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Wool Sucking

Pam Flachs

Savannah Super Cat
I originally posted this as a response to another post, but thought it worth having its own thread:

I have two adult cats (F3C Savannah and DSH) who occasionally suck fleece blankets while kneading with their front paws...all the while purring and with a glazed look in their eye. That action is precipitated by being petted for a lengthy period...neither girl who does this appears to be ingesting the blanket, but we do keep an eye on it and try to discourage the behavior by diverting them with a toy.

There are lots of theories as to why cats and kittens do this...called "Wool Sucking"...ranging from early weaning and removal from the mother, to lack of fiber in the diet, pica, stress, breed of cat, etc....but it can progress from kittenhood to become a life-long obsession and quite possibly a dangerous habit.

Ingesting wool (from sweaters, blankets, rugs, etc) can create an intestinal blockage, often life-threatening and requiring surgery. One theory is that the taste of lanolin in wool is appealing to cats.

I thought this site gave the most sensible explanation for Wool Sucking along with suggestions on how to curb it:


Isn't fleece used in blankets made from cotton?
A fleece, the woolen coat of a domestic sheep or long-haired goat, especially after having been sheared (but before being processed into yarn or thread).

I think modern society has warped the meaning to also mean acrylic "fleece" but they should change the name to fleace or fleas or something to be less confusing to the consumer.

Edit: It appears that they did change the name, to "Polar Fleece" (only I never hear anyone say the word Polar so it's useless): Polar fleece usually referred to simply as "fleece," is a soft napped insulating synthetic fabric made from Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or other synthetic fibers.

PET is horrible for humans, can't imagine what it is doing to our babies :(

I wanna get a Catsifier soooo badly!