One day you might notice holes in a few of your socks, or that a blanket is wet and has a few holes in it too. Then it becomes a sweater or some other valuable item. Eventually you’ll realise that your cat is the culprit, but you have no idea why she has been doing it.
Nobody knows why cats chew and eat clothing, especially wool, but there are a number of theories on the subject.
One of the theories suggests that if a kitten is taken away from her mother too soon the need to suckle transfers from the mother to other objects. If your cat seems to be doing more sucking than chewing, and she kneads a blanket or piece of clothing with her paws while purring, this could very well be the case.
Another theory suggest that they might need more fibre in their diet. If your cat has never displayed this type of behaviour before and suddenly starts to do it as an adult, she needs to be stopped due to the risk of her swallowing bits of the object that she is wool sucking. She might be suffering from a medical problem such a parasites, or she may be suffering from stress or anxiety. Either way, she would need to see a vet.
You can also try non-toxic spray repellents on these items as this often works well as a deterrent.
If your cat is fed more canned food than dry food, you can switch to a dry food that is high in fibre, especially those that are made as hairball formulas. Cats who eat high-fibre diets often stop wool sucking if they are kept on this type of food. It is believed that the high fibre intake replaces the wool that they crave in their diets.
After a couple of months of diet change, offer her a sock or a piece of fabric. If she has no interest in it, you may have broken the habit.
Because most cats who wool suck are often taken away from their mothers too early, you may be wondering how old a kitten should be when you adopt her. Most kittens need to be with their mothers until they are at least twelve weeks of age. This will give them a great head start in terms of developing into healthy, well-adjusted adults.