You will surely have noticed that cats have a particular penchant for blankets. We have behaviours that humans might find strange, but that we find very commonplace.
Blankets are indispensable cat accessories, and if you doubt that, give your cat a blanket he likes. You will see that you will not be able to separate the two. We use our favourite blankets for sleeping, hiding food and toys, biting and even kneading it like we were giving it a relaxing massage.
But why do we do these things? Some of these activities can mean your cat is not mentally or physically well, and others are simply habits that cats acquire as kittens that we like to continue practising as adult cats. Would you like to know the reasons behind these behaviours?
Why do cats knead blankets?
Have you ever seen your cat giving his blanket a gentle massage? Don’t think this is something only your pet does, because the majority of cats do it. The reason is much simpler than it looks.
Some say we do this to sharpen our claws, but the best way to do this would be on a sturdy, rough surface. If we are kneading a blanket we simply want to relax and we feel like performing this reflex movement, typical of our feline nature.
We start doing this when we are little and are drinking our mother’s milk. When we are adults and are no longer with mum, it still relaxes us. It reminds us of when we were kittens and in a place where we were happy.
Why do cats bite blankets?
Kneading a blanket is completely different from biting it. If your cat tends to bite his blanket or other fabric, he has an unhealthy habit called “pica”.
Pica is the habit of biting, eating or simply sucking on non-food items. It can have many causes, such as stress, boredom, dietary deficiencies and even serious diseases like feline leukaemia or brain tumours. So if you find your cat has this unusual habit, do not hesitate to see your veterinarian to see what is wrong with your cat.
Blankets for travelling and for making your cat comfortable
Blankets are a highly necessary cat accessory for calming your feline when he is stressed. This is why we recommend bringing his favourite blanket when visiting the veterinarian, when you make a trip and even if he spends a few days away from home or if you move to a new house.
Your cat’s blanket carries his scent and he recognises it as part of him and his home. By kneading it, playing with it and even sleeping with it, he is marking it with his own pheromones and he feels safer and more protected when he has it by his side.
Give your cat his own blanket that he can use when he needs to and that he can always have close at hand. When it is worn, before throwing it out and getting him a new one, give him both blankets for a while until he accepts the new blanket. This way he will feel he still has one his most basic day-to-day cat accessories.