Why does my cat bite my blanket and knead it? (+Pics)
If you have ever witnessed your cat bite and need your blanket, you may be confused and wishing they had their own bed (Click here for my 5 Best Cat Beds for Kittens). Let me explain why they do this…
Why does my cat bite my blanket and knead it? This is a known throwback from your cat’s life as a kitten. The chances are, after some time she will outgrow this behavior. But in the short term, it is comforting.
Now that you know why they do this, let me explain other reasons why they knead in this way. Also, if you should be concerned, if you should consider stopping them and more…
My Wierd Similarities With Cats Kneading and biting blankets
As I grew up we used to have this weird habit of eating peanuts and shaking the salt off them. This was passed down from my parents and was almost a source of jokes and merriment.
As I grew older I still find myself doing this same gesture every time I eat peanuts. It’s funny because it reminds me of some of this throwback behavior used by cats…
Are their other reasons for this kneading behavior?
When they are kneading the blanket in this way. It is also a way for them to apply their scent and mark it as their territory. This is often seen when there are multiple cats in one household. Often each cat will have its own “possessions”.
When they knead the cat release scent excreted from the sweat glands in its paws. Cats have a very sensitive smell and will indicate to other cats that this is their territory.
During this time, your cat will feel content. And you may even witness her purring. This is a show of happiness and her being content.
Kneading and Suckling the Blanket
This is slightly different. Do you remember sucking your thumb as a child? If yes, then you can relate to this behavior. It is a way for your cat to feel comfortable and another throwback from being a kitten.
It is often seen with cats that were separated from their mother earlier than 12 weeks.
Is this something to be concerned about?
No, this is completely normal behavior. And to be honest, the chances are they will outgrow this within 1-2 years. The only thing to monitor is what items they choose for this, let me explain…
If they are attempting to suck or bite items such as electric power cords, shoelaces with plastic coverings, etc. Then you need to be concerned. Obviously, this is dangerous for them.
Should they be stopped from doing this?
If you are wondering if you should be stopping this. You really do not need to. As I said, they will naturally stop this with time.
However, if you are keen on stopping them for some reason. For example, they could be biting or sucking an item of clothing that you treasure. Then, I get it!
There are two ways you can do this:
- Negative training
This is a method of training her to not like sucking or biting on these items. It is achieved by purposely adding lemon juice or other unwanted flavors to these items to detur your cat from doing this.
The chances are it will work. However, it can confuse your cat and may lead to anxiety or behavioral issues such as aggression (Click here to see my 3 best pheromone collars for aggressive cats).
This is a more subtle and preferred approach. The idea is you gradually divert their attention from your treasured garment. This is done by offering them an alternative. Ideally, it is an old item of clothing that carries your scent.
If you can, use a wool sweater or wool garment. Not mandatory by the way, but just preferred.
Are their Other Reasons why they suck or bite on blankets?
As discussed the most obvious reason is early separation from their mother. However, there are other reasons that will discuss now…
Breed of Cat
Certain breeds, such as Siamese or other oriental breeds have this tendency. For whatever reason, they are known to take longer to move on from their mother. This could be an explanation for their behavior.
In addition to this, they may just gain a level of comfort from this. It is likely to stem from their mother, to be honest. But it could also be attributed to their siblings as well.
What is Wool Sucking (Is it similar?)?
Yes, wool sucking is very similar. Arguably the same thing. It is when your cat will suck on clothing or other fabric-based items, such as blankets, sweaters, jumpers, etc. They are even known to suck on the tail of other cats.
In some cases, the cat will take it a step further and begin eating or swallowing these items. This is when it may become a concern. Reason being, it can lead to health-related issues with their intestines.
When you notice a cat eating these items in this manner it is often called pica. This basically means a weird craving for non-food items. It is not a good habit as discussed earlier.
What Causes Wool Sucking?
— Danielle Rifkin (@Heels0fSteel) April 17, 2015
There are many theories behind this. And to be honest there is not necessarily a right or wrong one. The one that is most commonly associated with this behavior is being separated from their mother earlier than expected.
The expectation is at least 12 weeks before they are separated. However, some breeders will separate cats as early as 6 weeks. This is typically based on them starting to consume solids rather than their emotional needs.
It seems that this early separation can cause this wool sucking habit as a way to feel comfortable.
In this section, I am going to answer some frequently asked questions related to this article topic. If there are any other questions unanswered, feel free to leave a comment and ask.
Q: Why would a neutered male cat start humping?
It may sound weird or unexpected, but it happens. This humping (Click here to learn if cats hump blankets) can happen for a number of reasons, so I will explain each possibility.
Neutered at an older age
If you decide to neuter your cat at an older age, there is a chance that this will happen. This is because he may have been used to doing this all his life, so it won’t stop overnight.
Its normal behavior
This can just happen because your cat needs affection, or just enjoys the feeling it gives him. its not a cause for concern.
It can even happen if he is feeling bored or just feeling frustrated.
If there are changes in your household you may notice this behavior. Your cat is likely to use this technique to establish his dominance as the alpha male, are you with me?
Q: Why is my cat biting me all of a sudden?
It is rare but it can happen. Biting is usually used by cats as a threat or attack or defensive move. If this is happening to you, there is a chance that your cat is testing the boundaries to establish who is boss. Biting is also used as a way of communication.
Q: Why is my cat suddenly afraid of me?
If your cat is new to you this may happen. It could be confusing if you feel that you have established some trust only to find she is going back a step and acting scared (click here to see why cats afraid of water).
The reality is, she may need more time to seal the bond. There could be a bad history of abuse from the previous owner that could make the trust harder to establish.
Another issue could be general health. Maybe she is feeling sick and does not want to be touched. Often cats will retreat into their own space if they feel sick. The chances are she could be confused by the health issue if this is the case.