“Wool Sucking” = Suckling on items (usually soft) such as carpets, sweaters, blankets, robes, and even their own or other another cat’s body parts (front paws, tail, etc.) My current foster, Marmalade wool sucks our robes – nothing else, just our soft Kashwere robes. (Understandable as these are the softest robes EVER!) So why do that do that? The number one reason is as a kitten they were weaned too early. Other reasons for wool sucking are stress related and nutritional deficiencies. Also, wool sucking is more common in the Oriental breeds.
Wool sucking becomes a problem when your cat ingests the material it’s suckling on, and this could be “pica behavior”. Pica is a cat’s urge to eat nonfood items, which can result in serious intestinal problems.
As long as your cat is not ingesting the material it’s suckling on, it’s probably ok to let it continue. However, if it concerns you, and you want to stop it, some suggestions are: remove the target item(s), and divert the cat’s attention to a treat or toy. Typically there are deficiencies in the environmental enrichment causing the behavior. You might need a behavior consult to get to the specific cause of the problem. Share your own wool suckling stories with us!