1. Weaning early or too rough
It is normal for kittens to explore their environment with their mouths like children. It is common to see them, lick, chew or suck on a blanket , but this behavior is inappropriate once they have reached adulthood.
Ideally, kittens should stay with their mother cat until they are 12 weeks old . However, kittens are often separated from the mother at 6 weeks just because they are able to eat solid food.
You should know that at this age they are not physically or emotionally prepared to separate from their mother or siblings. Weaning should be done gradually, even when kittens are already eating solid food.
I also indicate that during those first 12 weeks the important socialization of the puppy cat takes place .
Therefore, the soft and warm feeling of the blanket or fabric replaces the mother cat and the kitten instinctively begins to suck.
2. Changes in your environment
A cat can have this behavior caused by events and changes that occur in its life . These changes can be a new baby or pet, or a move to a new home . Even something as simple as rearranging bedroom furniture can have a huge impact on some cats .
3. The breed of the cat
Some breeds of cats are genetically predisposed to adopt this type of behavior. Oriental breeds, such as the Siamese and Burmese cat , are more likely to suck on wool and other soft fabrics.
It is not known how genetics influence this problem, except that Siamese kittens are known to require more time for weaning to occur than other breeds of cats.
4. The cat is suddenly aggressive from another pet
If a companion cat suddenly becomes aggressive towards another cat, the victim may acquire the behavior of “sucking wool” . The cat that picks up this habit may not be able to cope with the aggressive cat, so instead redirects the aggressiveness or finds sucking comfortable and reassuring.
5. The disease of pica or malacia
The pica or malacia disease is an eating disorder that pushes the cat to lick some object, but they do not stay alone in that but instead chew it to, finally, eat it . The cat can eat inedible things like objects, wool, cloth, and even feces.
Therefore, if your cat swallows the ends of the blanket or the fabric that it nibbles, it may be suffering from itch. This disorder can also be associated with a poor diet or a disease , such as a brain tumor or leukemia. In all cases, a visit to the vet is required.
6. Death of a family member
The death of any close companion , be it human, feline, or otherwise, can be stressful for cats .
A cat that is bored all day and lacks physical and mental stimulation may tend to chew on your stuff, just like dogs.
How can you get your cat to stop sucking on wool and fabrics?
If your cat sucks on tissues occasionally and this habit is not obsessive or harmful or only occurs when the cat is around you, it may not be worth worrying about.
You should know that the ingestion of fabrics or other materials can cause your cat a dangerous abdominal obstruction . Sometimes surgery may even be necessary to remove.
In the event that the habit is problematic, you should try methods to eliminate this behavior in your cat:
- Eliminate the temptation:hide blankets and clothes that have been “sucked” by your cat.
- Offer a substitute:A soft plush toy can be a safe thing for your cat. It can be used as a snuggle when your cat is feeling a little stressed and a safe object when it has the urge to “suck.”
- Distract your cat when she does it:You can try tapping your cat on the nose and then offering her a treat as a reward when she stops “sucking” on the wool. Similarly, you can play with your cat to divert his attention long enough for the urge to wear off.
- Relieve your stress: Itis important to try to eliminate or correct the source of stress. But if your cat still seems to need to “suck,” try a natural stress reliever, such as flower essences or a homeopathic remedy. If this doesn’t work, check with your vet to see if an anti-anxiety medication might be necessary.
It may take a lot of love and patience to help your cat give up or reduce his ability to suck on wool. Keep in mind that if the behavior is not causing her any harm, you may need to put your cat’s emotional comfort first and come to accept it.
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