You are playing with your cat then you notice something interesting.
Whenever Whiskers sniffs at a blanket, he loves to knead it a little then starts sucking on it.
What do this peculiar habit of cat kneading and biting blanket mean in the feline world?
A cat kneading and biting blanket can be for several reasons. One is that they are marking their tuff by kneading their scent into the blanket. A cat kneading with blanket in mouth may also be a sign that the cat is experiencing comfort and pleasure.
If you own a feline, one of the questions you may have asked yourself is ‘Why does my cat bite my blanket and knead it’.
Read on to discover the reason behind this and many other peculiar habits exhibited by cats.
Why Do Cats Knead?
We are often surprised by our cats doing strange things, but kneading is something that cats normally do. Some cats enjoy “making donuts” more than other cats do, and they might even drool or gaze at you while kneading your lap or their blankets.
Of course, cats aren’t known for their “baking skills”, so why do they engage in this kind of behavior? There are various reasons as to why do cats knead.
Why do cats knead? They do it because it is a leftover behavior from their kittenhood. If you will recall, your cat kneads on their mothers as they are being nursed, and they carry this feeling of comfort as they are growing up.
Another answer to the question “why do cats knead?” is because they are conveying a feeling of happiness or satisfaction. Happy cats often knead when being petted or when snuggling into a comfortable napping spot. Your cat may also knead on your lap to show you that they are contented and feeling loved.
Looking into cat kneading meaning is actually not that hard, because aside from letting you know that they are happy or contented, they also do this when developing a soft resting place.
Lastly, in understanding cat kneading meaning, all you have to do is understand your cat’s natural instincts. They often knead to mark their territory and let other cats know that a certain spot is already “taken”.
Outlined below are some of the more specific reasons why cats knead their blankets.
Cats will knead and chew on blankets for a couple of reasons;
- Scent marking
- Feeding memory
Cat kneading and biting blanket is an instinct most notable in kittens.
When kittens suckle, they knead and bite on their mother’s nipple to produce milk.
It is only natural that when a cat finds an equally warm and soft surface.
Like a cozy blanket, they will be tempted to knead and bite at the blanket to “feed”.
Most kittens grow out of this habit when they become adults.
But if your cat continues to knead and suck blankets even in adulthood, it could be a sign of something else.
Cats are creatures of comfort.
Kneading and biting is their way of showing relaxation and appreciation.
When a feline finds a soft blanket warmed up by their favorite humans, they cannot resist kneading and biting the fabric.
This is their way of showing happiness and contentment to their favorite human.
Cats have sweat glands on their paw pads that produce a unique scent.
A cat will knead a blanket with its paws to transfer this scent on the blanket, which is called scent marking.
This is done to alert other animals that the blanket is off-limits.
🐱 ️ Did you know
Cats only choose the softest of fabrics to mark with their scents. Soft fabrics remind them of a mother’s warmth during kittenhood.
It can be a blanket that is frequently warmed by humans.
It can also be a soft rug located close to a fireplace, heater, or windowsill.
If you notice your cat kneading with a blanket in its mouth, they could be reminding themselves of their kitten days.
Kittens knead and suck their mother’s nipple to produce milk.
This motion not only helps them feed but produces a feeling of relaxation in the feline.
Kneading and sucking at a blanket is mostly evident in cats that were separated from their mothers too soon.
Most cats grow out of this habit while some will occasionally knead and suck at blankets in their adulthood.
Some cats are genetically predisposed to kneading and biting at fabrics and other soft items.
Perfect examples are the Balinese, Siamese, and Tonkinese cats.
Video: Cat holding blanket while kneading
Why do cats suckle blankets?
A cat suckling blanket is a common and non-harmful behavior that may occur in all ages and breeds of cats.
A cat suckling blanket may be inherent in young kittens as they like to suckle on anything warm and soft as this resembles their mothers.
Aside from that, cats may also suckle when they are feeling stressed or because it is something that is deeply ingrained in their genes.
Suckling behaviors can typically be found in Siamese, Balinese, and Tonkinese breeds, among others.
Lastly, suckling on blankets or on anything soft and warm may happen when a kitten has been involved in early weaning.
With this being said, a cat suckling blanket is not a disease but a behavioral disorder that might be brought about by lack of environmental stimulation, stress, conflict, and anxiety disorder.
If you see your cat suckling on a blanket, then just let them be. Remember that they are doing this to feel comfort and contentment and nothing else.
Should I be worried about my cat kneading and biting blanket?
Cat kneading with a blanket in mouth is a harmless habit that felines love to indulge in.
It is their way of showing relaxation, contentment, and reminiscing their kitten days.
But if your cat is showing other strange behaviors besides kneading and biting a blanket, then it is a cause for concern.
Red flags to look out for include;
- Cat kneading and biting blanket at the expense of other activities. It could be an underlying psychological issue
- Cat kneading with blanket in mouth out of boredom. This shows they are lacking mental and physical stimulation. Incorporating playtime into the cat’s daily routines can help solve the problem.
- Cat kneading and sucking blanket to relieve dental issues. Teeth pain and gum disease can cause this symptom
Also, be wary of your cat kneading and biting blanket if;
- It causes them to choke especially when they swallow bits of blankets. This could also cause blockage in their digestive tract if not checked.
- Your cat has fabric allergies. The best option here is to keep the blankets away for good or switch them with other cat-friendly fabrics.
- Your cat is leaving cat hair all over your fabric. If your feline is a heavy shedder you may want to control his access to blankets or any other fabrics.
How do I stop my cat from kneading and biting blanket?
You could always use a cat repellant formula to keep your feline away from your blankets.
Use homemade solutions as opposed to commercially sold repellants.
The latter may contain chemical additives that can harm your cat healthwise.
Some natural cat repellants you can use include;
- Lemon or lime
Rinsing your laundry with fabric softeners containing any of the above ingredients as fragrance could help stop your cat kneading and biting blanket.
Cat kneading and biting blanket is a harmless habit that felines love to indulge in.
They do it to show they are happy and at peace.
But if this behavior is persistent and the cat shows signs of distress, it could be a sign of an underlying medical condition.
Have your cat checked by a vet to ensure he is healthy and does not have psychological issues.
Only stop your cat from kneading and biting blanket if it chokes or causes digestive issues in your feline.
Also, a cat that is allergic to fabrics should be prevented from kneading and biting a blanket.
Frequently Asked Questions
Only stop your cat from biting or chewing a blanket if it poses a health risk to them. If your cat is allergic to fabric, consider keeping them away from the fabric. Common fabric allergies in cats include coughing, wheezing, vomiting, and scratching. Some cats may also itch in the ears, skin, or tail due to fabric allergies
A cat will lick a blanket and purr to show contentment. Cats may also lick at the clocks of their humans to show their love for them. If you notice your cat licking you or your clothes while petting them, it is a sign they are happy with you.
Essential oils containing peppermint, citronella, lime, lemon, or lemongrass can be used as cat repellants. Mix one part of essential oil with three parts of water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution on your blankets and any other surfaces you do not want your cat to access.
Cats, especially kittens, love to bite at things when playing. If it’s two cats playing. Biting and kneading on a blanket is done just before a playful pounce on the opponent.