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Why Do Cats Suck On Blankets?

Cat suckling is a common cat behavior that can occur in all kitties. Cats sometimes tend to suckle on their human’s fingers, skin or hair although, the suckling is more often done on fabrics and blankets. This behavior can be very cute, especially if the kitty is also kneading.

Yani with Cat

Last Updated: June 14, 2022 | 1 min read

Cat Suckling on a pink Blanket

Although it is a sight of utter tenderness, cat owners may worry that this behavior is harmful or symptomatic of underlying conditions. While there a very few instances where this can occur, it is important to understand the behavioral components behind the blanket suckling.

Why Do Cats Suckle Blankets?

Natural Instinct

Kittens will naturally suckle on their mother for nourishment and comfort. The soft, plushy feeling of a blanket can remind them of their mother and the warmth she provided. This natural behavior can stay with them until they are adults.

Comfort

Blanket suckling will usually occur when a kitten is very relaxed or comfortable. He may begin kneading and then proceed to suckle. Both are normal behaviors and often provide the kitty with comfort, safety, and relaxation. This is somewhat meditative for your furry companion.

Stress

There are situations where the fabric-suckling can indicate more serious issues. If a cat is stressed, she may exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviors, including blanket suckling. If she is constantly suckling, this is a sign of concern. Other signs of stress include over-grooming, paw-sucking, tail-chewing, or flank-licking. If your kitty is exhibiting these symptoms speak with your veterinarian for the proper course of action.

Weaning Experience

Kittens weaned off their moms before eight weeks will have a higher tendency of blanket suckling. This is perfectly fine as long as the kitten is not stressed or showing other signs of distress.

Genetics

Certain cat breeds are more inclined to suckle blankets. Siamese and other Oriental breed cats are amongst these breeds. There isn’t a specific scientific reason other than these breeds require more extended weaning periods.

They Trust You

A cat nursing on blankets, clothes or other fabrics shows you they trust you, especially if they are doing it on top of you. This means they feel safe, comfortable, and at peace, suckling in your presence. This is a huge honor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Should I Do If My Cat is Sucking On Blankets Or Other Fabrics?

First, you must assess the frequency, possible stress factors, and medical or psychological conditions. If your kitty has a clean bill of health and no apparent stressors, you can let that kitty enjoy his blanket.

Is Cat Suckling a Symptom Of A Disease?

Although there isn’t a specific disease associated with blanket suckling, it is most often tied to anxiety or behavioral disorders. However, if the behavior becomes compulsory or comes about spontaneously, then consulting your veterinarian would be required. A medical exam, bloodwork, and complete health history should be done to determine an underlying medical cause.

Final Thoughts

Cats are complex creatures. They have unique personalities that are full of quirks and surprises. Blanket suckling may just be one of their kooky behaviors. If you have ruled out possible stressors and underlying conditions, then you’ll know that fabric suckling is just an activity they enjoy and one that is harmless. They truly are special in their way.

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