There’s nothing quite like snuggling in under a blanket on a cool autumn day or relaxing with a fuzzy blanket on the couch while binge-watching Netflix. Besides keeping us warm, blankets can provide a sense of safety and security. After all, we all knew as kids that the monster under the bed couldn’t get us when our feet were covered by blankets.
So, we know that humans love the coziness and comfort that comes with blankets, but does the same apply to our pets? Do our cats seek warmth during the winter months? Do they get the same safe feeling as we do when they’re snuggled up in a blanket?
Keep reading to learn everything you’ve wanted to know about the relationship between cats and blankets.
Do Cats Like Blankets?
Most cats absolutely love blankets. You might find your cat tucking himself into your comforter during the chilly winter months or sneaking under the blanket with you at bedtime to keep warm.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to all cats. Long-time cat owners know that their feline housemates often march to the beat of their own drum. While one cat might love Netflix and blanket time on the couch with you, another might turn up his nose at you if you offer him the blanket.
Why Do Cats Like Blankets?
So, you know that your kitty is a blanket lover. But have you ever wondered what it is about blankets that draw your cat in? Do they love them for the same reasons we do? Let’s take a closer look.
Just like us, cats seek out blankets as a means of security. Even though your domestic cat is unlikely to meet predators like cougars and snakes (especially if they’re indoor cats), it is still hard-coded into their DNA to live in a way that keeps them safe from potential predators.
Your cat might love blankets simply because they’re comfortable and cozy. Cats love making a bed in a nice warm place in your house, and if you have blankets lying about, chances are they’ve claimed one (or more) as their blanket.
If your kitty is wiggling up next to you under the blanket at night, he might be trying to spend some quality time with you. Of course, not every kitty wants to sleep when they get under a blanket, and you might find that your sleep becomes interrupted when they’re trying to play with you while you’re asleep.
Cats rub the scent glands on their cheeks, paws, and forehead onto objects in your home to claim them as their own. Your cat might like one particular blanket because they’ve “marked” it as theirs.
You have a very distinct smell that your kitty has come to know over your time together. While studies suggest that your scent on a blanket alone is not enough to keep your kitty’s stress at bay when you’re not around, your kitty can recognize your scent on your belongings to find some comfort.
When your cat has had enough of you or the other furry members of your household, they might seek refuge under blankets for solitude. If you know this is the reason why your cat has taken a liking to your blanket, it’s best to leave them alone to camouflage themselves. You don’t want to stress out your kitty by picking on him when he’s hiding.
What Kind of Blankets Do Cats Prefer?
Most cats aren’t picky about which type of blankets they’ll sleep on. They might have a favorite that they choose to snuggle up in every day, but most will try blankets of different fabrics at least once.
The type of blanket your kitty prefers may depend on the season. They might choose something cotton and cool during the hot months of the year and something on the cozier and fuzzy side when the snow is falling outside.
Can My Blankets Suffocate My Cat?
This is a very real concern for many cat owners. If your cat loves snuggling under blankets so much, are they at risk of suffocation?
The chance of an adult cat suffocating under a blanket is very low. They will simply leave if they get too hot or are unable to breathe.
Blankets and kittens, however, should be approached carefully. Exceptionally heavy blankets may make your kittens’ means of escape difficult. If your kitten insists on going on a blanket, choose something made with a lighter fabric to ensure they can leave when they become uncomfortable.
Are There Any Blanket Alternatives?
Maybe your cat is an anomaly and not in the business of snuggling on or under blankets. That’s totally fine; not every cat likes them. But if you want to give your kitty a cozy alternative, you might consider the following.
Self-heating pads are designed to absorb your cat’s body heat to keep them warm. They work by radiating that heat back to your pet, providing them with that perfect sleeping spot without a blanket. There is no electricity required for these pads, so they’re safe to use and most are also machine washable.
There are many different cat beds on the market that are designed to kind of envelop your kitty. Enclosed cat beds provide the same sense of security that some kitties get from a good, cozy blanket. You might consider buying a padded tunnel or cat cave to provide that sense of safety and comfort simultaneously.
Some cats can’t tell the difference between blankets and clean laundry or towels and will use them to satisfy their blanketing needs. If your kitty isn’t a blanket, heating pad, or cat bed lover, you might consider offering them one of your old articles of clothing. Your clothes will carry your scent, which can keep your kitty happy and warm.
Why Does My Cat Knead My Blanket?
Kneading is a very normal behavior in cats. The reasons why they knead range from conveying comfort to marking territory.
When kittens are nursing from their mother, they knead against her tummy to stimulate the flow of milk. Adult cats, though they are entirely weaned, may still knead as it provides a comforting feeling that they associate with suckling and being close to their mom.
Kneading activates the scent glands in your cats’ paws which, in turn, release pheromones. This will release your cat’s scent onto the blanket that he’s kneading, essentially marking his territory. You might notice this behavior in multi-pet households.
If your kitty is making a biscuit factory out of your blankets, chances are he’s finding comfort in your bedding, or he’s marking his territory.
Why Does My Cat Lick My Blanket?
Blanket licking in cats isn’t as uncommon as you might think.
Just as with kneading, licking blankets can become a comforting and relaxing activity. They may be smelling your scent which makes them feel safe and secure.
Blanket licking might also occur if your cat was weaned too early. The earlier kittens are weaned, the stronger their drive is to nurse and the more likely they are to suckle as adults.
It might also indicate that your cat has pica disorder. This is a condition where animals snack on non-food items like dirt, shoelaces, bags, and even electrical cords. If this is something you’re concerned about, a visit to your vet is in order as it can indicate that your cat has medical issues or dietary deficiencies.
So, do cats love blankets? The answer is a clear “yes” for most cats. Don’t be surprised if your cat doesn’t take to blankets right away or if he never does at all. Cats do things on their own time, and if your kitty is resistant to snuggling with you on the couch with your blanket, he may just need time to warm up to the idea.
Featured Image Credit: coryr930, Pixabay