To lots of cat parents nowadays, it's a blessing to watch kittens nursing on blanket from time to time. Such people believe that the sight of kitten sucking on objects is one of the cutest things in the world. Well, the felines indeed look adorable while nursing but after a long day at work, few want to come home just to find a saliva-covered blanket on their bed. If your kitten nurses on blanket day after day, frustration would replace delight without fail. Hence, it's essential that you keep the nursing of your fluffy friend under control.
Want to tell your furball to tone down the nursing but don't know how? If that happens to be the case then you have come to the right place. Down below, you could find pretty much everything that cat parents must keep in mind about blanket nursing in cats.
Why The Felines Do That
It's common knowledge that kittens might go completely bonker at times without apparent reasons. That being said, if your kitten nurses on blanket, you should consider the following possibilities:
Kittens, especially ones that got separated from their mom too early, have a tendency to suck on soft, warm and fuzzy objects in the house. Feline experts theorize that nursing in kittens is similar to thumb-sucking in humans: your kitty instinctively sucks on everything that resembles its mother and her nipples in some regards. Most of the time, kittens tend to go after blankets, clothes, carpets and so on. Over time, cats would grow out of nursing but the behavior may still last well into adulthood in certain pets.
Quite a few cats only feel comfortable if they notice the presence of their owner. If your fluffy friends happen to be one such pet, it's going to actively follow you around the clock. In the case it fails to locate you, your kitty often settles for stuff with your scent: socks, shirts, gloves, pants and of course, blankets. That is why if your kitten nurses on blanket, you know that the pet put complete faith in your ability to protect it from harm. Comfort-motivated nursing usually takes place in post-weaning kittens.
Generally speaking, the average cats could be startled by all sorts of things: noises, images,... Under stress, your kitty may behave erratically in order to cope with the current situation: hiding, running, nursing and alike. Normally, it's fine for the felines to suck on blankets to calm down once they feel scared on occasions. Nonetheless, if kittens persistently resort to nursing, its present life is dominated by fear which must be addressed at once. Cats don't thrive while living in a stressful environment.
In the lifetime of cats, the weaning phase is arguably among the most important periods in which they move from mother milk to solid foods. Assuming that they receive proper care, the felines should be able to push through the phase without running into trouble. However, in the case your kitty is weaned too early, behavioral issues might show up. Once people force cats to wean before the time is right, they often react negatively. To make up for the disappearance of milk/nipple, kittens develop experience obsessive-compulsive nursing.
By observing different breeds of cats, feline experts realize that certain breeds like Balinese, Tonkinese, Siamese,... have higher chances of embracing blanket nursing than others. In fact, crossed offsprings of such breed also seem to be more prone to sucking compared to most European breeds. So if you furball happens to belong to one of the mentioned breeds then its nursing behavior could be hereditary. That means you don't necessarily have to do anything unless the nursing of the pet is getting too annoying.
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Need Some Help? Visit Veterinarians
For most of the time, if your kitten nurses on blanket continuously and you fail to pinpoint the exact cause, a trip to the vets is usually a good idea.
At the veterinary clinics, people would conduct a few tests to assess the physical/mental state of your fluffy friend. Afterward, veterinarians shall brief you about the condition of the pet as well as associated issues that you must know. While excessive nursing of objects rarely leads to fatal consequences, the rule of thumb here is "better safe than sorry". If it comes to the life of your kitty, you could never be too careful. Because of that, it's essential that pet owners take their cats straight to the vets if things seem wrong.
How To Curb The Nursing In Kittens: Tips And Tricks
- Block Accesses To The Bedroom: Don't want your kitty to mess up your blanket? Then all you have to do is to ensure that the pet is unable to reach the bed by itself. While leaving/entering the bedroom, keep an eye out for signs of your fluffy friend. The resourceful nature of the felines allows them to make good use of virtually every opportunity so leave no opening. If necessary, feel free to utilize cat mats, repellents and alike around the bedroom entrance.
- Set Up A Play Schedule: A lot of kitten resort to nursing simply because they have nothing else to do. As a result, by sparing a few moments a day in order to play with your furball, you could curb its urge to suck blankets. During interactions with the felines, cat parents must refrain from using their hands as toys since that might lead to painful incidents in the future.
- Be Thorough Before Making Changes: Cats excel at noticing changes in the surrounding which is why they get stressed easily. From rearranging the furniture to changing brands of cat food, it's of utmost importance that you move forward slowly. Cats could adapt to changes but people have to give them enough time to adjust. If you just rush forward without taking your kitty into account, behavioral issues such as nursing tend to show up.