Watching everything your cat does is surely one of your favorite amusements. However, there are behaviors that more than being funny, we are intrigued by finding them inexplicable, so knowing what causes them is crucial to understand 100% everything your cat wants to tell you.
If ever you wondered why your cat bites clothes, then this article is for you.
What things can a cat bite and when should we worry?
As you know, cats are very curious animals, so many times that same desire to explore leads them to nibble some things they find just to get a better perspective on what kind of object it is. If it’s an occasional behavior, when the pussycat discovers something new, you have nothing to worry about. However, some felines they are obsessed with nibbling certain materials, among them the clothes. For the most part, the cat that bites clothes starts this habit by chewing or sucking wool clothes, but over time it spreads to other types of textile fibers.
Other felines prefer to bite different objects, such as plastics, bags, cables, cardboard, among many other materials. Some cats limit themselves to biting or sucking these objects, while others swallow them; when this is the case, it receives the name of pica syndrome.
Do you suffer from your cat’s syndrome?
Knowing if your cat suffers from pica syndrome is very easy. The pica is a disorder that consists in the need to ingest non-edible substances. Usually, the cat is obsessed with a specific material, and it has to do with a type of nutritional deficiency, so that the consumption of the chosen substance is directed, unconsciously, to try to make up for this lack.
If your cat is limited to biting and sucking clothes, then it is not pica syndrome, but a behavior that can be caused by different causes that we detail below.
Reasons that lead a cat to lick clothes and bite
The causes that drive your cat to lick your clothes or bite them are varied, but they have not really been studied very thoroughly. It is known that there are certain chemical reactions produced by the fact of chewing and licking that generate pleasure and even tranquility in the feline, leading him to repeat the behavior. What is confirmed is that this type of behavior affects cats of any age, males and females alike; however, in most cases it is presented before the 8 months of life, being able to cease in a short time or, on the contrary, become a problem that the cat drag during his adulthood.
Now, the most common reasons why a cat bites clothes are the following:
It occurs in pussycat that have been separated from his mother before time. The felines, like children, need not only breast milk to develop in its fullness, but also the warmth and tranquility that the act of suckling represents. That is why in cats that have been weaned prematurely, the habit of sucking fabrics, especially if they are made of wool, is a way to emulate the sensation that the breast gave them. This behavior can extend beyond childhood.
Nutrient deficiency or anemia
Related to pica disorder, but without becoming him because the cat does not eat the cloth, just sucks and bites. As with this syndrome, it is possible that the cat begins to chew your clothes because it feels that it lacks a nutrient or vitamin in the food you give it. Check our article on proper cat feeding and see if this is the cause that explains why your cat bites your clothes.
It is a general rule: to the cats the stress harms them, and much. What things can cause stress in a home cat? Basically those that represent a change in your routine, like the arrival of a new member to the family, be it a baby or another pet, a drastic change in diet, a move, among other situations. It is also possible that your cat manifests stress when opportunities to develop their natural instincts, such as when you do not have a scraper and scolding for scratching furniture, instead of providing a healthy outlet, are impeded.
As a result of stress, the cat will look for exits to try to calm their nerves and get some peace of mind. This can be manifested in different ways, and one of them can be biting clothes or any cloth that is put at your fingertips.
La lack of stimuli proper is detrimental to felines. Boredom turns a cat into a destructive feline, and drives him to behaviors that are not normal in order to distract him a bit. This may be the reason why your cat licks clothes or bites them. This is usually more common in felines that do not have access to the outside or to toys.
It has been shown that some breeds have a biological predisposition to enjoy biting and sucking textiles, in which case there is nothing to worry about if the kitten is limited to these actions alone, and does not swallow them. These races are the oriental ones, like Siamese and Burmese.
Some serious diseases cause unusual behavior in cats, as a way to give peace and perhaps distract from pain or discomfort that may be suffering, as in the case of cancer, or as a result of alterations in behavior due to neurological disorders. Check the 10 pain signs in most common cats and find out if your cat suffers from any health problem.
How to prevent the cat from chewing your clothes?
If your kitten bites clothes only once in a while there is no problem; however, when it becomes a recurrent and even obsessive behavior, it is time to take action on the matter. The first step is detect la cause that takes the cat to lick or bite clothes, only then you can choose the way to solve it. In principle, it will be necessary to rule out if it is a disease, so you should consult with a veterinarian for it.
If it is not a health problem, it is time to detect the cause in the environment. In kittens, weaning should be done after the 12 weeks, never before. If it is an orphan feline, it will be necessary to look for alternatives to avoid this behavior in the future.
Check the diet that you provide to your cat to discover if there is any nutritional deficiency. Remember to vary the dry food with the wet, and sporadically add raw or semi-cooked food to complement the menu. If necessary, change the feed to one of better quality or add vitamin supplements, this with the recommendation of a veterinarian.
You never punish him when you discover it by biting clothes. The best thing is to remove all the garments from your reach, point out that you do not and remove the piece when you find it by biting any. Replace it with a toy for cats, and enrich the environment with different accessories designed for fun, bought or made at home, as well as playing time shared with you.
Some cats may require medication with drugs similar to those prescribed for obsessive-compulsive disorder in humans. This, of course, if the veterinarian recommends it. In these cases, do not rule out the possibility of also using natural therapies, such as homeopathy, provided that the specialist so advise.
If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my cat bite my clothes?, we recommend that you enter in our behavior problems section.