Why Do Cats Suck On Blankets? Should You Stop Them?

Ayan Banerjee
Feb 07, 2023 By Ayan Banerjee
Originally Published on Oct 11, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Kitten sucking on blanket
Age: 3-18
Read time: 9.7 Min

Cats can make your life and household a relaxing environment because spending time with cats has been proven to be advantageous to our health.

Having a cat can be a great way of ending a stressed week and can also be a source of relaxation. A pet is a non-human family member to all animal lovers out there.

A cat is just like an owner's own child. They care about the cat more than themselves.

These are the kind of cat lovers who would browse all over the internet when they have a teeny tiny doubt about their cat's behavior. We understand their concern and so we have put together some facts about a common query about their cat's instinct that most cat owners may be concerned about.

If you have a pet cat, then you might relate to both the terror and joy it brings to your household. From bed to bathtub, they follow their owner everywhere whenever they feel like it.

That's what makes them more attractive and also pretty annoying sometimes.

Nonetheless, they are cute and adorable animals and become cuter when they exhibit some uncanny cat behavior like scratching their heads or chewing on everything they encounter. The most melting one of them is when cats suck on blankets.

It might sound like a harmless habit but under certain circumstances, it can become a matter of real concern, both from the owner's perspective of lacking a clean blanket and the cat's perspective of health. It is really important to observe these kinds of behavior when they become frequently noticeable.

Their soft body and little paws make them look like angels while roaming around the room and playing with or sucking anything and everything in their way, but some sucking behavior may mean there are some serious issues and can also depict their hereditary behavior. To a cat lover, it's never just a cat but a child.

However, as this child doesn't speak our language, it is very important to follow their behavior to know what they are feeling.

Sucking a blanket is considered a cat's natural behavior at the early stage of its life.

Most cats withdraw this behavior once they reach an age of social maturity. Kittens have a tendency to suck on wool blankets if they are separated from their mothers before at least six weeks.

The cat's behavior to suck on blankets can be due to the absence of its mother. Another reason for such a habit can be that the cat belongs to Oriental breeds.

The cats of some breeds like the Siamese cat have a habit to suck on blankets and other fabrics as well.

Some cats suck on blankets often as a form of relaxation, and for some cats suckling a blanket is also due to stress and anxiety. The cats which are not involved in any activity or play are more likely to be anxious and develop this habit often as adult cats.

If you enjoyed this article, why not also read about why do cats get the zoomies or why do cats lick plastic here on Kidadl?

Do they suck on all types of blankets?

Cats suckle on almost everything they see. This mostly happens in their childhood and most cats withdraw this behavior once they reach a phase of social maturity.

A kitten sucks on blankets and any other fabric or wool. It depends on what they find fit for chewing.

Their kneading behaviors depend on many environmental factors such as their age, their breed, and also their health, and does not depend on the texture or material of the blanket.

Normally they tend to suckle on any soft wool blanket or fabric just as a form of relaxation which happens less frequently for a healthy kitten.

It is usually a harmless behavior if it occurs at the early stage of 10-12 months and can continue into adulthood in rare occurrences. The suckling behavior becomes strange if it continues at the same rate even in an adult cat.

Kittens have a tendency to suck on wool blankets if they are separated from the mother cat before at least six weeks. Cats mostly suck any soft objects and usually prefer soft fabrics and blankets.

The kneading of cats seems to be an adorable play and makes them more attractive as a pet.

Cats often nurse on blankets as it reminds them of faith, love, and safety for the owner.

This is also one of the reasons that they can continue sucking blankets when they get an appreciating gesture from their owner while nibbling a sweater like a gentle rub or a treat.

Both from the owner's perspective of lacking a clean blanket and the cat's perspective of health, it is really important to observe these kinds of behavior when they become frequently noticeable and to search for the cure.

Is it bad for them to suck on blankets?

Under normal conditions, it is very usual for cats especially kittens to suck on anything soft, such as a blanket. Just like a baby would mouth anything in its sight to explore its nature, a kitten sucks something to explore it.

As cats grow up they learn not to mouth anything before touching it. It will be strange if an adult human still uses its mouth to know what it is.

Although cats are just animals with lower intelligence than humans, cats learn at a faster rate and have a sense of things. However, they still suck on things and they have an affinity towards soft blankets, and suckling them makes them look very cute and adorable.

There are various reasons why do cats suck on blankets. If kittens are removed from their mother cat before the age of eight weeks, they have a tendency to suck on wool blankets.

The cat's tendency to suck on blankets might be attributed to the absence of its mother. Another cause for such a behavior might be that the kitten is a Siamese cat.

Some kinds of cats, such as the Oriental types, have a tendency of suckling on blankets and other types of fabrics.

As a method of relaxation, some cats often suck on blankets. However, some cats suckle a blanket because they are feeling stressed or anxious.

