How to Stop Wool Sucking in Cats

by catfood

Despite the fact that not all cats have the urge to suck on soft materials like wool, for others it can become an obsession. This behavior is most typically seen in kittens removed from their mother too soon. It may also evolve into a habit for senior cats that feel stressed or anxious and turn to sucking wool for comfort.


You might need to take action if you don’t want your feline friend to eat wool, even though it might be a harmless habit. The good news is that your cat is undoubtedly sucking for a reason, and understanding that cause may help you find a solution.

The Cause of Cats’ Wool Sucking

Genetics could be significant. Wool sucking is more frequent in kittens who are taken from their mothers before they have finished weaning. Kittens should be kept with their mothers for at least eight weeks, and ideally 12 weeks. Though they should lose this desire after they are fed kitten food, many kittens continue to try to suckle the mother cat for a few more weeks.

If you adopt a kitten that is younger than 12 weeks old, you assume the motherly role. Because the mother’s “nipples” are no longer available, the kitten might find other “nipples,” such kneading and sucking your earlobe, for example. This would be the kitten’s regular developmental stage.


Wool and other fabrics of a similar kind can swiftly overtake other materials as a cat’s second choice due to their velvety warmth and likeness to the mother cat. A cat sucking its thumb is akin to some cats trying to lick their own or even other cats’ hair.

Even in older cats, the tendency of sucking wool can become a recurring issue or a bad habit. Other factors that could contribute to or support this propensity include:

  • Breed: Oriental breeds, like the Siamese, have been found to be more likely to chew on wool and other soft fabrics. It is unclear how genetics are involved, except from the fact that Siamese kittens require more time before weaning than other cat breeds.
  • Stress: Just as thumb-sucking children may turn into adult nail-biters, cats who seem to have given up their wool-sucking habit may resume it when they are under stress. If this reaction occurs with your cat, look at the kinds of changes in your home that could have triggered it.
  • Changes in the environment might cause cats to get anxious and even revert to their former behaviors. Examples of such occurrences include getting a new pet, having a kid, or moving to a new home. For some cats, moving the furniture about can have a big effect.
  • Your family cat might suddenly start acting aggressively toward another cat, which could lead the victim to begin sucking wool. Because it could be impossible for the sucking cat to defend itself against the aggressive cat, it might decide to redirect its aggression or turn to sucking for comfort.
  • Death of a family member: Cats can become distressed when a close friend or family member passes away, whether they were human, feline, or both. When a cat is a kitten, it periodically resorts to its most relaxing behavior.

Stopping the Sucking of Wool

If your cat has never ingested any of the objects it has sucked on, you may just have to put up with it. It might not be necessary to worry about it if it doesn’t become compulsive or harmful, or if it only happens when the cat is close to you.

Consuming cloth or other materials, however, might cause a dangerous gut blockage. Wool-sucking cats may be more likely to devour little objects like hair ties, floss, and pieces of string, so keep them out of reach. If they are ingesting unsuitable things, such as blankets, surgery may be necessary to remove them. If you suspect your cat may have ingested improper objects, please call your veterinarian straight once.

To try to stop and distract your pet from sucking wool, try the following at home:

  • To avoid tempting your cat, take out all of the clothes, blankets, and throws that have acted as his or her preferred sucking objects and put them away. Beyond perception and memory
  • Offer Your Cat a Non-Wool or Non-Cloth Alternative Substrat to Suck or Chew On: It can be beneficial to select a non-wool or non-cloth alternative substrate that is large enough for your cat to play on or suck on.
  • Enhancing the Environment It can be necessary to make your cat’s environment better. There are several ways to accomplish this. Making a daily routine of enjoyable activities can be beneficial. Be trustworthy. Try multi-day feedings in food puzzles or pre-planned interactive games like wand play, laser chasing, or hide and seek to accomplish this; these activities might divert its attention long enough for the temptation to pass.
  • In order to reduce stress, try to find or deal with its source first. Try using a relaxing pheromone like Feliway if your cat still appears to need to be nursing.
  • Consultation with a veterinarian: If you are concerned about any behavior your pet is displaying, consult with your veterinarian right away. If you are concerned that your cat may be wool sucking, talk to your veterinarian to determine whether an anti-anxiety or depression medication may be necessary.

Your cat may need a lot of love, patience, and creative trial-and-error to stop or reduce the wool sucking. Remember that if the behavior isn’t harming your cat, you might only need to prioritize its mental comfort and teach it to tolerate it.

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet’s health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.

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