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Why Does My Cat Suck On Blankets? 6 Possible Reasons

Cats have a variety of peculiar behaviors, some of which are lovable and others of which are annoying. Then there are certain behaviors that some find adorable while others find irritating.

Sucking on blankets is a practice that splits owners' opinions. If you've ever had to wear a sweater with dripping sleeves, you know that it's not always as adorable as it initially seems.

While there is nothing intrinsically harmful about a cat sucking on blankets, it may be a behavior that you wish to discourage or at least want to better understand before determining whether to do so.

Let's discuss the reason behind this in "Why Does My Cat Suck on Blankets? 6 Possible Reasons" by BestForPets (bestforpets.org).

The 6 Common Causes for Cat Suckling

1. Separated From Mom

Along with the most of the explanations on the list, this idea is fairly debatable, however it goes as follows: Suckling resembles a kitten nursing from its mother. The kitten would knead around the teat region to increase milk production and then lick the teat to obtain milk.

If you observe a cat when it is suckling on a blanket, you will notice that it is imitating these behaviors, causing many owners to assert that it occurs when a kitten is separated from its mother too early.

This is a debatable hypothesis because there are several instances of cats and kittens that remained with their mother until they were several months old, yet continued to suckle on blankets.

While the behavior resembles that of nursing a mother cat, it may not be connected to the cat’s age when separated from its mother.

2. Oriental Breeds Are More Likely Than Others

Siamese and other oriental breeds are more inclined than others to breastfeed. Some study indicates that in these instances, cats are more likely to have been separated from their moms prematurely or to have come from a smaller litter.

This might be explained by the fact that kittens from smaller litters would have more time to suckle before being displaced by a sibling.

Oriental breeds are also known to have a lengthier weaning time than other breeds, which means they are more likely to be separated from their mother prematurely, thus adding validity to the claim that wool suckling is more common among kittens that were weaned too early.

3. It’s Calming

If you’ve ever witnessed a cat sucking a blanket or other woolen material, you’ve probably observed the sensation of joy and calm that it induces.

The movement is reminiscent of when they were nursing from their mother: a stress-free and enjoyable moment. Even if your cat lives a stress- and anxiety-free existence, it may still suckle since it soothes them.

4. Stress Ease

Kittens often feel safe. They were protected by their mother and did not need to be very concerned. As a result, when confronted with excessive tension or worry, they may suckle since it reminds them of a period when they were free from stress.

As a one-time or infrequent occurrence, this is not a cause for concern; but, if your feline buddy is consistently worried and suckling, it is an indication that you need to intervene.

5. Showing Love

Suckling and kneading are the exclusive focus of a cat’s attention. If your cat prefers to suckle a blanket or sweater that is on or linked to you, it might be a sign that they trust you totally and love you as much as they loved your mother.

6. Habit

If a cat continues to suckle, especially at specific times or after specific events, it can soon develop a habit. In such instances, your cat is not actually nursing for any purpose other than habit.

How to Prevent Suckling

Some adult felines may continue to blanket-suckle for a bit longer than the average of around 12 months. As long as it isn’t causing them damage and isn’t a symptom of underlying nervousness or sickness, it’s not really a concern if some cats continue to do it throughout their lives.

Nevertheless, if the sucking gets more severe or frequent, or if your cat begins to chew and eat the wool, there may be a problem that has to be addressed.

Contact a veterinarian to check that the suckling has no medical reason. If they determine that it is not a medical issue, there are things you may do to attempt to avoid or restrict it.

Limit Your Cat’s Blanket Use

If your cat has a favorite or single blanket that it suckles, it should be concealed or discarded. If they exclusively consume blankets from a certain spot, restrict access to that area or stop placing blankets there.

Do not reward the behavior

Furthermore, you should not reward the sucking behavior. Many owners pet or interact with their cats when they are nursing out of concern that they are stressed.

Even if it is a symptom of stress, showing them affection can only exacerbate the situation. If your cat is worried and you show them affection as they lick the blanket, they will likely repeat the behavior.

Instead of showing affection, ignore the activity and do not criticize or penalize your cat for suckling, since this might lead to further, potentially more serious behavioral issues.

Supply Distractions

Rather of ignoring the conduct, it is preferable to give a diversion. Get out the cat’s favorite toy and play with it.

Give Activity and Stimulation

Indoor cats are especially susceptible to boredom, which can lead to anxiety. If your cat’s worry is leading it to suckle a blanket, improving their life with amusement and activities is an excellent method to eliminate this behavior.

Ensure that you have a plenty of cat toys, scratching posts, cat grass, and other stuff for them to utilize as entertainment. Also, try to find time to play every day. Not only does this enhance their life with play, but it also strengthens your relationship with them.


Suckling is a reasonably common activity for cats and is not a big cause for concern unless your cat consumes wool or suckles excessively or frequently.

Possible explanations are listed in Why Does My Cat Suck on Blankets? 6 Possible Reasons” by BestForPets (bestforpets.org) include anxiousness or a display of affection for you.

Yet, it might also be an indication that a kitten was removed from its mother too early and weaned from feeding too early in its growth.

Typically, the behavior ceases when the kitten reaches maturity or shortly thereafter, although it might persist until adulthood. Ensure that your cat is not stressed, that its life is full of play and activity, and that you do not promote or penalize the undesirable behavior. If wool sucking is extensive, you should visit a veterinarian to rule out a medical cause.

Author Image

Dr. Deborah Fletcher

Deborah R. Fletcher, DVM, is a skilled veterinarian with more than 15 years of experience dealing with companion and exotic animals. She has experience caring for a variety of animals, including household cats and dogs, reptiles, birds of prey, and even primates. Dr. Fletcher is a valuable part of the BestForPets team, where she contributes to their aim of providing pets and their owners with the finest possible treatment and services.

Veterinarian (DVM) Dr. Deborah Fletcher


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