If you always wonder why does my cat lick my blanket, we will talk about the potential causes, the good and the bad. Don’t panic because even the potential health concerns regarding this behaviour are still manageable, especially with the help of your vet. Besides curtains, our blankets are also prone to getting so much attention from our lovable cats.
Your cat might only be showing affection or happen to smell something enticing on the blanket. However, licking the blanket may also mean your cat is showing signs of pica. In some cases, the cat might be anxious.
Why Do Cats Lick Blankets?
There are different reasons why your cat seems to lick your blanket constantly. As an owner, you should quickly notice behaviours that seem too far from your cat’s habits. It’s best to ask your veterinarian to ease your worries, but here are three potential reasons why cats engage in this behaviour.
Nothing to worry about!
Before we immediately assume that your cat has a condition, licking the blanket might only be his way of expressing happiness. Some cat breeds like Tonkinese and Siamese are even more prone to sucking and kneading the blanket. More often than not, your furry friend might only be claiming the blanket or is feeling happy and relaxed wildly when purring.
Now, let us discuss the three potential reasons why your cat licks the blanket if the behaviour seemed out of the blue. First, ask yourself if the blanket is clean. You might have spilt something on it and changed its scent and taste.
Some foods and drinks entice cats that spilling them on the blanket can often cause your cat to lick the blanket. The solution is as simple as cleaning the blanket to remove the scent that draws your pet towards it. However, what if your blanket is clean, yet your cat still licks it?
A disorder that also occurs in pets is pica. This condition presents itself as an urge to eat inedible items, including blankets. Your pet might be chewing on this inedible object because of a deficiency in his diet, so make sure that you get him checked up and treated early.
Always check on your cat if his licking habits turn to eat the blanket itself. Remember that this item is indigestible and can cause intestinal blockage. Your veterinarian should help you find a solution to treat pica.
Anxious and compulsive habits
The third reason why a cat licks a blanket is because of anxious and compulsive behaviours. For example, your cat might feel stressed adjusting to the new environment, or he experienced a change from routine. To relieve the discomfort, your cat might try licking or grooming himself and other items such as blankets.
To help your cat feel more relaxed, make sure that you give him attention and stick to a schedule. Your veterinarian might also prescribe a medication to reduce anxiety and compulsive licking. Additionally, try and research stress reduction exercises to help further your furry friend adjust.
Why Does My Cat Lick Fabric?
Licking is generally a normal behaviour for cats because they like to groom themselves. However, it can feel odd if you notice your cat’s obsession with fabric. It could be a blanket or a piece of clothing that he constantly licks.
Tasty fabric, bored or stressed cat, pica
To understand the reason behind this habit, you can remember the three reasons discussed. The fabric might have a unique taste or smell that your cat seems to love, or perhaps he’s only bored or even stressed. While it’s not as common, licking fabric might also mean pica from nutritional imbalance.
How Do I Stop My Cat From Licking Blankets?
Besides visiting your clinic, you can limit your furry pal’s access to all the fabric items in the household. You can also provide toys that can curb the cat’s licking habits and boredom. If all else fails, there are pet-friendly taste deterrents to discourage licking the fabric.
Train your cat with positive reinforcement
Did you know that positive reinforcement can also help to stop your cat from licking your blanket? Not only will this address the behaviour, but it will also train your cat to be more behaved in an enjoyable way. The main gist is to reward your cat when he’s doing something you want (i.e., not licking the blanket).
Reward your cat with treat or affection immediately when he did the desired action to help him understand that it’s because of that action. Perhaps it’s after he jumped to the bed and laid down without licking the blanket. However, remember that there’s no need to physically punish or yell at your cat because it teaches him nothing besides fear or insecurity.
To summarise, no one knows your cat better than you. The answer to why does my cat lick my blanket can either be something familiar or out of the ordinary. Perhaps your cat is only happy or relaxed, but licking can also mean anxiety, pica, or even something on your blanket that tastes and smells good.
Always bring your cat to the veterinarian regularly to ease your worries and address potential issues the soonest.