Why Do Cats Suck On Blankets?

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. Learn more about why cats do this, and what, if anything, owners should do about it.

Yani with Cat

Last Updated: March 28, 2023 | 4 min read

Cat Suckling on a pink Blanket

When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Here’s how it works.

Cats are known for strange behavior, leaving owners with many questions. One area people ask about is why cats suck on blankets? This is often seen in kittens but happens with adult felines as well. Is this normal behavior or something owners should worry about?

Sucking on a blanket or piece of clothing is a way cats can soothe themselves, but owners often worry this may be harmful. They are concerned about choking on strings or that a cat is stressed or depressed. As with any feline behavior, pet parents may wonder if this is something they need to stop.

Although it is an adorable and tender sight, 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 blanket suckling.

Why Do Cats Suck On Blankets?

Cats suckling blankets is a more common behavior for kittens than adults. Some will grow out of it as they age, while others will continue doing so as adults. This can spread to clothing, toys, or other fabric items that felines take a liking to. Most often, this is a self-comforting behavior, a way to self-soothe and decompress after feeling anxious, afraid, or upset.

Understanding a little more about the reasons a cat may start or have a lifelong habit of suckling blankets can help owners worry less and provide better care for their pets. Let’s explore these reasons a little further.

Natural Instinct

Kittens will naturally suckle on their mother for nourishment and comfort. Often they are removed from her before they feel ready, and this suckling instinct remains. A blanket’s soft and plush texture can remind them of their mother and her warmth. The instinct to suckle does not stop at fabric or plush items. Kittens may try to suck on fingers, toes, siblings, other pets, and just about anything they can get ahold of. This natural behavior can stay with them until they are adults. It becomes a stress management tool for them.


Blanket suckling will usually occur when a kitten is very relaxed or comfortable. It is similar to nursing, but without getting any milk. She may begin kneading and then proceed to suckle. This combination is sometimes called “making biscuits.” Both are normal behaviors and often provide comfort, safety, and relaxation to a kitty. This is somewhat meditative for your furry companion.


There are situations where fabric-suckling can indicate more serious issues. If a cat is stressed, she may exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviors, including blanket suckling. This is a sign of concern if she is constantly suckling or is an older cat who has recently started. 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 to blanket suckle. This is perfectly fine as long as the kitten is not stressed or showing other signs of distress. in some cases, cats may start to excessively suckle on other things as a connection to being weaned too young.


Certain cat breeds are more inclined to suckle blankets. Siamese, Balinese, and other Oriental breed cats are among these breeds. Other than these breeds require more extended weaning periods, there is no specific scientific reason.

They Trust You

A cat nursing on blankets, clothes, or other fabrics shows they trust you, especially if they do it on top of your body. This means they feel safe, comfortable, and at peace. This can be accompanied by a cat curling up next to you, gazing intently at you, or wanting to sleep near you. Showing that they trust you is a huge honor.


Felines may start to suck on blankets and other items if they are experiencing mouth pain. Pain can be caused by dental issues or something lodged in their mouth. Inflamed gums, excessive drooling, lip smacking, facial swelling, and poor appetite are indicators of mouth pain or disease. Owners should work on cleaning their kitty’s mouth at least once a week to keep teeth healthy and prevent mouth pain.

Why Is My Cat Eating My Blanket?

A cat holding a blanket in their mouth, or sucking on it, is different than a cat eating a blanket. Sometimes felines develop something called Pica Syndrome. this is an urge to eat items that are non-edible. Often this includes dirt, paper, plastic, rubber, or other items in the home. A cat chewing through the blanket and ingesting part of it may be due to pica.

Why this condition develops in some felines has not been identified, but it is thought to be connected to early weaning, stress, boredom, or dietary imbalances. Affected kitties will shred material with their teeth, grind it, and swallow. If your cat is doing this, it is best to consult your vet. Also, provide your kitty with plenty of toys and lots of physical exercise. Even inside, cats need cat towers and places to climb, or they can become destructive.

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 her blanket. You can also provide treats, toys, and extra playtime to keep her happy and healthy.

Are there some fabrics cats like more?

Cats like soft fabric and things that feel fuzzy, like fleece blankets, pillows, wool, flannel, and even silk. Sometimes it just depends on the cat. However, the softer and plusher the fabric, the more they seem to prefer it.

Is cat suckling a symptom of a disease?

Although no specific disease is associated with blanket suckling, it is most often tied to anxiety, environmental stimulation, or behavioral disorders. Consulting your veterinarian if the behavior becomes compulsory or comes about spontaneously. A medical exam, bloodwork, and complete health history may be necessary 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, you’ll know that fabric suckling is just an activity they enjoy and is not harmful. Most likely, it is a method your kitty uses to calm down and self-soothe.

Kitten eating ripe avocado in bowl

Author's Suggestion

Can Cats Eat Avocados?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top