Cat Wool Sucking

by Michael
(London, UK)

Chewing Mania but see note below

Cat wool sucking is unnatural and is caused by an interruption to the natural and gradual process of a kitten coming off drinking mother's milk and turning to solids. If this process is stopped unnaturally the kitten might continue by finding substitutes and alternatives. Wool is one such example.

The earlier the cat is weaned unnaturally the more severe the wool sucking is likely to be. Cat wool sucking might fade away in time and resolve itself or it might develop into something worse; eating the object that is being sucked (wool is one of a range of things that a cat might turn to which might, in fact, include themselves and acrylics). In other words, rather than progressing to eating solid food a cat who is wool sucking might progress to eating non-nutritional objects. Also stress can aggravate the condition as nursing at mother's nipple is in part a comfort process as well as nutritional.

The picture is just for illustration purposes and it not meant to suggest that this cat has a disorder!. Nice picture. Very nice job demolishing the box. Photo by Malingering and published under published under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs creative commons License -- this site is for charitable purposes in funding cat rescue.

How to fix cat wool sucking?

  • Mild condition - this will probably resolve itself and most likely will not require treatment.
  • Progressing to eating the wool clearly requires veterinarian intervention as it can be dangerous.

Prevention tactics?

  • Create a calm and de-stressed environment. Possible sources of stress are (a) cat separation anxiety (b) fighting between cats in a multi-cat household - Introducing a New Cat (c) frequent strangers visiting and (e) frequent noise. These are examples.
  • Try and get your cat to chew on something safer such as a cat chew toy.
  • Offer up a real alternative of high fiber diet and encourage him/her to eat that rather than the wool.
  • Last resort: your vet might prescribe anti obsession drugs such as Prozac. These are often human drugs. This must be a last resort, surely as long term drug use cannot be good for anyone

Cat wool sucking tells us about the importance of the early years. In the first 6 months of life a cat can become a well balanced animal able to mix with people or other animals (dogs for example - Cats and Dogs Living Together) or become unbalanced, which can only lead to a less content life.

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Cat Wool Sucking

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Jan 13, 2012
sucking and thrusting NEW
by: Rachel

I'm glad i'm not the only one, my 2-3 year old male cat has taken to tugging/sucking my sofa throw and he's thrusting at the same time. He's been neutered along time ago. At first we presumed it was to do with being taken too early from his mum, we got him from a rescue centre when he was roughly 1 year old.

He's more than happy to tug and purr for twenty minutes at a time. Its really frequent though, sometimes he'll go at it 5-6 times a day

Jun 29, 2011
by: Anonymous

When I brought home my baby Siamese, although she was home raised, she was not handled much. This led to a scared and timid kitten. We already had an adult spayed Calico. After I knew she was litter trained Mae-Ling was given the run of the house. Although she made up with the older cat and they slept some together, at night she slept with me and wanted to suckle. I got her to use the skin at the base of my first finger and thumb. She has since out grown this but still likes to knead before curling up with me to sleep. I'm thinking this may have avoided her using some other object to suck on?

May 06, 2011
by: Anonymous

Thank you for the info. My Siamese cat has a wool sucking fetish! He chews on items made from wool. He loves to chew om my socks. They become all soggy!

Someone told me that some cat breeds wool suck and Siamese cats are the worst. About 50% of all cat wool suckers are Siamese cats!

I keep all the woollen clothes etc. out of my cat's sight and reach.

I also play with him a lot and make him use his brain. Siamese are pretty smart and think one problem is boredom.

Apr 10, 2010
16 1/2 years old
by: Anonymous

Two years ago I inherited a wonderful cat. While with my bestfriend he carried article of clothing ranging from socks to pajamas to his food bowl. He took to a winter scarf of mine. My fiance and I watched, as we were unaware of wool sucking, to see what he would do. He chewed on the scarf, shook it, and then proceeded to eat. I took the scarf and cut into squares. I have allowed him to continue his habit as he tends to eat better when he has it than not. As he is now nearing 17 years old I see no need to change his bad habit; besides, it is a plus to keep him eating. I just make sure my guest know not to leave socks or other articles of clothing where he may get to them.

Mar 03, 2010
Finally I found something on this!
by: Anonymous

I have a 1.5 yr old Seal Point Siamese, Loki, who has done this since we adopted him at 10 weeks. He started on this blanket that is a micro-sherpa (really soft wool). This blanket is seriously heaven wrapped around you, so when my kitten decided to knead on it I was fine but then I noticed he would bite it and pull on it while he was kneading. I didn't want cat slobber on my favorite blanket so I found a miniature baby blanket version that he seemed to like just the same. As he has gotten older the cute quirky biting/kneading has also become a strange pelvic thrusting at the same time. We have named his blanket Girlfriend. I don't know what it all means?? He is gradually doing it less and less so I am hoping with not stressing him out about it and making a big deal it will go away soon. Makes for good entertainment when guests come over. haha! Love that little guy!

May 23, 2009
by: Anonymous

We have a strange pair of Siamese females found abandoned. One appears Bluepoint and the Smurgler, a runt, looks exactly like your Seal point photo. We have had them for 3 months and they had issues,found the day after a 2 night solid freeze, we expected some. They were infested with fleas and had bad runs and worms. We dealt with those and are getting ready to fix them.

They have worked there way into our hearts.

The Smurgler spends hours a day on the neck of the larger blue who tolerates her lovingly. There seems to be no harm so far and when we think of the nights the poor things spent alone in the freezing woods we can understand the devotion they hold for each other.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in a many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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