Why does my cat suck on blankets?

Some people think cats suck on blankets because they’re bored or lonely, while others believe that the behavior is a way for cats to comfort themselves.

Whatever the reason, there’s no doubt that blanket-sucking is an equally strange and amusing habit, and we’ll reveal everything there is to know about it!

Why Does My Cat Suck on Blankets

A cat sucking on a blanket is a common behavior (especially with Birman and Siamese breeds), also known as wool-sucking. It’s a form of self-soothing demeanor that helps kitties relieve stress.

One theory is that it’s a way for them to get exposure to specific pheromones that they can’t get from their mother’s milk anymore. This theory is supported by the fact that most wool-sucking behaviors start around the time that kittens are weaned.

There are several reasons cats enjoy sucking on blankets—here they are:

  • Stress relief,
  • Boredom,
  • Natural instinct,
  • Anxiety,
  • Gastrointestinal distress, and
  • Early weaning.

Stress relief

This is one of the most common reasons cats suck on blankets. When cats have chronic anxiety or feel overwhelmed, they may turn to suck on a blanket because this reminds them of being a kitten. It’s one of their many self-soothing strategies.

If your cat is showing signs of stress and anxiety often, consider trying out CBD oil for cats to help them.

Boredom

Cats might get bored if they don’t have enough activities or toys to keep them occupied. Sometimes they’ll communicate this to you by sucking on a blanket. This is typical behavior in indoor cats without unlimited access to the outdoors.

Natural instinct

Suckling on a blanket mimics a natural reaction for kittens. It’s believed that this behavior helps them transition from their mother’s milk to solid foods. Again, every cat is different, so this is not always the case, but for some, it may be a holdover from their kittenhood.

Anxiety

If your cat is experiencing separation anxiety, it might start doing this to cope; this is often followed by kneading. As endearing as it seems, it’s essential to consult your veterinarian to rule out any other underlying health issues and come up with a plan to help your kitty feel more comfortable.

Gastrointestinal distress

If your cat is experiencing gastrointestinal distress, such as inflammatory bowel disease, nausea, food allergies, or vomiting, sucking on a blanket or any non-food item may help them feel better.

This is likely because the motion of sucking helps settle their stomach and makes them feel more comfortable. If you suspect your cat is suffering from some of the mentioned medical issues, check in with your vet to try to regulate it.

Early weaning

Some cat owners believe that if a kitten is weaned too early, they may turn to wool sucking because they’re just not ready to let go of that comforting suckling behavior.

Read also: Why Do Cats Knead? Everything About Cats Making Biscuits

How to Stop a Kitten From Sucking on a Blanket

Now that we’ve discussed the possible reasons why your kitten sucks on a blanket, let’s move on to the solutions.

If you’re wondering why you’d want to stop kittens from wool-sucking (they do look super cute doing it, after all!), understand that this behavior has a few potential risks.

First, if your cat is sucking on a blanket that has been recently treated with chemicals or cleansers, it could ingest these substances and fall ill.

Second, if your cat sucks on a blanket with loose threads, it could end up swallowing these, which could cause an intestinal blockage.

The most important thing you can do to stop this is to provide your kitten with enough playtime and mental stimulation. A bored or anxious kitten is more likely to turn to sucking for comfort and even entertainment. Make sure your kitten has plenty of toys to keep it entertained—spend at least 15 minutes a day playing with it.

If your kitten is suckling on a particular blanket or piece of clothing, take it away from them gradually. This will help break the association in their minds between that item and comfort or nursing and give them more discipline. It might be hard for them at first, but this is where playtime comes in handy. Spend more time with your kitten when you take the blanket away, so it doesn’t feel stressed or isolated.

Finally, getting a cat tree can be a great way to provide your kitten with stimulation and a sense of security. A cat tree is a perfect way to give them something to do. Plus, it gives them a place to hide and relax when they need time alone.

Is this your first time as a cat parent? If so, feel free to read our pawsome guide on how to properly take care of a cat.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to get a kitten to stop nursing on you?

One way to get a kitten to stop nursing on you is to take away the thing that the cat is clinging to. For example, if the kitten is nursing on your clothing, try moving away from the kitten or putting it in a different room.

If the kitten is nursing on your skin, gently push it away and offer it a toy or food instead.

Why does my cat nurse on blankets?

There are several potential causes for wool-sucking, but most come down to self-soothing or stress relief for cats.

Key Takeaways

If you have ever wondered “why does my cat suck on blankets?”, there isn’t only one correct answer. However, it’s a behavior that has been observed in many cats. Some believe that it offers comfort and security to the kitten, while others think it helps with their anxiety or stressful situations.

No matter the reason, one thing is for sure: it’s cute! Have you ever seen your cat do this? Let us know in the comments below.

Sources

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