Click here to learn more.
A. The behavior you’ve described is generally called pica, which is an abnormal desire to eat inedible things. Wool chewing or wool sucking is not at all uncommon in animals who have the disorder, especially in the so-called Oriental breeds such as the Siamese. Though the target is often a soft fabric — such as wool — some cats prefer other objects, such as plastic grocery bags. We’re not really sure what causes the behavior, but since it is more common in some breeds than others, it is believed to have a genetic component. It was long believed that wool chewing was a result of a kitten who was separated from her mother too soon (probably because the behavior can look like nursing), but that’s not believed to be the case today. Nor is it believed to be linked to dietary deficiency.
Best guess: It’s a habit (like people who chew fingernails, pop knuckles, chew gum) that relieves stress and brings comfort.
Unfortunately, there is no 100 percent effective cure for it. Things to try:
If all else fails, ask your veterinarian if she'd recommend medication to help with compulsive behavior.
Like this article? Have a point of view to share? Let us know!
Thank you for subscribing to Petwire. Look for the latest newsletter each Wednesday.
Marine patrol officers were rescuing a
dog from a river when they noticed that a
manatee was keeping him company.
Does your pup love to talk? We asked
269 veterinary professionals to vote on
the dog breeds they think are the…
Before you buy or adopt a bird who may
live dozens of years, consider Dr. Laurie
Hess' advice to make sure you’re…
Dr. Patty Khuly gives her take on pet
owners' need to feed — and how it fuels
the obesity problem in cats and dogs.
With his chubby cheeks, short nose and round eyes, the British Shorthair looks like he's always grinning.
If the video doesn't start playing momentarily,
please install the latest version of Flash.
Thank you for subscribing.