Cats who do not participate in any activity or play are more prone to be nervous and to develop this behavior as adult cats. Cats often nurse on blankets as it reminds them of faith, love, and safety from the owner.

However, sometimes when the sucking becomes frequent it may indicate that the cat is ill. More often than not these type of medical condition has to be diagnosed with a series of deep analytical medical examinations. Your answer to why do cats suck on blankets may be related to the fact that it has a disease.

If your cat's unusual sucking on blankets bothers you, then you can consult a vet.

Cat sucking blanket

How do you stop this behavior?

Due to various reasons, it is evident that the cat behavior of suckling on blankets is triggered by many factors. According to veterinarian experts, the key is to disable the triggers. However, some things that affect a cat suckling on a blanket cannot be changed, like the Oriental breeds, due to their nature and habit of sucking on blankets.

Young kittens who have been separated from their mother before weaning and also before the completion of eight weeks develop the habit to knead on blankets and other material fabric clothing.

To search for the solution to the problem, you need to work on other triggers like anxiety, stress, and encouragement, and very important health issues.

First of all, consult a vet to examine if the reason your cat sucks on a blanket is health-related.

If the veterinarian suggests otherwise, then you can start your own home remedies. Involve the cat into more activity and play, so that they don't become anxious or stressed.

You can also consult the vet for anti-stress medications that can help your cat and reduce behaviors of sucking on blankets and other fabrics of clothing.

When this behavior occurs, do not encourage them by petting, treating them, or showing any signs of appreciation because that will give adult cats the impression that sucking on blankets is acceptable and encouraged and the habit of your cat sucking on the blanket will not stop.

Kittens, when separated from their mothers before they are even weaned in the early phase, specifically eight weeks before, tend to develop stress issues and fears, from which the habit of a cat sucking on blankets arise.

Should you let your cat sleep on your bed?

Even if we find cats very cute and many get the urge to cuddle them while sleeping, there are many reasons why cat owners should not give their cats space in their beds, rather provide them separate bedding for their comfort.

Firstly, as we all know, cats love to sleep and can almost sleep for 15 hours covered in a wool blanket, which may disrupt the sleep of the human if they share the bed with their pet. Secondly, cats often seem to wander around litter boxes, capturing litter under their paws.

They carry this litter onto the bed if the owner prefers to sleep with its cat, making the atmosphere stinky and bedsheets dirty with paw marks.

Thirdly, cats can be a threat to little children. Cats have a tendency to scratch when they feel discomfort.

Small children may get bites or scratches while in their sleep on the bed if a cat is present. Babies are charming napping spots for cats, given that they’re small-sized, protected on multiple sides, along with their soft skin.

It is advisable to keep cats away from babies for their safety.

Fourthly, cats do not easily adapt to changes in the environment. Their behavior can get really grumpy if their sleeping spot is changed from the bed to elsewhere and can react in a very destructive manner.

Some kittens have the habit of releasing fecal matter on the bed, spoiling the blanket, and this may spread intestinal parasites including hookworms or roundworms causing illness to the owners. Lastly and most importantly, cats carry many parasites and fungal infections in their body fur and their saliva contains several various bacteria.

Cats suck on blankets and transfer the bacteria on the blankets or bedsheets, which can be infectious for humans and may cause health issues.

Cheyletiella mites can jump from the cat's body and reside on the human body, causing itchiness and rashes.

Records say that nearly 25,000 peoples suffer from cat-scratch fever every year, which can be fatal in some cases. Cats mostly spend their time outside of the house, eating small birds or street rats and this can spread many diseases through their mouth.

According to reports, almost two-third of owners prefer sleeping with their kittens. Some believe that cats have powers to neutralize the 'negative energy' of the humans around them, keeping positive energy around the house.

Cats can also reduce stress and provide a sense of protection and security. However, it is still not the best idea to sleep with a kitten, keeping in mind the illness and disease they can spread.

If you are thinking about owning a cat, then it must be provided with a comfortable bed in a basket with plenty of blankets to provide them warmth.

Once the cat is used to the house, it may sleep anywhere as they are considered lazy animals, and also they love to sleep. If cat owners can regularly keep their pets clean and keep them indoors, then it may not be that unsafe to sleep with a kitten.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for why do cats suck on blankets, then why not take a look at why do cats have 9 lives or Balinese cat fun facts.

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Written by Ayan Banerjee

Bachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Ayan Banerjee picture

Ayan BanerjeeBachelor of Science specializing in Nautical Science

Thanks to his degree in nautical science from T.S. Chanakya, IMU Navi Mumbai Campus, Ayan excels at producing high-quality content across a range of genres, with a strong foundation in technical writing. Ayan's contributions as an esteemed member of the editorial board of The Indian Cadet magazine and a valued member of the Chanakya Literary Committee showcase his writing skills. In his free time, Ayan stays active through sports such as badminton, table tennis, trekking, and running marathons. His passion for travel and music also inspire his writing, providing valuable insights.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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