Video: Why Do Some Cats Suck Wool?
2023 Author: Molly Page | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 22:49
Sometimes, cat owners notice that their pets, starting from a certain age, suck woolen things. This clearly abnormal behavior is a concern for the owners. And for good reason: if the cat gets used to it, fur sucking can have serious consequences. Sucking hair for a long time will separate strands of hair, the cat runs the risk of swallowing them, and surgery may be required to treat the intestinal blockage caused by them. So why do cats suck fur?
The answer can be obtained by looking closely at how cats suckle. Having found in the house a thing made of wool or other soft material, the cat, with a contented look, settles down on it and begins to suck or chew it, alternately trampling on the material with its front paws. At the same time, she is completely forgotten from pleasure and ceases to pay attention to her surroundings. It is clear that this seemingly senseless business gives her great pleasure. And, if it were not for the danger of swallowing the fibers, it would not cause her any harm. The reason for the addiction to wool is not at all difficult to find. What a cat does with clothes is identical to feeding a tiny kitten from a mother's nipples. The kitten presses its paws on her belly to simulate the release of milk, and if a cat who loves to suck on wool does this with a piece of cloth, then it is clear that she treats the cloth as a surrogate mother. In other words, sucking wool is like using a nipple. In the same way, babies suck on a pacifier (and adult men suck a tube).
Hair-sucking is most common in young cats that have either been abandoned by their mother or taken early from her for some reason. Most often, this begins immediately after weaning and continues for several months. However, in many cats, especially Siamese, it lasts a lifetime, and it is very difficult for them to wean them from this habit.
The special appeal of wool is due to the presence of lanolin in it, which causes a subconscious memory of the mother in the cat. When sucked, the coat is moistened and the lanolin smell is enhanced. The cat gets carried away and sucking or chewing consumes all of its being.
It is known that cats that cannot find anything woolly, in a fit of desire to regain unforgettable childhood sensations, suck their own fur - sometimes paws, sometimes the tip of their tail. Sometimes they pay attention to the owner's hair and try to get to it again and again.
Some experts suggest changing the diet of such animals, but this is hardly logical, except that changing the dishes will help the cat fight boredom. Indeed, the monotony seems to pushes cats to suck fur, and the best remedy for this would be to make their lives brighter and more intense.
Such radical methods of treating cats for this addiction, such as slipping them a piece of wool, covered with some repulsive chemical, do not give the desired effect. The animal waits until the processed piece is thrown away, and attaches itself to another, more suitable one, and it is not possible to process all the woolen items: sooner or later the cat will outwit its owner. The only solution is to change the very thinking of the cat and relieve it of the stress that causes it to fall into childhood.
Source: H. Nepomniachtchi "What's on a cat's mind?"
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