthood.

Stress

You might have seen a baby who has developed a habit of sucking on their thumbs, and a behavioral specialist will tell you that it is their way of seeking comfort. Breastfeeding brings a feeling of security as the baby is latched on to the mother’s breast. Therefore, thumb sucking is common as babies soothe themselves to sleep. Similarly, kittens who need to find their comfort and don’t have the mother around will end up sucking on a blanket to overcome the stress.In adult cats, it is evident in households that are causing stress to the cats, such as a new pet or even the loss of a loved one, human or otherwise, as The Spruce Pets informs us. By sucking on a blanket, the adult kitty reminds itself of the safety it felt while with the mother. The habit can develop into obsessive-compulsive disorder, which will then be harder to manage.

Breed

Sometimes, it is not your fault; you may have waited until the kitten was weaned, and you ensure that you provide a relaxing environment to the cat, but still, it will suck on a blanket. Some breeds, for instance, the Siamese and Oriental cats, are more inclined to do it than others. Research has proven that Oriental cats require a more extended weaning period than other breeds, but the habit has not been associated with nay genetics.

Trust

Another uncommon fact for sucking on a blanket is that your cat is showing how it trusts your ability to keep her safe. Children will hold on to their blankets for a long time, sometimes going as far as bringing it along with them wherever they go because it is their haven. Your cat, on the other hand, may not carry your blanket around but sucking on it communicates how much it trusts you to be its knight in shining armor.

Health Risks Associated with the Behavior

You might wonder why you should not let the cat have its comfort, for as long as it takes, by sucking on the blanket. After all, you feel it is vital to keep the felines’ emotional wellbeing at its best. However, there are some health risks for exposing your cat, and the more it sucks on the blanket, the worse it gets. Blankets are made of different materials; wool blankets, which your cat will prefer, sometimes form balls which your cat will most likely ingest.Ingestion of inedible materials can result in pica- a craving to chew on items of no nutritional value. The more it sucks, the more the desire increases and the gastrointestinal issues will develop with time. Symptoms that your cat has intestinal blockage as published by MyPetNeedsThat.com include lethargy, diarrhea, reduced appetite, constipation, and vomiting. Treating pica is not an easy task; you will have to avert the behavior by providing more safe toys to chew on instead and hope the cat forgets about the blanket.