How to Stop a Cat from Chewing Aka Wool Chewing or Sucking

As all of us cat owners know cats have several odd behaviors in their repertoire. One of those odd and inexplicable behaviors is called ‘wool chewing’ or ‘chewing’ for short. According to Drs. Foster and Smith of , the behavior is also called wool sucking or fabric sucking and the behavior usually manifests in oriental cat breeds, such Siamese and Burmese.

What is Wool Chewing?

Cats that wool chew will find a soft piece of fabric, generally a wool throw or blanket, and chew or suck on small portions of the edge. The chewing spots will resemble a mother cat’s teats and the cat will go into an almost trance-like state while wool chewing.

This chewing/sucking behavior is not limited to wool or even fabric, some cats prefer plastic grocery bags or other household items for chewing. Drs. Foster and Smith suggest that wool chewing is not dangerous unless the cat bites off and swallows a non-food item while chewing or sucking. Typically an ingested non-food will pass through the digestive tract, but keep a watchful eye on the cat until it does. A swallowed non-food items could become an intestinal obstruction and be life threatening to the cat.

Stop Your Cat From Wool Chewing

While wool chewing is not dangerous, I still found it annoying and destructive. A few simple steps worked to discouraged my cat from chewing on things I did not want her to chew on, and hopefully will work for your wool chewing cat too.

Put away all favorite fabric items and heirlooms especially if they are made from cashmere. Keep dresser drawers and closet doors closed, keep bedroom door closed too if you prefer a chewing-prone cat not indulge on your bed coverings.

Loose, soft fabric in other parts of the home (curtains, couch throws, etc.) can be sprayed with perfume, hot peeper oil or Tabasco sauce to deter a cat from sucking on them. I simply scolded my cat when she went near my untouchable fabric items and that was deterrent enough. My cat enjoyed her wool chewing behavior so much I did leave out one fabric item (the one she had already destroyed) for her to chew on. Most kittens outgrow wool chewing, but according to the Cat Behavior Clinic the behavior can intensify and become feline OCD behavior in adult cats.

Exercise is a good antidote for many bad behaviors (in people and pets), so increase the daily amount of exercise your cat gets with food toys. When your unavailable to play with your cat, she can occupy herself with toys that have a treat hidden inside.


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