- Does my cat still suckle her toy?
- Does my cat lick his blanket?
- Does my cat chew on woolen clothes?
- Does my cat always move his toy around the house?
- Does my cat suckle the blankets?
- Does my cat suckle like a baby?
FELINE BEHAVIOR TO KNOW:
A stuffed toy, a piece of fabric, a cushion… These objects can be very important in a cat’s life. Whether it is to reassure themselves, to remember their former home, to compensate for a lack, the comforting object that we will call Doudou can make the difference when adopting your animal. Your cat may even need to suckle his comforter. Normally, this suckling behavior gradually disappears following weaning, around the age of 4 weeks.
WHAT IS THIS OBJECT FOR A CAT?
As with children, cats need reassurance sometimes. Thanks to this object, the transition between homes could be less stressful for your kitten. It is thought to be because of the texture or the smell which reminds him of the belly of the cat.
It is true to say that a cat living in a family environment as the only cat in the family will possibly have more recourse to a substitute object such as a comforter. As for the cat living in a community or in a gregarious way with other cats or people who stay at home all day, they will tend to need less of this type of replacement accessory.
Some studies also reveal that the male and female cat would not have the same attachments for the comforter. The females would more often resort to this type of object than the male even if she is sterilized. Can we believe that the bond between cat and kitten would be more difficult to break, therefore a greater need to replace it?
It would be easy to find several other valid reasons why a cat needs such an object or not. What you have to remember is that a cat who feels a little upset or irritated will very quickly take comfort in the latter.
A FELINE BEHAVIOR TO HIGHLIGHT, THE CAT THAT SUCKS.
If the stress rises in the house, because of a tension in the “pack” or if there are too many visitors in the house, we could see our cat patouner (kneading the udder of its mother, during the feeding, by an alternating trampling movement of the front legs). It is not so uncommon to see cats suckle the cuddly toy or even chew it delicately, as if to go back in time to the time when it was with its mother.
Some feline behaviorists agree that paddling helps relieve stress in cats, this action would soothe the feline, but the deeper stage of stress would be represented by suckling.
If this is the case with your cat, it’s high time to find out what is causing your companion’s intense stress. It is important for the health and safety of cats with compulsive suckling behavior to regularly check the toys, Cats and Blankets that are victims of this stress so that they do not swallow small pieces, plastic or fabrics, in order to avoid bowel obstruction.
If you’re worried about him swallowing bits of stuff, be aware that taking all those comforting items away from him at the same time could cause him more stress than otherwise. So be strategic when eliminating a cuddly toy. Hiding one’s toys could also be a source of stress, thus possibly triggering undesirable behaviors.
Do not try to remove your cat’s comforter when it is in comfort mode with it. If your cat presents you or brings you his cuddly toy, it is as if he were presenting his kittens to you. Have a welcoming attitude, flatter him, and talk to him delicately.
The comforter can be a toy or a simple piece of fabric. The source of comfort can also be these different objects:
- A garment you no longer wear
- A cushion that he particularly likes
- His transport cage with the door open can also become a comforting place
- A place in the house such as behind a sofa or under a coffee table
- A bed underside
- A soft and comfortable place
Why do some cats bite or suck on blankets?
You may have already observed your cat adopt this strange behavior : as soon as he has the opportunity, he sucks or chews on fabrics, preferably wool. It can be clothes, blankets, shoelaces or even rugs. And sometimes it even flips over your hair! But why does he act like this?
- Early weaning
It is normal for kittens to explore their surroundings with their mouths. They may therefore start suckling, licking or chewing tissues but stop this behavior once they have reached adulthood.
On the other hand, kittens that have been weaned from their mother too early, that is to say before 12 weeks, can continue to do so, even once they have become adults. Indeed, the soft and warm feeling of the blanket replaces that of the mother and the kitten then instinctively begins to suckle.
Certain breeds of cats are genetically predisposed to this behavior. This is especially true of Siamese or Burmese. In this case, no need to worry. Also, Oriental breeds seem to take more time to be fully weaned.
Pica is an eating disorder that causes affected cats to eat inedible things such as objects, feces and even human hair. So, if your cat swallows the blanket or fabric it chews on, it may have pica. But the syndrome can also be associated with poor diet or diseases, such as brain tumors or leukemia.