Have you ever been cuddling with your cat on the couch or bed when she starts to lick the blanket? While watching your kitty knead the blanket is extremely cute, blanket licking can be downright disgusting. This is especially true if your pet leaves spit-soaked covers in her wake.
If you’re wondering why your cat is licking or sucking on your blanket, here are seven reasons behind this behavior and how to stop it.
1. Pica Disorder
Pica is a condition where animals feel the need to snack on inedible items. If your cat is eating carpet, blankets, or dirt, she may have pica. Most of the time, this disorder signifies diet deficiencies. Without being treated, your pet can suffer from intestinal blockage. Make an appointment with your vet right away if you think your cat has pica.
2. Separated from Their Mothers Too Early
For cats that were separated from their mothers too early, they may feel a need to suck and lick at blankets. Kittens taken away from their mothers before they are eight weeks old are prone to suckling later in life.
3. Food Stains
Did you drop a piece of food or spill a drink on your blanket and forget to clean it up? Those stains can entice your cat to lick the dirty blanket. Cats have a superior sense of smell and will be drawn to food and drink odors on bedding. Fortunately, there is an easy solution for this bad behavior. Simply pop your stained blanket into the wash. You can also spray repelling scents onto the fabrics to discourage licking.
Some cats may excessively groom themselves or lick other items to self-soothe. If you’ve recently moved, changed your cat’s daily routine, or have introduced a new pet into the home, your kitty may be suffering from anxiety. To reduce her anxiety, try spraying calming pheromones throughout your home. If the anxiety persists, consult your vet for anti-anxiety cat medication.
5. Certain Breed
Certain cat breeds, such as the Siamese and other Oriental cats, will be more inclined to lick fabric. This may be due to the breed’s longer weaning period.
6. Your Cat is Happy
If your cat is extremely content, she may lick the blanket. This is because your blanket carries your scent, making her feel safe and secure.
7. Compulsive Behaviors
There may be no special meaning behind your cat’s odd behavior. She may lick blankets simply because she enjoys doing it.
Tips to Stop Blanket Licking
If your cat’s blanket licking bothers you, there are some steps you can take to reduce this behavior. They include:
- Spraying blankets with deterring aromas
- Giving your pet high-value food rewards when she stops licking the blanket
- No giving the cat access to any bedding or blankets
- Buying cat chew toys
These simple tips can distract your cat from licking the blanket and also discourage the behavior.
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There are a variety of reasons behind your cat’s desire to lick blankets. From anxiety to a pica condition, feline fabric licking can be a symptom of an underlying health issue. If you think your cat is sick, make an appointment with your vet right away.
If your cat licks blankets because she’s happy or enjoys doing so, you can either try and stop the behavior or simply put up with it. Consider providing your cat with her very own blanket designated for her licking. This will save you from sleeping in saliva-covered sheets and blankets.
Featured Image: GitanasD, Shutterstock