Cats are rather quirky creatures. At times when you look at your cat, you can’t help but think if it is a pet for royalties. And other times, you wonder if your cat is from another dimension.
Then again, as cat pet owners, we love cats despite and for their weirdness.
There is one term that many cats owners use to describe an adorable cat action. It’s called ‘making biscuits.’
No, cats aren’t professional bakers but this oddity happens pretty often during rest or bedtime.
Why do cats knead and bite blankets?
We have the answers for you.
Why Do Cats Knead And Bite Blankets?
Cats knead and bite as a survival instinct since the day they were born as kittens. Cats have scent glands in their paws and when they knead a surface, their unique scent is marked on that surface which helps to comfort them. Kittens knead their mother nipples to signal that they are hungry and want milk. The act of biting blankets is similar to a cat suckling on its mother’s nipples. Thus the action of kneading and biting simultaneously shows that the cat is comfortable and relaxed.
Why Do Cats Knead And Purr?
While your cat is kneading, you will most likely hear your cat purr as well. Purring for a cat generally means that it is contented and relaxed. You can feel your cat’s body vibrate gently while it purrs too.
As kneading is a comforting behavior for cats, it will cause them to purr and slowly drift off to sleep. Most cats outgrow the habit of biting as adults but kittens who were taken away from their litter batch when they were less than 12 weeks old, tend to be rather insecure and needy as they get older.
This can be seen when cats bite blankets or suckle on them as they were never properly weaned off their mother’s milk.
Cats can also purr when they are injured as purring has been shown to be at a frequency that helps your cat’s body heal itself.
Cats Are Territorial
Cats are led by their noses which is why they tend to leave their own scent markings where ever they go.
Kittens knead their mothers often to leave their scent and to make sure mommy recognizes and nurtures them.
Unsterilized Female and male cats will mark walls and objects with urine to signify their readiness to mate. You can help to prevent this behavior by neutering your cat which has other health benefits too.
Cats will rub themselves against their owners to leave mark them as the cat’s property.
If you have more than one cat at home, each cat will mark their scent on furniture or favourite rest spots to let the other cats know that this place is mine and off-limits.
Therefore a cat kneading a soft blanket yields the same intention. Even though cats look very adorable when kneading stuff, it is a very instinctive action for them since young.
Why Does My Cat Get Excited When He Kneads?
Cats get excited when they knead because they associate the action of kneading to being nursed by their mother cat as kittens. This action makes them feel very contented and relaxed which in turn makes them start to purr.
Why Do Cats Bite Blankets?
As cute as it seems when your cat is happily biting your blanket, it can be somewhat gross to have huge saliva spots all over the blanket after it’s done.
Cats biting blankets is a different action compared to a cat biting out of fear or anger. Cats learn to bite as kittens while playing with their littermates.
Kittens will also bite and suck on their mother’s nipple at feeding time. Most mature cats usually stop biting as they get older but the texture and feel of a soft blanket might bring out the kitten in them.
Here are some reasons why a cat would bite on your blanket.
Some cats bite on stuff to relax. I have a friend whose cat loves biting on his cat toys and laying on its back. Makes for quite a funny sight.
Why your cat might enjoy biting your blanket is due to your smell on it. As cats are big on scent, your smell helps to relax your kitty and in turn stimulates your cat to bite on it.
Just like how some kids like sleeping on their parent’s beds due to their smell.
If you find it gross for your cat to be biting your blanket all time, you can get a smaller towel of a similar fabric for your cat.
Make sure to really get your scent on that towel to distract your cat away from your blanket.
Out Of Habit
There are times when a cat just loves to chew and bite on things. It might help them to relax but it is mostly out of habit from its years as a kitten.
Cats can also suffer from OCD and obsessive chewing can be one sign of it. Not only would you find your cat biting your blanket, but it will also chew on anything that it likes like house plants and even slippers.
You might have to bring your cat to the vet or pet behaviorist if the biting and chewing gets out of hand.
You don’t want your feline companion biting on your electrical chords or chewing on poisonous plants that can harm your cat.
If biting and chewing on the blanket is something that your can started doing out of the blue, it could be suffering from Pica syndrome.
This behavioral defect causes a cat to start eating and biting on non-edible objects like plastic, fabric, paper and cardboard.
Vets don’t really know what causes such an issue with cats but it is more common in younger cats. It’s speculated that it could be due to genetics, boredom, stress, OCD or being weaned too young.
This can be very dangerous for cats who start ingesting the materials that they bite or chew on. These materials can’t be digested by the cat and can cause blockages in their digestive tract.
If you notice your cat biting on stuff recently and showing signs of diarrhea, vomiting and lack of appetite, you will need to let your vet know and learn how to manage it.
Biting or chewing on your blanket could also mean that your cat is having dental problems like tooth decay or infected gums.
Your cat might be biting and chewing to ease the discomfort that it is feeling in its mouth. If your cat is showing other signs of dental issues like drooling, bleeding gums and bad breath, take your cat to the vet for a check.
You can help prevent dental problems in your cat if you start brushing its teeth as a kitten. Just make sure not to use human toothpaste which can be toxic for cats.
Your Cat Is Anxious
A cat that is feeling anxious and stressed out can also turn to biting and kneading compulsively. You will need to ascertain what is causing this sudden change in your cat to try and normalize its behavior.
Some anxious cats can even hide or sleep under the blanket to feel more secure.
There are a couple of factors that can cause a cat’s anxiety and stress levels to shoot up
Change Of Environment
Have you recently moved house or did some major renovation to your home? This can throw your cat off as it has yet to adapt to its new surroundings.
Cats are creatures of habit and are slow to make changes. They prefer to stick to a set schedule and can get antsy when things don’t go a planned.
Try spending more time with your cat and give it some time to get accustomed to the changes. Take a towel, rub it on your cat and start rubbing the towel all over the house to mark your cat’s scent.
This can make your cat feel more relaxed and comfortable and stop using biting and kneading as a crutch.
Addition Of A New Family Member
Cats are not packed animals and spend most of their lives alone in the wild. If there has been a recent addition to the family in the form of a new pet or human, your cat might not take to it well.
The scent from the new pet or human is not familiar with your cat and this can cause undue stress for it.
Any new pets should be properly socialized with your existing cat to ensure that they get along well in the future.
Should You Be Concerned About Your Cat’s Kneading and Biting?
Most of the time, such behavior are normal for cats and should not be any concern. You will normally notice your cat indulging in kneading and biting when it is relaxed and ready to sleep.
For cats that spend an inordinate amount of time kneading and biting, there’s a chance that your cat is feeling bored.
Are you spending enough quality time with your cat? Cats are more independent than dogs in general but there are some cat breeds that require more attention from their cat parents.
Try distracting your cat with toys or a training session. Do something to stimulate your cat physically and mentally.